Niagara Region hits 70 per cent fully vaccinated but top doc worried about misinformation

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Published September 27, 2021 at 1:08 pm

Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Niagara Region's acting medical officer of health.

The number of new COVID-19 cases today (September 27) may not be good with 36 but there was a big number announced Sunday that was great news.

Niagara Region has officially hit 70 per cent of its population fully-vaccinated, according to Niagara Region Public Health.

The provincial data actually has the region at 81 per cent fully-vaxxed with the discrepancy possibly being that Ontario is not counting 11 year olds and under (who don’t yet qualify for vaccines) in their stats whereas the region is basing it on full population numbers.

Regardless, it is good news either way.

But clearly Dr Mustafa Hirji, the acting regional medical officer of health, is still weary of hearing the same story day in and day out from health staff about people entering the hospital.

On top of that, there’s the daily dealing with anti-vaxx misinformation about countless therapeutics, everything from ivermectin to essential oils, being touted as capable of stopping COVID-19.

They are not. Hospitals only use therapeutics once you’ve been hospitalized with COVID-19 since it’s too late for vaccines at that point.

“(Health Canada) has licensed four therapeutics for COVID-19 – same number of vaccines it has licensed. Great research done here,” Hirji tweeted.

“BUT therapeutics mean you already have infection (and are) already at risk of #LongCovid, hospitalization, death. Vaccines are cheaper, safer, and prevent all that.”

“LongCovid” is the term used by medical professionals to describe the long-ranging effects of COVID-19, should a patient recover. There are numerous potential after-effects of the virus but the most common one is respiratory issues.

Said Hirji, “I’ve heard too many stories of people showing up at the hospital. Their ‘cold’ has taken a rapid turn for the worse (and) now (they) are deadly ill, going under and onto a ventilator. They’re now getting therapeutics, but it’s too late to prevent the suffering and anguish of one’s family.”

“(The patients) all wished they’d been able to take medication before they got sick to prevent that suffering and hurt on their family. And there is such a medication. They regret not taking that medication that could have prevented getting severely ill: the COVID-19 vaccine.”

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