Speaking to The Sam Laprade Show on Wednesday, May 11, Dr. Robert Cushman says the province has to do something if it wants to see improvement with the “very slow uptake” of third doses.
Should Ontario Liberal leader Steven Del Duca become Ontario’s next premier, his government would add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of mandatory immunizations in public school.
But would that help with the low update of vaccine among children?
Dr. Robert Cushman, acting medical officer of health for Renfrew and County District Health Unit, says if Ontario wants to move past COVID-19, it’s going to have to make a move.
“The problem is that there’s been very low uptake of third doses for people between 20 and 50 [years of age] – in Renfrew County is actually 44 per cent – and there’s been very low uptake in the 5-11-year-old age group, where in Renfrew County we’re at 55 per cent and Ontario it’s 55 and Ottawa they’re 66 per cent, ”Cushman told The Sam Laprade Show on Wednesday, May 11.“ This is a controversial subject and I think that if you really want to protect people and get this done, you would move towards mandating this, having a higher requirements than we currently do. ”
And Cushman believes the politicization of the vaccine has been detrimental to the population.
“We’ve never seen the likes of this. There were so many no-sayers and so many doubters – a significant percentage of people didn’t even think COVID was a reality, “he said. “Certainly, it was unanticipated. I mean, we’ve seen pockets of resistance to the other vaccines. It will be interesting to see over time how, when we get back to vaccinating children and using the other vaccines, whether the uptake is actually going to drop from, let’s say, what it was four or five years ago. “
One piece of good news now for Cushman, however, is that the world now has alternatives to the mRNA vaccine.
“There was a certain percentage of vaccine resistant people had their concerns about mRNA and no we have Novavax, which is more of the traditional vaccine. So, the hope is that can sort of eat away at the number of people who aren’t adequately vaccinated. “
While Cushman says Premier Doug Ford has made his position on vaccines clear in the last six months, what Ontarians are seeing from the Liberals is “an attempt to get some traction by coming up with a different platform with a different proposal.”
As for whether COVID is here to stay, Cushman said it’s here to stay: “It’s not going away, but hopefully we’ve withstood the worst of it, hopefully with more targeted vaccines for new variants and hopefully with the immunity we have from the vaccine and from the disease, further variants and further waves will do less harm than what we’ve seen in the past. “
Listen to the full interview with Dr. Robert Cushman on The Sam Laprade Show below: