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All approved COVID-19 vaccines effective at preventing hospitalization and death, experts say

Click to play video: 'All COVID-19 vaccines effective at preventing hospitalization and death, experts say' All COVID-19 vaccines effective at preventing hospitalization and death, experts say
WATCH ABOVE: As COVID-19 vaccination programs kick into high gear across Ontario, some experts worry people are developing preferences when it comes to which shot they want to receive. Doctors say the key thing to focus on, is that all vaccines are effective at preventing hospitalization and death. Katherine Ward reports. – Mar 1, 2021

As vaccines start to roll out on a large scale in Ontario, health experts are concerned some people are developing preferences about which shot in the arm they want.

“People can get this false sense that one vaccine is a lot better than the other,” said Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious diseases physician. “I fear that people will not want to get one of the vaccines because they fear it’s not effective.”

Read more: There’s no ‘best’ vaccine, expert says as Canada OKs AstraZeneca shots

While many of the publications surrounding the vaccines focus on their efficacy rate at preventing a COVID-19 infection at all, some doctors say the real numbers to zero in on from the vaccine trials are hospitalization and death rates.

“All of these vaccines, the three right now that we have approved in Canada, are 100 per cent or almost 100 per cent effective at preventing hospitalization and preventing death,” said Chakrabarti.

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For those who are unsure about getting vaccinated, behavioural scientists say open conversation needs to remain part of the process.

“Help them understand whether there are differences between the vaccines for them as individuals and help them be comfortable with the decision they are going to make,” said Laura Desveaux from Women’s College Hospital. “With the people I have spoken to… they just want to be confident the decision they are making is the right decision and is a safe decision.”

Read more: Some coronavirus vaccines claim to be over 90% effective. What does that mean?

As more people have the opportunity to make that choice, the message from those on the front lines is clear: all approved vaccines will help get the pandemic under control and reduce risk, especially in emergency rooms and for those needing critical care.

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“That means no overflowing hospitals, no overflowing ICU (intensive care unit) beds,” said emergency room physician Dr. Steve Flindall. “No hard decisions about who’s going to get our limited resources.”

Click to play video: 'York Region COVID-19 vaccine clinics fully booked' York Region COVID-19 vaccine clinics fully booked
York Region COVID-19 vaccine clinics fully booked – Mar 1, 2021

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