The seventh wave of COVID could happen this fall, Tam tells MPs: ‘The epidemic is not over’

“We can’t predict how big the next wave will be, but I think we should be prepared,” Tam told the House of Commons health committee.

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OTTAWA – A Canadian public official stressed to MPs on Wednesday that the COVID-19 epidemic was still raging, warning that the seventh wave of the fall was a real threat.

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“The epidemic is not over yet,” said Drs. Theresa Tam told MPs, the Commons health committee. “We think there is a good chance we will get some viral infections in the future, and we can’t predict how big the next wave will be, but I think we have to be prepared.”

Tam presented evidence to MPs as part of a review of health costs this year. He said he was concerned that some of the variants of the COVID-19 Omicron could be a problem, but also worried that some new models might appear.

He said two doses of the vaccine were only 20 percent effective compared to Omicron, and its effectiveness increased to 60 percent by three doses.

“Omicron was a game changer, changing the game,” Tam said. “Before that, two doses of vaccine, for example, were very effective in combating infection and side effects.” Vaccines appeared to be ineffective in providing resistance to Omicron, however the exception itself produced mild symptoms and was less likely to cause side effects.

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Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos also testified before the committee, under pressure from Conservative MP Michael Barrett on when to end state immunizations and air and train mask instructions.

“What metrics are currently being used to keep orders in place,” Barrett said. “Infectious disease experts say the authority has no effect on preventing the loss of lives.”

The current vaccination mandate was extended until the end of June, but the government is unwilling to say whether it will be extended again. As more Canadians return to travel, some of the new rules, including mandatory proof of aviation regulations and the need for negative COVID testing to enter Canada, have led to significant delays at Canadian airports. Many other western nations have removed their jobs.

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Duclos said they relied on the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and said politicians should keep in mind that the virus is still circulating.

“The timeline is updated weekly, so it can be at any time. It may be later, and that depends on the evidence and advice given by experts within PHAC, ”he said. “Between January and May we have had 10,000 people lose their lives and 60,000 in hospital (from COVID).”

Barrett also pressured PHAC president Harpreet Kochhar to answer when the term would end. He asked Kochhar for a list of metrics, hospital numbers or the PHAC functionality to determine when the authority could be revoked.

Kochhar said many things besides the number that determine what the government will do next.

“This is a combination of different metrics and there are no specific numbers we could say because it depends on the function of the virus,” Kochhar said.

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The seventh wave of COVID could happen this fall, Tam tells MPs: ‘The epidemic is not over’

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