Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 restrictions may have been lifted last Sunday, but that doesn’t mean the risk of COVID-19 has disappeared from the province.
Officials say the lifting of restrictions makes it especially important to get two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for greater protection against the virus.
“Once two weeks have passed since your second dose, this is the best protection we have now against COVID, and it will be for the foreseeable future,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Saqib Chehab said at a press conference last week.
The county medical professional says the people who show up in intensive care units are those who haven’t been vaccinated or have only received one dose of the vaccine.
Dr. Hassan Al-Masry, an intensive care unit specialist in Saskatoon, said there has been a shift since the start of the pandemic in terms of who sees it.
“Maybe 14 months or 10 months ago, unfortunately, we had patients with COVID-19 with or without comorbidities, and they got to the intensive care unit because they were really sick,” Al-Masry told CBC News. morning edition Tuesday.
“However, in the past six weeks or so, we have seen a very clear pattern, which is that most, if not all, [COVID-19] The patients in the intensive care unit were people who had not received their vaccines.”
He said medical professionals find the care of these patients very difficult, because they often make a conscious decision not to vaccinate despite repeated urgings from multiple levels of government and experts.
The experience that Al-Masry describes is not just stories. Backed up by hard data The county gave it last week during the final periodic briefing on COVID-19.
The county said that of the 102 hospitalizations linked to COVID-19 that occurred in June, 66 were not immunized or had received their first dose of the vaccine less than three weeks ago.
31 people who were hospitalized received their first dose for more than three weeks, while only five of those hospitalized people received their second dose.
The county said 21 people who received intensive care in June did not receive a second dose of the vaccine.
Over the course of June, 15 people died of coronavirus in Saskatchewan. Officials say all 15 people have either not been vaccinated or have only been partially vaccinated.
It’s not just Saskatchewan that is testing this trend. Al-Masry said it plays all over Canada.
Al-Masry said that COVID-19-related deaths among unvaccinated individuals can often trigger change among family members who have also been avoiding getting the vaccine.
He said he could think of at least four examples where an unvaccinated patient died after arriving in the intensive care unit.
“I remember very clearly that the family members of these patients, you know, got out of the hospital and went to the vaccination site in [Prairieland Park] They received their vaccinations.”
Al-Masry said that even more than a year and a half after the global pandemic spread, health workers still have to combat misinformation.
“It’s really unfortunate because the misinformation war on the Internet, you know, has a very long hand sometimes. And unfortunately, these are the people who are the victims of this disinformation war,” he said.