New Canadian data suggests the bold strategy to delay and mix second doses of COVID-19 vaccines led to strong protection from infection, hospitalization and death — even against the highly contagious delta variant — that could provide lessons for the world.
Preliminary data from researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and the Quebec National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ) shows the decision to vaccinate more Canadians sooner by delaying second shots by up to four months saved lives.
The researchers excluded long-term care residents from the data, who are generally at increased risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19, in order to get a better sense of vaccine effectiveness in the general population — and the results were exceptional.
The analysis of close to 250,000 people in B.C. from May 30 to Sept. 11 found two doses of any of the three available COVID-19 vaccines in Canada were close to 95 per cent effective against hospitalization — regardless of the approved vaccination combination.