This past week, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, held a zoom call with clergy and church representatives from across Canada. There were 1300 of us, including Florence and myself. There really wasn’t any new information that we haven’t been hearing about in the news.
The main topic of conversation was the COVID vaccines and their safety. She described at length the testing process which these vaccines have undergone and the large number of participants in the trials. She herself is astounded at the rapid development of the vaccines. We are fortunate that development was able to build upon research from the SARS epidemic and that stages of the approval process were able to overlap. Normally, one stage is completed, it goes for approval and then the next stage starts. In this case, the regulatory body encouraged starting the next stage while it was examining the prior stage. (Nobody has said it, but perhaps this means that they cut through red-tape and acted promptly.)
We will still have to maintain safety protocols even after we have been vaccinated as the research has not demonstrated whether or not a person still sheds the virus after being vaccinated.
There will be no vaccines administered to children under the age of 12 as sufficient testing has not been done on this age group. Children’s immune systems can respond much more vigorously than adult immune systems so this testing is important.
Some faith communities have been concerned whether the vaccines contain pork or beef byproducts. They do not and if you go on the government website you can see all of the ingredients for each vaccine listed.
Interestingly, the flu has been “almost unheard of” in Canada this year.
Dr. Tam said that she was delighted in the comments that she had heard from faith communities across Canada. She encouraged us to be sharing the message of the importance for all of us to get vaccinated.
If you are interested, here is the link to the government website: Canadian Government Vaccine Website
Blessings for the coming week,
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