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Coronavirus: Epidemiologist warns against ‘returning to normal’ with vaccinated seniors

Click to play video: 'Can we visit vaccinated grandparents?' Can we visit vaccinated grandparents?
The way we visit with seniors could be changing soon as more of our most vulnerable get vaccinated every day. But, even after getting the shot, epidemiologists say not so fast. Marek Tkach reports – Mar 9, 2021

The way we visit with seniors could be changing soon as more of our most vulnerable are vaccinated against COVID-19.

As seniors across the province continue to get vaccinated, epidemiologist Cynthia Carr says visiting with your grandparents the same way you used to should still be off the table.

“Within the public health guidelines, when you do get together with people who are more vulnerable, even if they’ve been vaccinated, I would still stick with the masks for now until more people are vaccinated and we’re seeing that continued decline in community spread,” she explained.

Read more: Coronavirus vaccine opens to Manitobans 80 and over, First Nations 60 and over

For most Canadian seniors, family visits have been few and far between over the past year.

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“I don’t go as often and I can’t go and visit others. You know, it’s really been hard on people,” said Jack Robinson, an 83-year-old great-grandfather.

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“Right now we’re only seeing grandparents and elders maybe once a month,” said Tamara Beardy.

Read more: All adult Manitobans could get first COVID-19 shot by May 18

Under current public health orders, Manitobans can have close contact with one additional household including their own.

Carr says if your grandparents or other older loved ones are your bubble, hugs are good to go.

“We don’t want to be hugging a whole bunch of people, but if they are your designated people and you’re being very cautious, I would still say please keep the masks on at this point.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Manitoba reports 5 new cases of UK variant, 8 new cases of South African strain

But Tamara Beardy, who spoke with Global News at the Forks on Tuesday, isn’t quite ready to take that leap just yet.

“No hugging at this point! We will do elbow to elbow but that’s pretty much it,” she smiled.

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Carr is stressing that people are not necessarily protected until 14 days after getting the shot.

She’s reminding people to keep that in mind when planning family visits.

Click to play video: 'Canada’s top doctor discusses COVID-19 vaccine dose intervals following NACI recommendations' Canada’s top doctor discusses COVID-19 vaccine dose intervals following NACI recommendations
Canada’s top doctor discusses COVID-19 vaccine dose intervals following NACI recommendations – Mar 9, 2021

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