People in Toronto who got three doses of COVID-19 vaccines have had the lowest rare of hospitalization, intensive care unit admissions, and deaths throughout the Omicron wave, Toronto Public Health data shows.
The findings published this week show that people who get three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have “greater protection.”
“Two doses were good, although they were fading a little bit against previous variants,” Dr. Allison McGeer, a microbiologist and infectious disease consultant in Toronto, told to Humber News.
“Against Omicron, you really need a third dose of vaccine for good protection.”
Only 2.4 per cent of the daily cases in Toronto are people with at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the data shows.
“This represents 56,659 cases among more than 2.3 million Toronto residents five years of age and older who had at least two doses of vaccine between Dec. 21 and Jan. 24,” the report said.
The data also shows that people 60 years of age or older who are unvaccinated are six times more at risk of being hospitalized for COVID-19 than people who have had three doses.
McGeer said that individuals who have had two doses are protected and “very clearly have a benefit” against serious illness and death.
The protection against serious disease for those who get two doses is about 80 per cent while the protection rate for people who get a third dose are above 95 per cent.
“When you’re talking about being hospitalized, being in the ICU, being at risk of dying, the difference between 80 per cent protection and 95 per cent protection is important,” she said.
While 90.8 per cent of Torontonians aged 12 years and older have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19, 87.8 per cent have received two doses.
So far, 61.1 per cent of those who are eligible for a third dose have got the booster.
The 3rd dose protects people from illness and hospitalization, and has fewer complications, “especially for those who have another disease or underlying conditions like diabetes or any respiratory diseases,” Rabia Er Piskin, a doctor in the GTA and a contact tracer, told Humber News.
“It’s very early to say but maybe after three or four shots, we will get that high immunity,” Piskin said.
“We really only have to worry about Omicron because Omicron is causing the disease,” McGeer said.
“Equally importantly, what the third dose does is it offers you better protection against milder disease,” McGeer said.
“When medical people talk about the mild disease, they mean disease that doesn’t result in you being hospitalized, but they can still mean that you’re, you know, at home flat on your back with a fever feeling miserable for a week or two.”