I hope you had a wonderful weekend.
I appreciate all the positive feedback and kindness each week when you read the newsletter. I love when you share it with friends and family. I always spread evidence-based information!
All old newsletters can be read here, and you can subscribe here. It is absolutely free. I just want to educate you with facts and help you feel empowered and confident throughout this crazy pandemic.
As we do each week, we will review the bad news, good news, and most common questions of the week. We will end on my silver lining of the week.
Dr. Dina, what is the bad news?
Over 386 million cases of COVID have been reported worldwide, with over 5.7 million deaths. There have been almost 3.1 million reported cases of COVID-19 in Canada, and over 34,000 deaths. There are over 196,000 current confirmed cases in Canada, which is likely a vast underestimate given the lack of routine testing over the last several weeks.
Hospitals are now caring for the highest number of people with COVID-19. Admissions are at the highest levels across all age groups. ICU occupancy continues to be high.
What is the good news?
Over 10 BILLION COVID vaccines have been given worldwide. Over 61% of the world’s population has received one dose, and 53% are fully vaccinated.
92 million COVID vaccines have been given in Canada, 5.8 million of which were given to children. 88% of eligible Canadians (5+) have received one dose, and 83% are fully vaccinated.
While it is challenging to model the spread of COVID-19 because of changes in testing, some indicators suggest this phase of the Omicron wave has plateaued or is in decline. The Ontario Science Table says public health measures helped control this phase of the pandemic, but the relaxation of these measures will increase the spread. The size of any resurgence is challenging to predict but will depend on ongoing vaccination efforts, Omicron spread, and changes in behaviour such as increased mobility and masking.
Ontario data shows that vaccination (including third doses) provides strong protection against serious illness. Increasing vaccine uptake across all groups will reduce the impact of the pandemic.
Most common questions of the week
Should we get boosters?
We know that boosters help prevent severe illness from COVID. Unfortunately, intake of third doses is waning. Only 15 million third doses have been given in Canada. We know that three shots offer the most robust protection. Recent evidence shows that two doses decrease the risk of hospital admission and death from Omicron by 82%, and three doses reduce the risk by 95%.
Where can I get additional evidence-based information about COVID?
These new resources may be helpful if you want to learn more about the current state of COVID in our community.
In ‘Confused About COVID’, family doctors answer questions posed by patients.
ParentHomework.ca was created by the Children’s Health Coalition, comprised of kids’ health experts such as physicians, nurses, infectious disease specialists and parents. The goal is to provide families with good quality, trustworthy information about COVID-19 vaccination for kids.
When should you get a COVID vaccine after COVID-19 illness?
The National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) has new guidelines on when to get a COVID vaccine after infection:
- Wait eight weeks after infection before receiving dose one or dose 2.
- Wait three months before receiving dose 3 (as long as doses 2 and 3 are separated by six months).
My silver lining of the week
My family and I have taken up a new hobby: board games. I used to LOVE board games as a kid. My brother and I would play Monopoly for days at a time. My friends and I would play Cranium, Clue, Jenga, Sorry, and Life for hours.
I forgot how simple and fun board games are. With fewer activities and playdates to take them to, we started playing with our kids. And you know what? It is SUPER FUN.
It’s pretty cool to see the kids get older, smarter, and more strategic. They can legit beat us now. I sometimes miss the days when they were babies. They were so cuddly and delicious. But now, it’s a whole new world with them. We can chat and play games and connect on a whole new level. That is really special.
I wish you a wonderful week ahead.
Stay healthy and safe!
Dina is a wife, mother of 4, and adrenaline junky. She loves to share children’s health information from her professional and personal experience. More About Dr Dina.