Yes, help is on the way, and vaccines from various companies may soon be available in countries around the world, but the return to “normal” is a long distance run, not a sprint. That is why Dr, Fauci, America’s top infectious disease specialist, expressed concern at the speed at which the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was rush approved for use in the UK without a national health review of Pfizer’s data.
Dr, Fauci was criticized for his observations, but he was absolutely right, The safety and efficiency reports on the vaccine were issued by the company and accepted at face value by British authorities. There was no separate national health care service review and analysis of the data. That is like accepting Monsanto-Bayer’s claim that their glyphosate-based Roundup® herbicide was perfectly safe – only to discover later after public health and safety reviews that it should be kept under lock and key.
I am NOT excited about getting the vaccine from any company before it goes through Health Canada approvals. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) will begin distribution once the efficacy of the vaccine has been checked and verified by our public health guardians, not by the private for-profit companies that produced the vaccines.
That is why it will be quite a while before the vaccine reaches the general public. After federal approval, it will no doubt be distributed to front-line health care workers first, and then in order of priority from the most vulnerable beginning with long-term care residents, city workers, teachers, and day-care staff, followed by the marginalized communities showing the greatest positivity rates.
Keep in mind the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two doses twenty-one days apart and takes thirty days from the first shot until “immunity” is achieved. Yes, 30 days in total. One month. So let’s say you are one of those average Canadians who might get their first injection at the beginning of August 2021. Twenty-one days later you get your second dose of the vaccine. Then you wait 10 days more days for full immune-system response so that by Labour Day in September you may be back to following the normal coronavirus health protocols in public.
You may be immune from infection, but still able to transmit infection to others. No one knows yet, Herein lies the danger of the vaccine illusion. The same misinformed masses who hold “freedom rallies” and “hugs over masks” protests and travel cross-country to celebrate traditional seasonal holidays, are the same who think life is about to return to normal when the vaccine arrives. They are joined by ordinary citizens who are pandemic weary and worn-out by lockdown isolation, the realities of full time parenting, and a constricting economy.
The truth is that unless we stay socially distant, wear masks, wash hands, and follow all of the recommended health guidelines until the end of 2021, all of the hope and hard work that went into preparing these coronavirus vaccines will have been for naught. And unless we wait patiently for the appropriate federal public health agencies to give their approval, blind faith in premature for-profit praise of the vaccine could turn out to be more of a disaster than a miracle.
The way I see it.
Skid Crease, Caleon
- image from euractiv.com