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For those with two doses, it’s more likely that flu or pneumonia will be on their death certificate than COVID-19
There are two important points to remember when talking about COVID-19 in Canada. First, vaccines have proven to be more effective against the disease than even the most optimistic virologist could have hoped. It prevents infection in at least 95 per cent of cases, significantly shields the patient from severe illness even if they do contract the disease and is about as effective against the Delta variant as earlier strains of the disease.
The second is that Canadians have received more of these vaccines than almost anyone else. With nearly 60 per cent of Canadians having received two shots, the country’s rate of fully vaccinated citizens is now higher than any other major country including the U.K., Israel and the United States.
While COVID-19 infections are rising across the United States and Canada, it is a surge limited almost exclusively to the unvaccinated. Mass vaccination has also severely blunted the deadliness of the disease. Most new infections are spreading among young people — a demographic that was never at severe risk from COVID-19. As a result, Canadian deaths from COVID-19 stood at an average of less than ten per day last week.
On July 10, the most recent date for which Health Canada has provided data, of the 7.8 million fully vaccinated Canadians, 85 had suffered a “breakthrough” infection that went on to kill them. At that rate, COVID-19 kills a fully vaccinated Canadian only about once every two days.
Just like all COVID-19 deaths, these breakthrough fatalities are disproportionately borne by Canadians over the age of 80 with other underlying health conditions. Meanwhile, as younger and younger demographics join the ranks of the fully vaccinated, that rate of breakthrough deaths is going down even further. In the United States, of 168 million Americans who have been fully vaccinated, only 1,263 have died from breakthrough infections — a COVID-19 survival rate of 99.999 per cent.
In short, if you’re a vaccinated adult living in Canada, COVID-19 is rapidly descending the list of things most likely to kill you or land you in hospital. Below, find a not-at-all comprehensive list of everything that is now demographically more dangerous to a fully vaccinated adult than the novel coronavirus.
A car crash
In 2018 — one of the last normal years before the onset of pandemic lockdowns — 1,922 Canadians were killed in automobile collisions. Every day, this means that the average Canadian has a roughly 1 in 7 million chance of ending up as a traffic fatality before the day’s end. By contrast, every day the average fully vaccinated Canadian adult has a one in 16.6 million chance of becoming a COVID-19 fatality.
Flu or pneumonia
In 2019, 6,893 Canadians died from either pneumonia or influenza. At its worst, COVID-19 was far deadlier than the flu, racking up 10,000 Canadian deaths in only six months in spite of unprecedented interventions to slow infection.
But the calculus has shifted dramatically for the fully vaccinated. As of Monday, 21.1 million Canadians are fully vaccinated. In an average year, any group of 21.1 million Canadians could expect to see about 3,800 among them killed by flu or pneumonia. While many of those would probably be suffering from other complications (pneumonia is often the official cause of death in cases of Alzheimer’s, for instance), the same is true of many COVID-19 deaths.
Given that only 85 Canadians died of breakthrough COVID-19 infections in the first six months since mass vaccination began, if these trends continue throughout 2021, COVID-19 breakthrough deaths will remain only a fraction of Canada’s usual toll for infectious respiratory disease.
A pandemic-related late cancer diagnosis
Even at its worst, COVID-19 could not touch cancer’s position as Canada’s leading killer. At 80,000 Canadian cancer deaths per year, that’s around one in every 475 Canadians lost each year to what Statistics Canada defines as “malignant neoplasms.” In 2020 alone, Canada is expected to have lost 21,000 to lung cancer, which is in the ballpark of the 20,000 COVID-19 fatalities counted that year.
These deaths are expected to get worse as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A months-long suspension in cancer screenings means that thousands of Canadians are currently not aware of cancers that, in normal times, would have been diagnosed by now. Colorectal cancer alone is expected to kill an additional 440 Canadians for this precise reason, with an additional 250 women expected to die from otherwise preventable cases of breast cancer. What this means is that a fully vaccinated Canadian is rapidly becoming more likely to die from a COVID-related late cancer diagnosis than from COVID-19 itself.
In 2019, among Canadians 20 years and older, Parkinson’s disease killed roughly eight out of every 100,000. Since January, among the fully vaccinated, breakthrough infections have killed roughly 1.1 out of 100,000. Even if those rates continue for the rest of the year, Canada will close out 2021 with a breakthrough COVID-19 death toll that is only about a quarter of the country’s average Parkinson’s deaths.
Diabetes fatalities make up roughly 2.4 per cent of Canadian deaths per year, or about 19 per day in 2019. Not only is that dramatically higher than Canada’s rate of breakthrough COVID-19 deaths, but it’s more than twice as high as Canada’s total daily rate of COVID-19 deaths which, as mentioned, are now happening primarily among the unvaccinated.
In Ontario, since vaccination began in December, only 43 people out of nine million fully vaccinated people have died of a breakthrough infection. Over the first seven months of 2021, therefore, only about one in 50,000 fully vaccinated Ontarians has gone on to suffer a fatal COVID-19 infection.
That’s a rate roughly on par with Canada’s usual adult deaths from viral hepatitis, which kills between 300 and 500 Canadians per year.
Article From: National Post
Author: Tristin Hopper