My 36th weekly COVID-19 update. Click to Subscribe.
I hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe and enjoying the much-awaited Summer!
Let’s dive into the bad news, the good news, the most asked question of the week, and end on my silver lining.
What’s the bad news?
Over 182 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with almost 4 million reported deaths. Canada has reported over 1.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, and over 26,000 people have died.
Over 400,000 people have died in India alone (likely a significant underreporting). Half of these occurred in the last two months. India is behind the U.S and Brazil in confirmed fatalities. The delta variant, believed to have originated in India, is considered responsible for most of these cases.
We have spoken about my concern about the delta strain VOC and its potential to spread even amongst fully vaccinated people. There is currently an outbreak in the Yukon, the most significant spike in cases since the pandemic began, and more than 70% of the population is fully vaccinated. However, we do need to remain cautious.
What is the good news?
Canada continues to perform well in vaccinations, with more than 38 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered across the country. In addition, cases continue to decline or hold stable across most of the country.
As of today, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents will be exempt from quarantine when they re-enter Canada. However, this exemption only applies to travelers who received a second dose more than 14 days ago, and they must have received one of the four vaccines approved for use in Canada.
Travelers must use the ArriveCAN app or online service before departure to enter their vaccination details. The results of a negative COVID-19 test no more than three days before their arrival must be documented.
Per the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), “If you were unable to come to Canada on July 4 of this year, you can’t come in on July 5 — there’s been no change to all of the restrictions and the provisions that have been issued on that front. However, for those that can come to Canada, it’s a very cautious, early first step in starting to delay or remove some requirements at the border.”
This means Canada is not open for tourism and recreational travel, at least not yet.
Essentially, if you were not eligible to enter Canada last week, you still aren’t. However, there are suspicions we will soon deal with an influx of visitors once the federal government begins its preliminary easing of travel restrictions.
The travel restrictions between Canada and the U.S currently prohibit all discretionary travel between the countries while still allowing the movement of trade, essential workers, and international students. These restrictions are set to expire on July 21.
Question of the week.
Is there any news about myocarditis and pericarditis following an mRNA vaccine?
Cases of myocarditis and pericarditis following an mRNA vaccine have been reported internationally. As a result, Health Canada has updated the product monographs for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to include infrequent case reports of these illnesses.
Cases have been most frequently reported in adolescents and adults younger than 30 years of age. Males are more commonly affected, and these conditions most typically occur following the second dose. The majority of cases have been mild and typical self-resolve without significant intervention.
Symptoms of myocarditis and pericarditis usually occur within a week of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and include chest pain, palpitations, and shortness of breath. Anyone with symptoms should seek immediate emergency care to ensure accurate diagnosis and management.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) recommends two mRNA vaccines for all eligible people, including kids 12 years and older.
Informed consent should be sought from anyone receiving the vaccine, including the very rare risk of myocarditis and pericarditis. In addition, anyone eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine should understand the potential risks and side effects, including 12-year-olds.
Did you miss last week’s
“Delta variant and new Health Canada recommendations”
Should pregnant individuals and those who are breast/chestfeeding get a COVID-19 vaccine?
The Ministry of Health has created a tool to help you make an informed decision about whether to receive a COVID vaccine.
To summarize, NACI, The Ontario Society of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, and The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) recommend that two mRNA vaccines be offered to pregnant breast/chestfeeding people. Real-world evidence shows that these vaccines are safe in these populations.
The vaccines can be given in any trimester of pregnancy and during breastfeeding. The choice to receive the vaccine should be based on the individual’s values and an understanding of the risk of COVID-19 infection versus the theorized risk of being vaccinated in pregnancy. Please speak to your doctor or midwife to discuss the benefits and risks of vaccination.
The silver lining of the week
Like many, my children are out of school for the Summer and enjoying every second.
They were exposed to far too much screen time this year, and though we tried out best for them to remain active, they are certainly much more active this week. I can see their zest and optimism and happiness return. The dark cloak of virtual school has been shed for a few months, and hopefully forever.
I hope your kids are happier too and can have a couple of months of fun and exercise.
Have a fabulous week.