Three months after the first vaccine was distributed in Quebec, an analysis of the data from this historic campaign reminds us that we must tread the accelerator to prevent the variables from continuing to delay the long-awaited exit from the crisis.
With 50% of people over 80 years of age vaccinated in Quebec, but barely 19% of people aged 70-79 and 5% of people aged 60-69 with the first dose (see box) We have to restrain ourselves somewhat from optimism, believes Alan Lamary, professor of immunivirology at the National Institute of Statistics. There is far from the cup to the lips or from disassembly.
We can think of it when all of this population is vaccinated with 70 to 80% coverage. […] “So, this is not tomorrow morning,” says Mr. Lamary.
To return to our previous lives faster, the expert and colleague from the University of Montreal, Roxanne Borges da Silva, identified three main actions of the Legault government in order to avoid the emergence of a third wave.
“We have to speed up, in terms of the injection, but also in terms of the message,” Alan Lamary believes.
The vaccinated population
◆County Total: 8,4% *
- 80 years and over: 50.3% **
- 70-79 years: 19% **
- 60 – 69 years: 5% **
- 16-59 years: 5% **
- 0-15 years: 0% **
* As of March 14 at 11 AM according to the Ministry of Health
** As of March 11th, according to INSPQ
The Three Great Jobs of Government
The race over the variables
This is the most important variable. To avoid the third wave, Quebec must vaccinate faster than the variants evolve.
“We have to take the lead in the field of vaccines because we’re seeing disturbing data as the variable progresses,” said Alan Lamary, adding that Quebec should target at least 40,000 vaccines per day. 31,500 doses were injected on Friday.
For Roxanne Borges da Silva, the situation is so critical that vaccines are prioritized to specific hard-hit areas. “I know it is controversial, but we must speed up as much as possible in the regions most affected by the changes,” the expert said, citing in particular Greater Montreal.
Misconceptions on AstraZeneca
The AstraZeneca file is surprising experts, who fear the impact of the controversy on public adherence to vaccination.
“On the ground, we hear stories of people who will refuse to vaccinate with AstraZeneca while waiting for Pfizer,” says Alan Lamari, professor of immunology at INRS, “It’s worrying,” indicating that protecting this vaccine is better than no protection at all.
“This is really unfortunate. In all medicines and vaccines I insist on all medicines, there is a risk according to the determinants of each person. We cannot start from these individual risks to stop giving the vaccine when experts look at the case and say the opposite,” Roxanne Borges da Silva insists, and asks for People “trust in science.”
Emphasis on health care workers
As of March 11, Quebec has vaccinated 218,304 employees of the health network, which is 67% of the total 325,000 workers. That number is still not enough, according to Roxanne Burgess da Silva.
The public health professor insists that “it really takes an extra effort,” for fear that heat-resistant personnel will become a gateway to environments where people are at risk. Especially since studies show that the recruitment groups that we find most hesitant are those that find themselves in more direct contact with patients. “In a survey on influenza, we saw that 70% of doctors have been vaccinated, while 30% of doctors are in my memory. And the specialist adds that there is a gradient associated with the desire to be vaccinated and that is not good.
That is why the Legault government must insist on this category. We should make it as easy as possible to vaccinate them. They work a lot, they have atypical schedules, and we have to join them, even if that means going back to CHSLDs, “Alan Lamary believes. They were in priority, it’s not for nothing. We have to get as high as possible.”