Published Thursday, March 11, 2021 8:37PM EST
Since then, more than 101,000 Torontonians have been infected with the disease, and over 2,700 people have died in the city because of the virus.
Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, joined CP24 to answer COVID-19-related questions.
De Villa: There's a lot to go through there. Many questions and I appreciate that this is a subject of great interest to so many people. First and foremost, you may recall that earlier this week, I talked about vaccines, and frankly, the best vaccine is the one that's in your arm. That's how a vaccine is effective. So, one of the things that I've spoken about is that we're fortunate right now that we have a number of vaccine products that are licensed for use in Canada. And they are all effective at preventing the most serious outcomes associated with COVID-19 infection, whether we're talking about serious illness leading to hospitalization or serious illness leading to death. All the vaccines that have been approved for use in Canada, including AstraZeneca, have been shown to be very effective at doing that. These are the important outcomes that we are most worried about and the kinds of outcomes that we're seeking to prevent. And so, the vaccine can only be effective once you've actually received it. And my advice to people is that one, for starters, I would be happy receiving any one of the vaccines that's available in Canada, and the most effective vaccine for people to get right now is the one that they're actually able to get in their arm. I would strongly recommend the vaccines.
Now I know that there's been some new news today in respect of what's happening in Europe and in Denmark and Norway, in particular, we've heard about a suspension of vaccine programs there. Certainly, one should pay attention to what's happening. I know that health authorities here are connecting with the health authorities in Denmark and Norway to find out what's happening so that we can understand whether there's any impact on our program here. But in the first instance, from what I can understand, based on the reports I've seen so far, is that this is a precautionary measure that they're taking at this point in time. We can continue to watch and see what happens here in Canada. But again, this product is licensed, and I would tell you this -- millions of doses of this vaccine have been provided to patients all around the world. This is a new report that we're hearing. The suspension is precautionary. And thus far, what we're seeing, particularly in the United Kingdom, is that infection rates are going down with this vaccine. This AstraZeneca vaccine, in particular, has been used by millions of people.
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