Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Younger Canadians are slower to receive a COVID booster, but experts still ‘strongly’ recommend the shot. Nation World News

Bunin Hassan says there’s only one reason she would consider getting another shot of a COVID-19 vaccine to boost her first two doses.

“If they make it mandatory and restrict activities or travel out of my life again, I call it ’cause I love to travel,” says the Hamilton-based consultant, who is 27.

“Besides, there’s nothing that would change my view.”

Government data from Canada shows young adults lag behind fostering other age groups. About 35 percent of people between 18 and 29 have received a third dose. This goes up to 42 percent for 30- to 39-year-olds. On average, 72 percent of Canadians age 40 and older have received theirs.

A Calgary doctor who has studied vaccine hesitancy says he is not surprised that young adults are behind.

“Even before the booster, with the second and first doses, we saw a much lower uptake in the 25[group]compared to the over 65 community,” Dr. Jia Hu, who leads a group that offers advice on how to increase eclipse.

Hu is the CEO of 19 to Zero, a team made up of doctors, nurses, economists and other experts that aims to help governments, companies and communities across Canada build confidence in vaccines.

“One thing that allowed us to get the vaccine uptake rate higher in the 30-range was the vaccine mandates, because I don’t think there’s any hesitation in this population (about the shots themselves),” Hu says. “In that age group, people are less concerned about COVID causing serious illness. The mandate allows them to live life again.”

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Hassan’s partner, Hamam Yahya, 28, acknowledges the benefits vaccines provide in reducing serious illness, but questions the need to keep getting the shot.

“You just get a booster every eight months or 10 months and there’s no end date,” he says. “You’re just taking these vaccinations … and I’m sure they have great benefits, but we also don’t know the long-term side effects.”

Any claims that COVID-19 vaccines can have long-term side effects are “completely untrue and not supported by most of the other studies. [non-COVID] Vaccines too,” said Tara Moriarty, an infectious disease specialist and researcher at the University of Toronto in an interview with Nation World News. White coat, black art.

Yahya says that he was afraid of getting COVID-19 at first because he has asthma.

“I sheltered myself a lot. But then a lot of friends who got COVID, their side effects and what they got was nowhere near what I thought, so I lost a lot of fear there.”

Hamilton woman says no high risk of COVID-19 for her right now

Hassan says some distant family members died early in the pandemic. Recently she has seen close family members and friends who had COVID-19 but with mild symptoms.

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“My father has kidney failure and is on his fourth dose. I understand completely that he needs to do this because his health is a bit worse. I would encourage him to continue. For me, I don’t find COVID a high risk at this point,” Hassan says.

She and Yahya say that some friends, especially women, have had bad reactions to the vaccine, so the couple is wary of doses too high.

Liza Samadi, 25, a pharmacy assistant in Hamilton, says she hasn’t gone for a booster because it’s not mandatory.

“I was really lazy,” she says with a laugh.

“I just kept delaying, but then I got COVID (in January), so I was like, ‘Okay, I guess I’m excited enough for now so there’s no need to get over it. “

Samadi says his entire family has COVID-19, so he’s in no hurry to promote, but he’ll go for a third shot if it becomes inevitable.

Hu says he “strongly, strongly, strongly” recommends boost to all Canadians because protection from two doses wears off after about six months “and the booster gets you back right away.”

He says that while booster uptake is very low in young adults, he doesn’t believe COVID-19 will overwhelm hospitals with 18- to 29-year-olds.

But he adds: “Do I think some 25-year-olds could still be hospitalized and die?” He says.

“Yes I do.”

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