Dec 01, 2021
By Jane Brown
While the world waits to see if COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the new Omicron variant, the CEO of BioNTech says the established COVID-19 vaccine will likely offer strong protection against any severe disease from the new variant.
Lab tests are underway over the next two weeks to analyze the blood of people who had two or three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to see if antibodies found in that blood inactivate the Omicron variant, potentially shedding light on whether new vaccines are needed.
Until then, we are being advised by experts to stay vigilant.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Omicron or the Delta variant, there are millions of people who are susceptible to the Delta variant because they haven’t been vaccinated,” says Epidemiologist Doctor Fahad Razak, who is a member of Ontario’s COVID 19 Science Advisory Table, “The point is that we in Ontario and Canada in general need to try and keep these case rates down as much as possible, both because we don’t want people to get infected and because a really bad wave through the winter would really tax the healthcare system.”
Doctor Razak says do what you can, gather with vaccinated individuals and continue to mask inside.
In an effort to keep the new COVID-19 Omicron variant from spreading, the federal Liberals have put new border measures in place for travellers arriving in Canada.
All air passengers entering Canada, except for those coming from the United States, need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival at the airport and then must quarantine until they receive the results. The quarantine would continue a full fourteen days should they test positive for COVID.
In addition, he federal Liberals are widening the ban on travel from Africa, adding three more countries – Nigeria, Egypt and Malawi – to the seven southern nations already flagged, as efforts continue to try to keep the new Omicron variant from taking hold in Canada.
The variant has been confirmed in at least seven COVID cases in Canada in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and B.C. and all involve patients who recently returned from Nigeria.