WAITING FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE COVID-19 OMICRON VARIANT, WHICH HAS SURFACED IN OTTAWA

Nov 29, 2021

By Jane Brown

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With Canada’s first two cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant identified, some scientists say banning travellers from southern African countries in an effort to curb its importation is wishful thinking that could do more harm than good.

Caroline Colijin is an epidemiologist at B.C.’s Simon Fraser University.

She notes cases had begun cropping up in several other countries that weren’t targeted by the heightened restrictions even before the Ontario cases came to light.

She believes we need broader measures at the border and it should apply to all international travel.

So far, the Trudeau Liberals have tightened measures for anyone who has been to seven southern African nations.

The two people who’ve tested positive for the Omicron variant in Ottawa had recently been in Nigeria, which is not on that list.

But the big question facing scientists is, will the COVID vaccine be effective against the Omicron variant?

Epidemiologist Doctor Christopher Labos in Montreal says the vaccine should offer at least some protection.

“Remember vaccines are not a binary thing. They’re not either effective or useless,” Labos explained.

Omicron cases have been confirmed in many countries around the world.

Ontario’s chief medical officer, Dr. Kieran Moore, plans to offer more informaton at a briefing at 9:30 this morning.

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