CATEGORY / COVID-19

COVID-19: Let’s Look At Some Studies the Anti-Vaxxers Are On About

by Raywat Deonandan, PhD
Epidemiologist & Associate Professor
University of Ottawa
(I add my credentials to these COVID-19 blog posts in case they get shared. I want readers to know that my opinion is supposedly an educated and informed one)

Today’s topic is just what the title suggests: taking a closer look at some of the studies/documents that are currently driving the anti-vaccine agenda. I’ll only look at three such studies in this post, because I only have so much time before my toddler barges into my office demanding that his socks be interchanged –or something equally as critical.  So let’s get to it.

(more…)

COVID-19: Answering Some Common Anti-Vaxxer Issues

by Raywat Deonandan, PhD
Epidemiologist & Associate Professor
University of Ottawa
(I add my credentials to these COVID-19 blog posts in case they get shared. I want readers to know that my opinion is supposedly an educated and informed one)

Some months ago, a friend sent me a long list of anti-vaccination concerns she was encountering in her workplace. I promised I would address some of them in this space. But life got in the way –deaths in the family, moving house, my busy job, etc– and that project fell by the wayside.

So today, I will try to answer some of those concerns, though I fear my response might be too late to be useful to that colleague. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to have a record of such things.

I do want to make it clear, though, that I’m not interested in having an argument here. These kinds of posts always end up attracting abusive personalities in the comments section; and, frankly, I don’t have the patience for that nonsense anymore. So if that is your inclination, your comment will be deleted and your IP address blocked.

So let’s get to it.

(more…)

COVID-19: Does a 4th Vaccine Dose Prevent Infection?

by Raywat Deonandan, PhD
Epidemiologist & Associate Professor
University of Ottawa
(I add my credentials to these COVID-19 blog posts in case they get shared. I want readers to know that my opinion is supposedly an educated and informed one)

Earlier this year, I wrote a post explaining how prior to the rise of the Omicron variant, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines were actually not bad at preventing both infection and transmission of the disease. Hence the strong evidence base for policy measures like vaccine mandates at work and vaccine passports at places like restaurants.

Omicron changed all that to a high degree by greatly reducing the vaccines’ ability to curtail infection and transmission, but not their ability to provide strong protection against the worst measurable COVID outcomes, like hospitalization and death.

That analysis was based on the assumption that most people had received only two doses of the vaccine. But I ended that post by citing some evidence showing that a third dose restored much of the jab’s effectiveness at preventing infection.

As I write this, that original Omicron strain has been supplanted by more transmissible subvariants. Currently, the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants account for the majority of cases in North America. Both subvariants show an ability to overcome immunity garnered from both vaccination and prior infection from Omicron, suggesting that even three doses are no longer effective in preventing infection and transmission.

We are now in the era of 4th doses. So I thought it would be helpful to revisit the evidence around whether four doses can help prevent infection.

Spoiler alert: the evidence, as it is, suggests that four doses definitely increases our ability to avoid infection altogether. But there is debate about exactly how much that increase is, and how long it will last.

(more…)

Monkeypox… More Than Just an Excellent Name for a Band

by Raywat Deonandan, PhD
Epidemiologist & Associate Professor
University of Ottawa

(I add my credentials to these COVID-19 blog posts in case they get shared. I want readers to know that my opinion is supposedly an educated and informed one… But wait! This is not a COVID-19 post.  And yet…. the credentials still remain relevant here. Sigh.)

As the title suggests, today’s topic is monkeypox. My inbox is blazing hot with dozens of media requests to come on-air and talk about this disease. So I thought I’d get ahead a bit and write what I know first, as I am certainly not a monkeypox researcher or expert.

I remember when I first gave monkeypox more than a passing thought. It was when reading a paper listing the likely candidates for a world-stopping global pandemic. The paper was written before the COVID pandemic. I wish I could find it now!

As of today, there are 36 suspected cases in Europe (UK, Portugal, and Spain), one in the USA, and a whopping 13 in Canada. (UPDATE: since I wrote this sentence a few hours ago, the disease has spread to Italy and Sweden.)

So, what is this disease, and should we be worried?  Let’s break it down. (more…)


- PAGE 1 OF 16 -

Next Page  

loading
×