Fourteen emergency department staff at Saint Mary’s Hospital in the Côte de Neige district of Montreal have tested positive for COVID-19, although most of them received their first dose of the novel coronavirus vaccine.
“Most employees who test positive have no or little to no symptoms,” said Annie Charbonneau, a spokesperson for CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’le-de-Montréal. Sick workers were expected to receive a second dose in the next few days.
In the meantime, a large-scale selection campaign was organized, and so far about 100 people have been tested. Employees who are sick or at a “high risk” of infection are currently in isolation at home.
None of the patients were considered positive for this outbreak, however a diagnosis is made.
The latter also suggests that family members of caregivers “refrain from accompanying their loved ones to the emergency room in order to limit the risk of spreading the virus.”
“You can still get infected”
For virologist and UQAM professor of biological sciences Benoit Barbeau, the case of St. Mary once again demonstrates that “caution must be exercised,” especially after he has received only one dose of vaccine.
“Until the population is vaccinated in a very high proportion and sufficient to contain transmission, I will remain careful. We must go gradually. People can easily have certain privileges, but really gradually, ”he says.
Regardless, several elements specific to the situation in this hospital demonstrate the benefits of the vaccine even after a dose has been administered, Mr. Barbo’s nuance. “The fact that the staff had few or no symptoms very likely means that the vaccine has done its job, minimizing the perceived symptoms. In fact, this is the function for which vaccines were originally studied, ”he recalls.
The other good news is that no patient seems to have been infected, which means that the workers had lower viral loads. This can be seen as another benefit of the vaccine.
Benoit Barbeau, virologist and professor at UQAM
But Mr. Barbo insisted. “Take it for granted that you can still get infected, especially after a single dose,” he says, pleading with basic health precautions for at least a few more months.
In the end, this outbreak “renews the debate over the timing between the two doses in Quebec,” says the virologist. Since late December, the Lego government has effectively used all of the vaccines it receives without retaining a second dose, following a “recommendation made” by the Public Health Service. In early April, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) confirmed that it is always best to increase the time between the first and second dose to 4 months to allow as many people as possible to get vaccinated. as fast as possible.
“First of all, it would be preferable for older people if the deadline was shorter than four months,” the expert concludes.
Manoir Outremont also touched on
The outbreak is also continuing at Manoir Outremont in Montreal. About ten elderly people living in this private nursing home who received the first dose of the vaccine have contracted COVID-19 in recent days. Two employees were also infected. They all have mild symptoms of the disease. A mass examination of residents is organized by the health authorities.
Health Minister Christian Dube mentioned last week that the second doses of the vaccine will be administered in all CHSLDs in Quebec by 8 May. It will be followed by private residences for the elderly. Currently, in Montreal, 20% of CHSLDs and 5% of private nursing homes have received a second dose of vaccine.
With Arian Lacourcière, Click on