Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Wondering whether to bother with that fourth dose of the COVID vaccine?

If anyone was in any doubt about the wisdom of getting a a fourth COVID-19 vaccination shot (i.e. a second booster, over and above the two primary doses), this one Public Health Agency of Canada graph, shared by the Globe and Mail, should put their minds at rest.

As the graph shows, a booster shot (red bars) makes a big difference over being unvaccinated or even having just the two primary doses of the vaccine, whether we are looking at the risk of catching the virus (cases), hospitalization or death. But a fourth dose (beige/brown bars) puts the risks of all three outcomes onto a whole different level (i.e. in the range of just one or two percent).

Sure, everyone knows someone who was quadruple-vaccinated and still caught the bug. It happens. But this graph puts it all into much better perspective.

If you were on the fence, unsure whether to bother with another dose, then here is your answer. The fourth dose makes a huge difference. And, of course, to get a fourth dose, you need to have had a third, and currently only about 21 million Canadians have had a third dose, compared to about 34 million first doses and 31 million second doses. Much fewer still have had a fourth, so it's hardly surprising we are going through another wave of COVID cases.

This graph should be emblazoned on every street corner.

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