Millroy: The Loosey-Goosey Range

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Although I am all in favour of the immunocompromised and those in retirement and nursing homes getting a third COVID-19 vaccine shot, I can’t seem to escape the thought that the Ontario government’s approach to the administering of it is in the loosey-goosey range.

It is allowing for the third shots to be administered only two months after the second shot, something that has been happening in the Sault and across the province for the past few weeks.

The two months, of course, is a timeline that flies in the face of the science that is dictating the roll-outs of third shots in other countries.

For instance, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States last week approved emergency use of the third shot for groups similar to those in Ontario but with a major difference.

They require a six-month gap, two months down from the eight months that had been in play in third-shot discussions in their country for some time.

Russia has made additional shots available to anyone six months after inoculation and Hungary is offering them four months post-vaccination.

Vaccine producer Pfizer-BioNTech said in a statement in July that another shot six months after a second dose would provide antibody levels “5 to 10 times higher” than those elicited by just two injections.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has recommended to Health Canada that some immunocompromised people receive a third dose, not a booster, of a COVID-19 vaccine, but the CTV story didn’t mention a required gap after the second shot.

So where is Ontario getting off offering the shots with only a two-month gap being required?

Upon learning that many in the above-mentioned groups in the Sault were now getting a third shot, I emailed Brandy Sharp Young, Manager Communications & Media Services at Sault Area Hospital, for a copy of what the province provided the hospital to give it the go-ahead to administer the third dose.

She replied that Sault Area Hospital follows guidance provided by the Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario regarding the administration of the COVID-19 Vaccine.

The following is a portion of what the Ministry provided SAH:
At this time third doses of the COVID-19 vaccines will be offered for the following populations to complete an extended primary COVID-19 vaccine series:
Transplants recipients, individuals receiving treatment for conditions such as multiplesclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, leukemias/lymphoma etc., and individuals receiving active treatment for malignant hematologic disorders.

The third dose should be offered at least two months (eight weeks) after the second dose for the above groups, and exact timing should be decided with the treating provider in order to optimize the immune response from the vaccine series and minimize delays in management of their underlying condition.

The gap of two months also came up in another release from the ministry that I found.
As I said up top, I am all for those in the above groups receiving a third shot as it is expected that it will counter a waning immune response to vaccines.

But I worry, since the Ministry does not seem to be following the science, that it may be jumping the gun.

A Global News story said that based on new recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, advised “an additional dose, or third dose of COVID-19 vaccine, for moderately or severely immunocompromised people.

However, it did not give a timeline for when the third dose could be administered and I couldn’t find any information elsewhere covering this very-important aspect as it pertains to Canada.

The Americans are covering pretty well all who are mentioned in the Ontario third-shot plan but are going a step further in that they are including those whose jobs can leave them exposed to the virus, such as health workers, teachers and grocery workers.

That omission from the Ontario plan is one I believe should be corrected.,

I believe front-line health-care workers should be front and centre in any such roll-out. Undoubtedly not all will take it, many agreeing with the scientists who say it is not required by the healthy, but at least it should be offered.

In any event, as many have now gotten the third shot around the province, it shouldn’t be long before we know whether there are going to be any bad reactions or not.

So in one way, I guess we could be providing a trial that, if successful, others can follow, lowering the time between the second and third shots worldwide.

Speaking of worldwide, President Joe Biden originally wanted the third shots to begin going out to the general population in the U.S. on Sept, 20.

I am glad the FDA and CDC don’t seem to agree, cutting it back so it covers only certain groups, because there are so many Third World countries that have had little or no access to any of the vaccines.

Scientists are on record as saying that the case for a third shot of a COVID-19 vaccine at this point is weak as they won’t be necessary for most people, and could divert much-needed doses away from others.

I am with them on that. Although I am approaching 90, I believe my health is such that I do not need a third shot and therefore I would prefer it go to a country where it is needed.

I realize I am only one person but if enough think the same way, and governments agree to the diversion, it could help others in need.

After all, getting people vaccinated worldwide is the only way we are going to bring this pandemic to an end.

 

9 COMMENTS

  1. It is ok to ask questions but don’t look for only the answers you want to hear. . The ICU’s in Alberta are bursting with covid patients , the deaths are astounding, yet there are still those that have to have covid at their door before they believe it is real.

  2. Better news than 300 + Days!

    It’s 561 days since the initial emergency was declared: March 16, 2020.

    At that time, all sorts of medical staff were praised as heroes and now, you’re nothing without these jabs. Quite the flip flop society we live in when people’s memories are shorter than their need for everyone else to comply with the “herd”. Anyone notice herd immunity was supposed to arrive at 70% vaccination rates? Science table and medical officers said so based on “science”.

    Stay home and stay safe is the 2021 version of William Wallace. Freedom to hide in your house is there for the taking. Why impose such measures on healthy people and why take jobs from heroes for something that isn’t 100% effective, 100% studied or 100% free of harm (without boosters)? Try some vitamins and exercise.

    Remember when flu shots were voluntary and many died from the flu each year? Remember indoor weddings that didn’t discriminate? Remember long term “care” homes that “cared” for people and didn’t take off the door handles to keep them “safe”? Remember children playing sports as healthy youth are intended? 561 days ago, that was normal.

    The same grandparents that died in wars for freedom would be rolling in their graves to see it all washed away to save more sick/elderly people when clearly policy is breaking down healthcare and Canada as a whole. This isn’t political. This is about being human and Canadian (based on the rights we have). Help the sick but live again. Otherwise, we’re all putting on our own shackles and giving away the freedom you’ll never get back once it’s gone!

