Facts: The Only Cure for Vaccine Misinformation

Throughout the pandemic, there has been a tidal wave of misinformation and the people responsible for it are causing confusion, as well as mistrust and uncertainty with public health responses.

Our hospitals continue to have capacity pressures from a surge of mostly unvaccinated patients with severe COVID-19 illness. This has required the health system to reduce services in other areas and delay care for many individuals with non-COVID-19-related conditions.

For everyone’s sake, it’s crucial all Albertans have reliable, verifiable and current information about COVID-19 to help inform choices and protect themselves and their loved ones.

We provide more information and detail in an article you can read.

Here are the facts:

COVID-19 Vaccines Effectiveness

COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. However, public health experts are seeing reduced protection over time against mild and moderate disease, especially among certain populations. (CDC 2022)

Protection provided by the current vaccines against symptomatic infection and transmission is less than that against severe disease, especially against the currently circulating variants. (CDC 2022)

  • Based on Alberta data, two doses of an mRNA vaccine are approximately 50% effective at preventing Omicron infection (Alberta Health 2022)
  • After a first booster dose, vaccine effectiveness against Omicron is approximately 60% shortly after receipt of the vaccine (NACI 2022)

The impact of COVID-19 immunization on preventing COVID-19 infection and reducing transmission decreases from time since vaccination. For this reason, it is important to stay up to date, especially as new vaccines become available.

COVID-19 Vaccines Are Proven Safe

Only a tiny fraction of the 88.7 million doses administered to Canadians led to serious adverse events — fewer than 0.012 per cent. A variety of vaccines have been administered for many decades with no indication of long-term side effects and we would not expect the COVID-19 vaccine to be different.

COVID-19 Vaccines Are Not 'Experimental'

Yes, they were developed rapidly but used science that has been around for decades. Extremely robust data from clinical trials and real-world use in many millions of people show that vaccination is safe, and offers good protection against becoming infected and excellent protection against serious illness or death from COVID-19. There are no reasons to believe that current COVID-19 vaccines should have long-term effects as they cannot alter cell genetic material. They just teach your body to recognize the code of the virus, then disappear.

Hybrid Immunity Provides More Robust Protection Than Infection-Acquired Immunity or Vaccination Alone

Available evidence shows that hybrid immunity is more robust than immunity due to infection or vaccination alone. The duration of protection from hybrid immunity has not yet been fully characterized, and it is unclear whether hybrid immunity will continue to provide strong protection against some Omicron sub-lineages (e.g., BA.4, BA.5) or potential new variants.

You should get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you already had COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from COVID-19 infection provides added protection against COVID-19. However, it is recommended to wait for a period of time in order to optimize the response you get from the vaccine.

People who already had COVID-19 and do not get vaccinated after their recovery are more likely to get COVID-19 again than those who get vaccinated after their recovery.

Dr. Scott McLeod - Registrar, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta

Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti – President, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta

Dr. Verna Yiu – President & Chief Executive Officer, Alberta Health Services

Dr. Francois Belanger – Vice President Quality & Chief Medical Officer, Alberta Health Services

Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn – Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta

Dr. Jon Meddings – Dean, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren – President, Alberta Medical Association