Canada’s top health official says she’s preparing for ‘worst-case’ COVID variants as fall surge looms


The Canadian Press

Posted Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at 3:12 p.m. EDT

Last updated Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at 3:12 p.m. EDT

OTTAWA — Canada’s chief public health officer said she’s preparing for variants of the COVID-19 “worst-case scenario” as early signs show a resurgence of the virus in the fall.

At the House of Commons Health Committee, Dr. Theresa Tam says the Public Health Agency of Canada is carefully monitoring the development of Omicron variants, which are the most common subvariants in the country.

Tam says that at the start of the pandemic, the virus would mutate in all sorts of ways because there was no immunity from previous infection or vaccines.

Now, she says, mutations have been limited as the virus is under pressure to find ways to evade immunity.

Tam says the worst-case scenario is for the variants to find a way around the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments with monoclonal antibodies.

She says there seems to have been a slight increase recently in the number of people opting for booster shots, now that they offer protection against newer strains of the virus.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on October 18, 2022.


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