CATEGORY / epidemiology

COVID-19: Why The Vaccinated Can’t Throw Caution To The Wind

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 post was motivated by four things.¬† First, news that the CDC is recommending that vaccinated people be free to interact without masks with other vaccinated people. Second, is news that vaccinated people are now rushing to the airports to engage in world travel. Third, the common refrain from some political corners that “experts want us to wear masks after we’re vaccinated. We’re never going to be rid of masks!” And fourth, this heartbreaking tweet from Dr Brian Levine:

I think it’s important to explain¬†why we simply can’t interact with others willy-nilly, unless we really have to, even if we’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.

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COVID-19: Can We Eradicate the Virus?

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)

Now that we have several vaccines against COVID-19, I keep getting the same four questions: (a) Which one should I get? (b) Are they safe? (c) Will we have to do this every year? And (d) Does this mean we can get rid of COVID-19 once and for all?

Today I’m only going to try to answer the last question. Both the Pfizer and Moderna jabs are thought to be 94-95% effective. That’s an extraordinarily high number, especially given that the seasonal flu jab usually is about 40% effective, and we would have been very content with a COVID vaccine of 50-60% effectiveness.

The Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines also have high efficacy scores, as well. But right now we have more experience with the mRNA vaccines in Canada.

(If you’re curious, I’ve attempted to explain much of the vaccine science in an earlier post, and I recruited virologist Dr Erling Rud to answer vaccine questions in an earlier podcast.)

This high effectiveness has got some people asking…. well, can we now wipe this disease off the face of the Earth? So today I want to briefly talk about disease eradication and why it’s so hard. (more…)

COVID-19: How to Use Rapid Tests

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)

Now, this is a topic that I thought had been covered well over the last few months. I know I’ve talked and written about it a few times. And yet journalists still ask me about it. So today I’m going to go over some quick thoughts and explanations about the uses, limitations, and strategies for using COVID-19 so-called “rapid tests.”

My intent is to make this will be a short post. Let’s see if I have the discipline to hold to that promise.

(more…)

COVID-19: Answering A Few Common COVID Vaccine Questions

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)

Shhh. The baby is asleep, so I have to type this really quietly.

In today’s post, I hope to address a few of the more common questions that both the public and the media have about the new COVID vaccines. As of now, we really only have data for three jabs: the Pfizer/Biontech one, the Moderna one, and the one produced in partnership between Astra Zeneca and Oxford University.

Since conspiracy theories are out of control these days, I must begin with the standard disclaimer. Yes, I have done paid consulting work for drug companies in the distant past. And yes, I own shares in both Pfizer and Astra Zenaca…. amounting to HUNDREDS, yes HUNDREDS, of dollars. Watch out, Jeff Bezos. (more…)


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