Monday, February 15, 2021

Another Vaccine Option for Canada?

Given the enormous amount of time the Canadian media, following the lead from their US counterparts, spend bad-mouthing Russia, I really don’t expect the suggestion I am going to make here will go anywhere. 


But I’ll make it anyway. It seems like a prudent and practical thing to do. 


With the bad faith and runaround from our current vaccine ‘non-suppliers’, I think we Canadians have the right to ask our government to look elsewhere for possible vaccines. And where might that be? 


Eastward, to Russia. Of course I realize that some of you may want to throw up at the mere suggestion. I understand. After all, how can our government be expected to buy anything as important as a life-saving vaccine from a country we’ve been taught to fear as an enemy. 


On the other hand, if that fear can be recognized as a disadvantage to the health and well-being of our nation, this fear and aversion might be worth revising in the light of the pandemic. But even if Canada somehow managed to overcome the political fear and distrust of Russia, how do we know the vaccine is safe?


Well, The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world recently announced the “Sputnik V” vaccine provides more than 90% immunity with apparently minimal side affects. This is significantly better than the Oxford/AstraZenca vaccine (70%) developed the UK. Both vaccines use the same adenovirus-based technology, but currently only one has been authorized and is coming to Canada – even though it is much less effective.


Twenty-one different countries since December have granted emergency use authorization of the Sputnik V vaccine, including Israel and United Arab Emirates. EU diplomats in Moscow have been given the green light to receive the vaccine, and mainstream media is starting to report on the countries lining up to distribute and/or make the vaccine, including Brazil and India. 


I would personally feel much relieved if Sputnik V could be added to Canada’s arsenal of options, poor as they have been, and politics be dammed. Next time.


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