Vaccine fatigue, a very present reality in Quebec | Coronavirus

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Vaccine fatigue, a very present reality in Quebec | Coronavirus

New bivalent vaccines are more effective against recent virus variants.

A new season, a new wave of COVID-19? As hospitalizations linked to the disease have started to rise again, and Quebec may well have plunged into an eighth wave of contamination, experts warn of vaccine fatigue which could harm efforts to fight against the disease. ;infection.

According to Roxane de la Sablonnière, professor of psychology at the University of Montreal, it is necessary to understand the origin of this phenomenon: We have been in a pandemic for more than two years. The pandemic is a big dramatic social change. It's a change that happened quickly, suddenly, which affected our way of life, our infrastructure… A lot of habits have changed, she says. And this, both on a personal and collective level.

Still according to the specialist, the health and societal situation has changed a lot since the first wave and the vast measures across Quebec. Today, the government's message must therefore not only be more precise, but also better adapted to different realities, she believes.

According to Health Canada:

  • 12% of Canadians over the age of 5 have never been vaccinated;

  • 15.9% have received a dose in the last six months;

  • less than 5% of children 0-4 years have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

According to Ms. de la Sablonnière, vaccine hesitancy may also depend on the level of trust in government institutions, pharmaceutical companies and scientists. People with more self-confidence will thus be more likely to go get vaccinated than others.

People get vaccinated for different reasons, adds the professor. Hence the importance, she reiterates, that Quebec adapts its message to convince as many people as possible to go get a new dose.

You have to ask the experts, you have to listen to science, says Ms. de la Sablonnière.

For her part, Ève Dubé, anthropologist at the ;Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), evokes a certain loss of confidence in vaccination.

There was a lot of hope when the campaign was launched , she recalls.

“In the population, the message was really "we will get our two doses and it will be the end of the pandemic". It didn't happen. It's clear that it plays on vaccine fatigue. »

— Ève Dubé, anthropologist at INSPQ

I think we are at a turning point in the vaccination campaign. We will have to think about the long-term future of vaccination, much like we do for seasonal flu, said Ms. Dubé.

And for Benoit Barbeau, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at UQAM, it is essential to remember that the initial vaccines are now much less effective against the most recent variants of the COVID virus. -19.

This is why, he judges in an interview with RDI, it is important to get a new booster dose, especially to obtain the new bivalent vaccines which are precisely more useful against the new mutations of the Omicron variant. .

At the dawn of an eighth wave of COVID-19 contamination, there is no rushing to vaccination centers. Despite the authorities' reminder of the importance of having up-to-date protection against the virus, less than one in four Quebecers received their booster dose less than 5 months ago. The government hopes that the arrival this week of the bivalent vaccine which targets the Omicron variant will chase away this vaccine fatigue. Report by Kim Vermette

Especially, he says, it is very difficult to predict the extent of the eighth wave.< /p>

Quebec public health has launched a new vaccination campaign since mid-August. And with the exception of certain specific measures, including the wearing of masks in health care establishments, all health constraints have been lifted.

Proof, perhaps , of this vaccine fatigue that is setting in, he has administered, on average, some 120,000 doses of vaccine per week since the start of this new immunization campaign, according to data from the x27;INSPQ. This number is currently much lower than in previous vaccination waves.

With information from Kim Vermette

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