Letter to the Editor

Stephanie Slater


I feel I should correct an inaccurate interpretation by Doug Rennpfred of my comments about COVID-19 vaccines. He stated I said two doses of mRNA [COVID vaccines] “are enough.” In fact I said two doses are the initial vaccination treatment and that we will have to have booster shots (as are now being offered).

It’s also not correct that protection drops off “after roughly two months” as DR says. They provide strong protection for at least four months after the second dose – maybe more but it will depend on variants.

It’s absolutely wrong that vaccinated people “are transmitting the virus far more due to their unimpeded travel and gathering.” Firstly, fully vaccinated people do not enjoy unimpeded travel and gathering. More importantly, they are far less likely to contract COVID-19 than unvaccinated people. If they don’t contract an infection, they can’t transmit it to others.

I said in my letter that unvaccinated people are at greatest risk to themselves, and some of the restrictions help protect them. They are still a risk to others, however, as they are far more likely to contract COVID.

The best explanation I’ve heard of how the COVID-19 vaccines work is that they erect the equivalent of two walls: the outer wall prevents infection; the inner wall greatly reduces the likelihood of hospitalization and death. Unfortunately, the Omicron variant is proving effective in breaching that outer wall. That’s all the more reason to become fully vaccinated and get a booster dose as soon as we’re eligible. That’s also why we all need to follow the other pandemic protocols as well.

I make my comments as a communications manager with a provincial health authority (the First Nations Health Authority). I’ve been working with colleagues for a year now to provide accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines. I’ve heard clinical colleagues, including Dr. Bonnie Henry, refer to the vaccines as miracles due to their effectiveness and the speed with which they were developed (due to unprecedented global cooperation that built on many years of mRNA research). This isn’t language scientific folks use often!

It’s frustrating to hear people dismiss vaccines in favour of wildly inaccurate claims. I urge people to get information from credible sources, such as the BC Centre for Disease Control.

I am not a Nazi, a fool, a scoundrel, or a mindless tool (tool being used to what end I wonder what folks like DR think?) I am simply someone near broken from working to promote safety and wellness – for us all.

In peace and goodwill,

Stephanie Slater