COVID-19 deaths after first vaccine dose doesn't show lack of effectiveness: province
Health-care worker Thi Nguyen administers Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine to a patient at a COVID-19 clinic in Ottawa on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
WINNIPEG -- Ten Manitobans have died from COVID-19, even though they’ve received at least one dose of the vaccine, the Manitoba government confirmed.
According to the province, as of April 9:
- Out of the 192,131 people who got at least one dose, 162 were infected within 14 days of the first dose, but before the second one. Twelve people were hospitalized and four died.
- Out of the 67,716 people who received two doses, 24 were infected with COVID-19 within 14 days of receiving the second dose. Three people were hospitalized.
The province noted that COVID-19 infections that happen within 14 days of a dose don’t represent a lack of effectiveness in the vaccine.
However, there were vaccinated Manitobans who were infected with COVID-19 14 days after their immunization. The province said that as of April 9:
- Out of the 192,131 people who got at least one dose of the vaccine, 111 were infected with COVID-19, 14 days or more after the first dose, but before the second. Nine people were hospitalized and six died.
- Out of the 67,716 people immunized with two doses, nine people were infected 14 days or more after the second dose. There were no hospitalizations.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead for Manitoba’s Vaccine Implementation Task Force, said it takes time for the vaccine to produce an immune response.
“The immune response to the body producing those antibodies that can recognize and fight the virus takes about two weeks to build up after the dose of a vaccine,” she said.
“Any infection that occurs during the first two weeks after you receive a dose of the vaccine was either contracted before the dose was given or before the body had that time to mount an immune response.”
Reimer noted the vaccines are “very effective” at reducing the rates of infection and slowing transmission, especially after those 14 days, but “nothing is 100 per cent effective.”
She added that the data shows that after people have had an immune response, the vaccine has significant benefits in reducing the chance of infection and in reducing the serious side effects of COVID-19.