Ont. doctor reassured that Health Canada took time to approve pediatric COVID-19 vaccine
The one-time president of the Ontario Medical Association is patting Health Canada on the back for its decision-making before green-lighting the COVID-19 vaccination for kids ages five through 11.
While Dr. Sohail Gandhi believes giving kids the vaccine might help to slow down the transmission of the virus and could prevent it from reaching vulnerable populations, he praises Health Canada's patience in approving the vaccine, calling it a "good sign."
"It tells me that they've done a fair bit of diligence on this process, and they've spent a lot of extra time in making sure the vaccines are safe for children, so I think parents can be reassured about that," says Dr. Gandhi.
According to the Stayner doctor, vaccine safety is the number one concern in parents' minds.
Dr. Gandhi says that being a parent himself, he can understand other parents' concerns and points to the lengthy decision-making process by Health Canada to approve the kids-version of the vaccine compared to Canada's neighbours to the south.
"It took them longer than it did the FDA in the United States, for example, to approve this vaccine for children," says Dr. Gandhi. "So it is not a decision that came about just on a whim; there was a lot of thought put into this."
Meanwhile, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit tallied 176 new infections since the numbers were last reported on Friday.
The province reported a dip in cases, dropping to 627 after seeing several days in the 700s.
However, as the numbers continue to hover about the six and seven hundred mark across the province, Dr. Gandhi admits he anticipated much higher counts.
"I genuinely thought we'd be at a higher case count at this point in the game," he says.
Dr. Gandhi says he expected Ontario would be tallying more than 1,000 daily cases as the ICU numbers continue to "hold steady."
"Last week, we were 132 patients in ICU; this week, we're at 133, so it's not like that's shifting either," he adds.