WE HAVE FLU VACCINE
PLEASE CONATCT THE OFFICE TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

It is unclear whether those who received a first dose of the AstraZenica vaccine will be given a second dose, or one of the other vaccinations on another schedule. More on that when that information becomes available.

The Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines will continue to be available as they do NOT have this risk associated with them.

To the 49,999 people our of 50,000 who received the first dose of AstraZenica vaccine, please remember that your mortality from the disease is now reported as zero. You can get ill and transmit the virus but you will not die of the virus. This is cold comfort for the one person who developed VITT, I understand and sympathize with that.

I had promised information on the HIT test which could tell you your risk for that problem, but I have removed it from the website now as it doesn't seem relevant today.

PLEASE REMEMBER THIS IS AN EVOLVING PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY... DECISIONS ARE MADE BASED ON THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT THE TIME. WE ARE NOT PERFECT, AND IT TAKES MILLIONS OF DOSES OF A VACCINE TO TRULY KNOW ITS EFFECTIVENESS AND SAFETY. BUT PLEASE KNOW THAT MILLIONS OF LIVES HAVE BEEN SAVED ALREADY BECAUSE OF THE VACCINATION THAT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED.

Contrary to what I have reported before, there have been 13 deaths in Canada in people who have contracted covid at least one week after getting their second dose. Although we expect that it takes a full 14 days from second vaccination before full immunity occurs, this challenges the earlier belief that no one has died after full vaccination. That is very sad, but it does not mean that vaccination doesn't work. It simply means that it works for the vast majority of people, not everyone.

I suppose the message is maintaining social isolation and following public health guidelines.

I WILL CONTINUE TO UPDATE AS INFORMATION FLOWS IN BUT I HAVE NOT CHANGED MY ADVICE WHICH IS TO GET VACCINATED.

We have made this new section to help you keep up to date with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. Skip to the INFO section below for information about the vaccine, and vaccinations in general.

Vaccine Rollout:

The Vaccine for the General Population is Here...

 Read the information that follows, especially about who can and can not receive the vaccine. Generally, unless you have a badly compromised immune system [that is if you have an immune DISEASE, not if you get a cold all the time], then you should strongly consider getting the vaccination. Reading the information here will help you give consent to be vaccinated BEFORE you head over... this is called "pre-consenting..." This is DIFFERENT from the screen you will have to pass before you get the vaccination. The SCREEN is to make sure you do not have or could have COVID-19 infection, and are healthy enough on the day of the vaccination so that you can receive it safely.

If you are taking medications that affect your immune system such as methotrexate  you may be asked to skip the next dose.

DON'T BE BULLIED. If, after reading the information presented, you do not think the vaccine is right for you, I will disagree but I WILL RESPECT YOUR DECISION IN THE MATTER and I will always be your doctor.

And, oddly enough, you have the right not to know. [I am not sure you would be reading this if this is you, but I should say it]. If you want see what happens and hope you are not affected, I think that can threaten us all, but I respect that too. I will always be your doctor.

BUT BEWARE OF PEOPLE THAT USE THE COMBINATION OF FEAR AND IGNORANCE TO DISSUADE YOU. THEY ARE MANIPULATING YOU.

For instance, when they say "we don't know what it will do later.... but it's full of government RFID chips that track your every movement..." That is manipulating your natural instincts against you.

I am not doing that. I am giving you advice. And remember, I will always be your doctor.

[My first shot didn't hurt and I got a candy bar!... kind of Pavlovian, eh?]

When It Is Your Turn:

GET THE VACCINE: IT WORKS!!!!

  1. How the vaccines work.

  • The body makes immunity, not to the entire virus, but to a specific protein on the outside of the virus.  For the COVID-19 virus, this is called the "Spike Protein." This is the "antigen."

  • There are multiple subtypes of the Covid-19 virus, so there is more work to do... but I think the spike protein is carried by most or all subtypes

  • The body is "introduced" to the spike protein, recognizes it as  foreign, and makes antibodies to it, and stores the memory of the spike protein in its memory for future use. This takes time... which is why vaccines are often repeated in a few weeks.... sort of a "you got that?" to the immune system. 

  • When antibodies "see" the virus, what they are doing is bonding to the spike protein on the outside of the virus. Then it raises an alarm... and attracts immune elements to come together and destroy the virus so you don't get ill.

  •  The "memory banks" keep a blueprint for the antibody, so that in the future, the body can manufacture antibodies, and immunity, much faster.

