OMA past president relieved by dip in provincial COVID-19 cases
BARRIE, ONT. -- As Ontario’s daily COVID-19 case count dipped to a level not seen in months, CTV's Siobhan Morris checks in with Dr. Sohail Gandhi, past president of the Ontario Medical Association for his thoughts.
Q: Looking at today’s provincial COVID-19 numbers, what strikes you most?
A: A sense of relief, actually. We’re certainly going in the right direction. What I’m really, really happy about is the hospitalization rates and the rates of patients who are in the intensive care unit. Those numbers have gone down significantly, as have the rates of people on a ventilator.
So this is good news. It tells me that we’re on the right side. It tells me that the vaccines are working. I know that most people have only had one shot if any, but it’s still a start, and I think that’s making a difference.
Q: We heard a little today from Moderna about the efficacy of their vaccine in children as young as 12. What do you think this could mean for our vaccine rollout?
A: It means we need more vaccines because that increases the number of people that need to get vaccinated. I think Health Canada has to review the Moderna data. First, they want to prove it in Canada. But again, that’s a very positive sign, and I hope that’s true.
Q: You mention that a lot of people have only had one shot. We’re starting to talk more about people getting that second dose. As we talk about that rollout of second doses, is there anything the government should be changing about how they approach administering those second doses?
A: They need to include family doctors more. In retrospect, I think it was a mistake to get someone from the army to deal with vaccine distribution in Ontario. The reality is that the family physicians are the people who know their patients the best. They know all the health conditions. They l know all the people with the highest risk.
Q: Any thought about changing who is prioritized for getting those second doses?
A: I think we’re at the point where we really need to look at people who are higher risk. I view people who are at higher risk as those who work in enclosed spaces that have a large number of people. People who work in factories, for example. Health care workers, for example, because they’re always dealing with the general public. And those kinds of people are the ones that we really need to target for their second doses first.