The number of deaths linked to COVID-19 experienced a good exponential in Quebec in January, when 856 people died this month.
While it is not known exactly who the victims of the coronavirus are and why the death rate is higher in the province, one thing is certain: the third dose of the vaccine considerably reduces the chances of dying from the disease.
“The third dose, its effect to protect against death is 50 times compared to someone who is not vaccinated. If you have a third, you are 50 times more protected against death, you are more than ten times protected against hospitalizations. If you have two doses, you already have a 7 to 10 times better chance of being protected against death and hospitalizations”, explains Dr. Mona Nemer, Chief Scientific Advisor of Canada.
This, moreover, calls on Quebec in particular to rectify the fact that we do not know who the infected people are and who are dying from the virus.
“It is still quite incredible that we cannot, two years after the start of the pandemic, that we cannot really analyze who is infected, who has died, who is going to hospital, what are the risk factors… That will have to change quickly,” says Dr. Nemer.
Canada’s chief science adviser also does not like the government’s use of the comparison strategy when it comes to death.
“I would especially like to understand what is happening! Who dies in Quebec? To be able to understand what the circumstances are and what can be improved,” she said.
One thing, however, is clear to Dr. Mona Nemer: Quebec took too long to administer the third dose, which put the province in the current position.
“It should have been given long before precisely to protect [les travailleurs de la santé], protect us and protect the health system,” she says.
Nevertheless, Dr. Mona Nemer believes that the days, even the weeks to come, will be rosier from the moment when “we will take over the current wave”.
“I am cautiously optimistic because we will have developed excellent immunity against this virus whether it is by vaccination, the third dose or the two doses plus infection. […] The fact that vaccines work with a virus that has nevertheless deviated enough from the original virus leads us to believe that we now have immunity [qui va nous protéger] against severe illness,” she says.