COVID-19

Life after the vaccine

I had chills and sharp headaches. I took overly unreasonable amounts of Advil and Tylenol. To be honest, I thought I was hit by a bus.

Isabel Hachi
Isabel Hachi
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But be that as it may. I understood. Freedom passport. A promise to return to your old life.

I joined the vaccine club last week. I’m not saying this to brag, but to get you to jump on the train too.

PHOTO BY ROBERT SKINNER, PRESS ARCHIVE

“The side effects of the vaccine disappeared within two days. It was a very modest price to pay to be sure that I would not be connected to intensive care everywhere, ”writes our columnist.

You tell me that I have a very bad history with the bus. We saw a more powerful person …

The side effects of the vaccine disappeared within two days. It was a very modest price to pay to make sure I didn’t find myself being gagged everywhere in the ICU.

And find a normal life. Finally.

***

Not right away, of course.

I am certainly not urging anyone to burn the masks immediately after they leave the vaccination clinic.

Health care too. On the contrary, its representatives in Canada and Quebec warn that even after the second dose is taken, an immediate return to normal should not be expected.

As a precaution, since we do not yet know enough about vaccines and their options, it will be necessary to continue to wear a mask, practice physical distancing, avoid meeting friends …

The message is discreet, straightforward, but a little overwhelming. Perhaps a bit too much.

“We have to give people hope,” says Alex Carignan, infectious disease microbiologist and epidemiologist at CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS. He fears that by repeating that nothing should be changed after immunization, we risk giving people the impression that vaccination is useless.

False impression: nothing is further from reality.

***

“More and more Quebec residents will receive two doses in the coming weeks,” says Dr.R Carignan. And what is also very clear is that after two doses there is excellent protection. ”

Not just for people with immunity. More and more studies show that the vaccine eliminates not only the risk of death and hospitalization, but also the risk of infection and transmission of the virus.

Quebec will benefit from the broader dissemination of this idea, Dr.R Carignan. Better yet, it would be helpful if we told us clearly what we can do after immunization.

This is what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is doing in the United States. Their list of permitted activities is rather short, but it has the advantage of being clear and, above all, encouraging.

This allows fully vaccinated Americans to reunite indoors without a mask. They can visit unvaccinated people who are not at risk of developing serious illnesses. They can travel without quarantine upon return.

We are not talking about fat parties… First of all, we do not recommend pretending that the pandemic is no longer there. However: we offer a taste of freedom.

Better than nothing. Much better.

***

It’s too early to emulate the CDC, though, said Gaston De Serres, an epidemiologist at Quebec’s National Institute of Public Health. “There are several months left before we can talk about all this. By the time everyone gets two doses, it will be the end of summer at best. ”

Public Health Canada also believes it is not yet time to list the freedoms available to immunized Canadians.

It’s not very good. Especially in Ontario, where hospitals are overcrowded. But also in Primorye and Western Canada. Globally, the pandemic continues to wreak havoc. In India, this is the apocalypse.

Things aren’t going well, but one day it might be all right. Look at Israel. “We are seeing the main results of the vaccination campaign,” which is very advanced in this country, emphasizes D.R Carignan.

Here we are approaching herd immunity. On April 15, Israelis celebrated their national day on terraces, on the beach, in crowded parks and restaurants. The (vaccinated) tourists will return in May.

Here we are approaching the end of the pandemic.

For this, the Jewish state, among other things, introduced a vaccination passport. Access to restaurants, theaters, swimming pools and other public places is prohibited for Israelis who have not received two injections.

On Saturday, my colleague Patrick Lagase pleaded for a similar passport in Quebec. This is undoubtedly a strong argument in favor of vaccinating the rebellious.

But before pulling out the stick, Quebec can shake the gingerbread first. Give me hope. Expand the range of opportunities for immunized Quebec residents.

Tell us a little about the life that awaits us after the vaccine.

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