  • There are a total of 7 vaccines approved for use, or in development.

  • The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both mRNA vaccines. This means that the instructions to make the spike protein are inserted into your own cells, which produce the spike protein and release it into the blood stream. You're making the spike protein only, not the virus!!! Your body then recognizes the spike protein and makes immunity.

    • Good question for all you bio-geeks: humans do not have the ability to reverse the mRNA to make it your own DNA. [This isn't on the test].

    • I think they have developed ways to rapidly take ANY mRNA into a vaccine... which is why these vaccines can be produced quickly, and in millions of doses.... cool.

  • Other vaccines in the pipe either make the spike protein itself and introduce it to you [surprisingly it takes more time for this], or stick the DNA [which makes the mRNA] into an adenovirus and infect you with that virus. That virus heads right to your cell nuclei where DNA lives.... and then it makes the mRNA that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are, and then that goes out of the nucleous and makes the protein. The adenovirus itself should not cause disease. 

Pretty well yes!

But because these vaccines are new.... we can't know for sure what reactions some people will get with the vaccines because we "only" test tens of thousands of individuals in the testing phase... so a 'one in a hundred thousand" reaction may not be noted during those studies. And although the people tested are thought to be representative of an entire country's population, they are not.

So please do not be alarmed when you start hearing about reactions to the vaccines that are given now. There will be reports of this... the question is, do you fall into the category of someone who is at increased risk of reaction to the vaccine? And most importantly what is the chance of having one of these reactions? I am confident that these reactions will be rare and will not change our recommendation for everyone who can be vaccinated to get vaccinated.

My approach, if I am asked to vaccinate my practice [there may be other ways to do this], is screen for those who can not take the vaccine safely, and deny them the vaccine. Right now, it seems to be those who have  a history of getting a severe reaction to other vaccinations may get a reaction to these vaccines, but in the days and weeks ahead, I am confident that we will be able to screen out nearly everyone that shouldn't get the vaccine. Who can not get the vaccines right now is speculation... we will be as clear as we can when the time comes.

Which Vaccine Should You Get?

The first one available to you.

What if I can't get the vaccine because it could be unsafe for me?

If you can not get the vaccine because you have a history of life threatening reactions to other vaccines, or because of your medical history, or because of medications you are on, then I am sorry.

BUT YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF BY ASKING EVERYONE AROUND YOU TO GET VACCINATED ON YOUR BEHALF.

If enough of us get vaccinated we will protect those who are unable to get vaccinated.

And those who are anti-vaccine will also be protected by our actions.  But let's keep this positive.

You SHOULD get the vaccine if:​

  • You are 16 years of age, or older

  • If you have already had COVID-19, you should STILL be vaccinated if you are no longer infectious and if you feel better.

You should generally NOT get the vaccine* if:

  • You are between 12-15 years of age.

  • you are currently pregnant or plan get become pregnant before receiving both doses of the vaccine.

  • You are currently breastfeeding.

  • Problems with your immune system, or have auto immune conditions

*BUT LET'S TALK... IF YOU ARE A HIGH RISK INDIVIDUAL, THEN LET'S YOU AND I HAVE A DISCUSSION AND WE'LL DECIDE IF THE VACCINE IS RIGHT FOR YOU!!

Also: "I always get everything... my immune system must be weak" is NOT necessarily a problem with your immune system.... are you washing your hands before touching your face, or have broken Dr. Azzopardi's GOLDEN RULE of DON'T PICK YOUR NOSE unless you have REALLY REALLY clean hands.... and then still don't pick your nose?

You CAN NOT get the vaccine if:

  • You are 11 years of age or younger.

  • You should NOT get the vaccine if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 so that you do not spread the infection to others. You will be screened for this.

  • You can NOT get the vaccine while infectious with COVID-19 so that you do not spread the infection to others, or if you still feel unwell after a recent COVID-19 infection.

  • If you are allergic to polyethylene glycol, until we talk about it or if you've been assessed by an allergist.

  • If you had a serious or allergic reaction to your last COVID-19 vaccine, you should not be vaccinated until we talk about it or have been assessed by an allergist.

Our Colleagues at the Northumberland Family Health Team have put together an ongoing and frequently updated Web Page. 

Covid Vaccine – Northumberland Family Health Team (nfht.ca)

Lots of information.

There is also a nice write up by the lead physician Dr. Emma Smith on the above website