The Alberta Medical Association is currently in talks with the Alberta Government to get vaccines into the offices of Family Physicians and into our patients.
Click here for information on the latest developments of COVID-19 vaccines already approved for use in Canada.
Here is a quick FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about the COVID-19 Vaccine:
1) I don't trust any Government, and I don't want to be microchipped or have my DNA changed. Is the Vaccine safe? How does it work?
Answer: Don't worry about the Government pulling any nefarious stunts. There is no conspiracy theory to turn us all into zombies or to put microchips into our bodies. Quite frankly, the Government isn't smart enough to do either of those things - they are really just trying to balance a lot of complex problems with complex solutions. It is easy to criticize them - and quite a bit of fun as well.....but this isn't the time.
Yes, the vaccine is safe. It is likely going to be injected into your muscle (the deltoid muscle of your shoulder) using a very thin, 25 gauge needle. You can't fit a microchip into that. The RNA (a short set of genetic instructions) is injected into your muscle......then your own cells become a factory that uses those little blueprint instructions to actually make a small piece of the COVID-19 virus. Not the whole virus - just a single piece of it.
The little piece of virus protein THEN gets ejected into your bloodstream and the floats around. Your immune system then "sees" this single virus protein, then makes antibodies to it. Your body then amplifies this process and make anti-COVID-19 antibodies that will protect you from infection.
2) Will the COVID-19 vaccine prevent me from getting the Virus
Answer: A BIG FAT NOPE! You will STILL be able to get the virus. You might even be able to spread it - even after being vaccinated!
3) So what is the POINT of getting vaccinated? Why would I bother?
Answer: Remember Polio? Me neither. But I DO remember eating that little pink sugar cube vaccine when I was in grade 3. And THAT is because EVERYBODY got vaccinated for it. In fact, Polio has been "officially eradicated" according to the WHO (World Health Organization) - and they're mostly right. What happened with Polio is that so many people got vaccinated - that even when the virus tried to infect people - it just wasn't all that effective anymore. It didn't spread very easily and most peoples' immune systems destroyed the virus before it could do any real or lasting damage.
The COVID-19 Vaccine will work the same way. The entire population will be vaccinated. The virus will then lose MOST of its power. There will be rare exceptions, but when a person gets the virus....their immune system will most likely defeat it. Such people will still be able to spread the virus for a while, but not for long and not that easily......because their immune systems will build even more antibodies towards the virus to limit its spread even more.
In short, the COVID-19 vaccine will basically render the COVID-19 virus to be something not much more than a very temporary cold for most people. Right now, we don't know how exactly, but MOST people have symptoms of a mild cold from the COVID-19 Virus....and SOME people - even seemingly young and healthy people - die quickly from the Virus.
The COVID-19 Vaccine will make nearly all infections from the COVID-19 virus seem like a very temporary cold at most. It is therefore TOTALLY WORTHWHILE to get vaccinated.
4) What are the side effects of the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Answer: Pretty standard. Some pain and inflammation at the injection site (your immune system does this for you, and it is a sign of a functioning immune system). Yes, you will see all kinds of things on the Internet and on Social Media, warning you about people that took the vaccine and then dropped dead.
But if you're reading this, you probably have at least a grade 12 education and you have been in the world of the "internet" and "social media" for some time now - and you're not an idiot. Don't believe any of the garbage on the internet or on social media about the COVID-19 vaccine being "bad" or "dangerous". That is complete garbage. Take it from me - I've seen and talked to WAY MORE people than you have, that have had the vaccine - and 100% of them are fine. Yes, most of them are my snowbird patients that are staying in the warm, sunny Southern USA weather during the pandemic, and the rest are long term care workers in Calgary. ALL of them were just fine with the vaccine, and there have been ZERO complications from it. This is WAY BETTER than ANY OTHER VACCINE IN HISTORY.
5) Will the Pandemic FINALLY be over once everybody (or mostly everybody) is vaccinated?
Answer: It will take time to vaccinate the planet of humans. 7 billion people will most likely need 14 billion doses of the vaccine. Canada only has 35 million people in it. That means that Canadians represent only 0.5% of the population of humans on the ENTIRE EARTH. And every one of those humans will still potentially want to travel and to get into Canada to immigrate or to simply travel. Quite frankly, the populations of North America, Europe, Japan and China (ie. the FIRST WORLD NATIONS) will likely have their ENTIRE POPULATIONS vaccinated by the end of 2021.
But we cannot forget the rest of the world. This will require a coordinated international effort, money, logistics and the good will of the first world to commit to not only eradicating COVID-19 from the second and third worlds - but to also contribute to the radiation of "second and third world status" in the world. Every nation should be regarded as "first world status" - and perhaps the eradication of COVID-19 (and SARS and MERS which are similar) will catalyze a supreme effort toward that outcome.
What does this mean? YES - travel restrictions will be lifted. The requirements for masks and social distancing will also eventually be lifted (just like it was recently in Iowa). Will it happen immediately? No. But it will happen.
Will we "go back to normal"? No - probably not. But we will go back to a "new normal" that will catapult society to greater heights, better equality and technology that our parents and grandparent could not even dream of.
So go get your vaccine.
Do your part!