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  3. A longer duration between the second and third dose would provide stronger and longer-lasting immunity

    Since it’s typical for antibodies to wane over time, it’s common for vaccines to be administered in multiple doses over a longer time period.

    People get three shots over a 6-month period for hepatitis B, for instance.

    Routine polio immunization of infants should be given at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months of age.

    In fact, it is unusual to give a one-dose, give-and-go vaccine.

    Most vaccines require at least two shots.

    In a multi-dose vaccine regimen, a longer interval between doses gives the immune system time to mature.

    During this time period, a process called Affinity Maturation takes place, which causes antibodies to improve in quality while dwindling in number, he said.

    Studies have shown that people who were previously infected with COVID-19 experience affinity maturation, as they have higher quality antibodies months after initially getting sick.

    However, a third dose also promotes this process.

    When a vaccine delivers another round of antigen to the body, it activates memory B cells (a type of B lymphocyte that forms part of the adaptive immune system), and allows them to produce improved, higher-quality antibodies to fight COVID-19.

    A longer duration between COVID-19 injections will certainly improve the immune response.

    A third dose for immunocompetent people should not be given ahead of global vaccination distribution.

    Third boosters would likely not be recommended if not for the highly transmissible Delta variant.

    • See, that greatly confuses me as the experts said for the longest time that waiting too long between shots reduces the effectiveness.
      Still haven’t gotten a straight answer as to why SARS (SARS-CoV1) which was nearly identical was over relatively quickly and seemingly disappeared while even today no viable vaccine for it has been able to be developed.
      Is it possible that we’ll be looking at perpetual boosters until our dying day?

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      • SARS burned itself out relatively quickly. SARS made people a lot sicker faster, making them bed-ridden or dead right away so they couldn’t go around and spread it. SARS didn’t have a long phase after you were infected but weren’t sick, so you could go out and spread it, as with COVID. With SARS, if you were infected, you were invariably very sick. With COVID, you can be infected and spread it without even ever knowing you have it.

  4. Doug, have a good look at healthcare here in the Soo. It is so fractured that the quality of life is declining for many of us taxpayers. There a very serious lack of specialists in all fields.

    How can the city be putting up an over $8 million plaza in a really messed up downtown at a time like this?

  5. Doug,

    Thank you kindly for your article. Better still, there emerges a trend where the most vaccinated countries are seeing high rates of hospitalization (covid-related) despite Israel for example having already administered three doses in many cases.

    The healthcare system is being dismantled by vaccine policy, during which time we can see the “science” is ever-changing, although supposed to be based on raw data. Speculation isn’t in the best interest of Ontarians unless we’re building a long-term portfolio of investments. Still, best case, we’d only allocate a small fraction towards the more speculative choices. In a case of health, it would appear rolling the dice for 3.2/100,000 serious side effects is worth the risk for our youth who bear no real risk from this corona virus.

    A large miss is the fact that most/many of those who are dying “with” covid are either beyond their life expectancy or simply living with other known illnesses which render their immunity far lower as a result. These are facts. I understand Denmark, Norway and Sweden have removed all restrictions. How is that possible? Next valid question: with hospitals reducing workforce due to vaccine policy, How could it be reasonably possible to ensure ICU capacity would remain constant? It’s not possible. Nurses are required to care for patients so the focal point should be that policy is limiting care, damage to the frail population and most certainly to the growing families who make healthy choices and choose medical autonomy, as opposed to coercion.

    Abortion may be good or bad depending on the opinion. Each decision impacts a life. That’s acceptable in Ontario, but now we choose food on the table with a jab or choose to potentially go without in the event that we choose not to. I respect individual choices of all kinds, and I believe it would be great if people would get back to just that.

    It’s also important to note two more facts: 1) you get jabbed and are considered un-vaccinated for 14 days so covid symptoms are the result of covid (not the jab). 2) if fully jabbed, you return to the “new normal” of going to eat in a restaurant with everyone who requires masking to enter. I understand wait staff wearing the masks but why wouldn’t people be able to see that the jab was intended for protection. If their jab worked, why does the rest of society need it? If their mask works, why does the rest of society need it? Better still, if two doses work so well, why take a third, leading to a fourth and fifth?

    Thanks for your article! I appreciate that someone put this story out for the masses. I’ve never seen such incentives provided to get jabbed. If it was so good and the virus was so bad, people would be lining up for it. Instead, supply is out-pacing demand by a large factor. Jab-Economics. Record profits for the rich folks who saw the opportunity instead of the threat of this virus. Middle class and below are quickly realizing the cost of everything is rising, businesses can’t cater to full populations anymore, jobs are being lost and children are demoralized when statistically safer than other age groups.

    I really hope this turns around quickly or the Canadian dream isn’t what it once was!

    Anonymous Reader

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    • Even though you have validated points you’ll quickly be denounced as a ‘covid denier’ or ‘anti vaxxer’. When did it become so wrong to ask simple questions when our health & livelihoods are on the line?
      There are just too many oddities, irregularities, gaps, etc to not ask questions but Canadians are just so complacent.

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  6. Just shut up, stop asking qquestions and ‘trust the science’ people.
    Don’t worry, we’re only 300+ days into ’14 days to flatten the curve ‘ and then we can all return to normal.

    Reply moderated

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