Medical doctors within the higher Victoria space are utilizing social media to fight hesitation about vaccines

Doctors from the Greater Victoria area, concerned about the reluctance of COVID vaccines, particularly given the spread of a new variant on the island, have stepped up their efforts to promote vaccination by posting informational videos on YouTube and Facebook.

“There is a lot of misinformation and so, despite the good progress in the introduction of the vaccine, the hesitant vaccination is a real problem,” said Dr. Aaron Childs, a GP with the Victoria Division of Family Practice, is behind the videos.

With the highly transmittable Delta COVID-19 variant present on the island, getting both their first and second doses as soon as possible is vital for everyone, Childs said. “A full vaccination will maximize protection against all stress and is our ticket to a return to normal with no setbacks.”

Between January 3 and May 23, approximately 85 percent of COVID cases in BC were of concern, and 60 percent in the Island Health area.

The variant Delta B.1.617.2 remains relatively rare in BC with around 500 cases, said the provincial deputy health officer, Dr. Reka Guftason. The most common worrying variant in British Columbia remains the one first discovered in the UK

A UK government report last month said Pfizer and AstraZeneca’s vaccines were 33 percent effective against symptomatic diseases caused by the Delta variant three weeks after the first dose, and increased over 80 percent after two doses .

Guftason said that people who are concerned about rare vaccine-induced blood clots related to AstraZeneca can choose a messenger RNA vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna for their second vaccination.

There are no well-identified risk factors for the rare side effect, said Guftason.

The family doctor Dr. Benjamin How of the Victoria Division of Family Practice said that because the new vaccines were being developed so quickly, some people wonder if all the necessary steps were taken to test them.

As noted, while the process was accelerated by unprecedented funding, the clinical trials and safety reviews “actually took about the same time as other vaccines”.

General Practitioner Dr. Kathy Dabrus said to those on the fence, “There’s no point in waiting.”

The COVID virus will be around for years and waiting for a vaccination will only increase a person’s risk of exposure, Dabrus said.

“The risks of the virus are significant and far outweigh the possibility of serious side effects from a COVID vaccine. Your risk of dying from COVID is greatly reduced after vaccination and your risk of transmission is reduced by 90 percent.

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau noted during the period in question in the UK legislature on Tuesday that the seven-day moving average of cases for the Delta variant of 2,400 was on 28 just before foot in the Peel region of Ontario to understand.

With Canadian travel potentially on the horizon, Furstenau asked BC Health Secretary Adrian Dix how the government is handling the risk the Delta variant poses to British Columbians with just one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Dix said vaccinations continue to pick up and the province plans to slowly relax restrictions, with the next phase starting on Jan.

Ten new people in Island Health reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 from a total of 165 new cases in the province on Tuesday.

Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, reported 2,051 active cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday; 203 are in the hospital, 57 of them in the intensive care unit or intensive care unit. No new deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported, bringing the total to 1,722.

Henry and Dix reported that 74 percent of all adults in BC received their first dose of vaccine.

The province has extended the state of emergency until the end of the day on June 22 in an effort to get the pandemic under control.

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> For videos, visit the Victoria Division of Family Practice website: divisionsbc.ca/victoria

> Register for the vaccination online at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated or by calling 1-833-838-2323.

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