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Vaccinations support all our relations and our transition back to on-campus learning

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: July 19, 2021 2:40 p.m.

Student who stuck it to COVID at the July 14 on-campus clinic.
Student who stuck it to COVID at the July 14 on-campus clinic. Photos by UAC

As we look forward to the 2021 Fall semester, and the return of more in-person classes and campus activities, the University’s top priority is ensuring the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Therefore, although the province has relaxed most of its COVID-19 restrictions, the University is taking a more cautious approach such as limiting the number of in-person courses being held in the Fall 2021 semester, and at present requiring masks be worn in any public spaces on campus and social distancing is maintained. In addition, the University strongly encourages everyone that is eligible to be vaccinated to get vaccinated.

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U of R students sticking it to COVID. Photos by UAC

 

Recent information released by the province confirms that vaccines are very effective. The province reported that in June 2021 there were 2,032 COVID-19 cases, of which:

  • 36, or 1.8 per cent, were in fully vaccinated people;
  • 355, or 17.5 per cent were in people who had received their first vaccination shot;
  • 1641, or 80.8 per cent were in people who were not vaccinated or had received their first dose fewer than 3 weeks prior;
  • of the 102 people hospitalized for COVID-19 only 5 (4.9 per cent) were fully vaccinated;
  • none of the 21 people who received intensive care were fully vaccinated; and
  • all of the 15 deaths attributed to COVID-19 were in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people.
Similar statistics across Canada and around the world are showing that the vaccines work and are effective against the new Delta and Lambda variants and that those who are unvaccinated are now the most at risk of COVID-19.
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On-campus vaccine clinic held on July 14, 2021. Photo by UAC

The Delta variant, which is quickly spreading in many provinces in Canada, is estimated to be 40 to 60 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha variant that is currently the dominant strain in Canada. The Delta variant also has an increased risk of hospitalization compared to Alpha. Fortunately, current research is showing that two doses of COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalizations from the Delta variant.

The Lambda variant has also been detected in Canada but current information appears to indicate that mRNA vaccines, such as Moderna and Pfizer, will provide effective protection against it.

“The science is clear that all of the approved vaccines work and, are very safe. Vaccines are reducing hospitalizations and death in Saskatchewan, across Canada, and around the world,” said Dr. Andrew Cameron, Infectious Disease Microbiologist at the University of Regina. “In addition to protecting vaccinated individuals from disease, each of the approved vaccines help protect those around us by reducing the spread of the virus.

“COVID vaccines have saved thousands of lives already. All eligible persons getting vaccinated as fast as possible can stop this pandemic and save millions of lives.”

The University’s Student Wellness Centre, in partnership with Alliance Pharmacy, has held several very successful on-campus, by appointment, vaccine clinics. Over 1,000 students, employees and immediate family members have been vaccinated and additional clinics are being planned.

“I’m very pleased that our on-campus clinics have been in high demand and usually fully booked within a few hours,” said Maureen Klenk NP, Associate Dean of Student Wellness. “Unfortunately, we have recently observed that vaccine hesitancy may be affecting some people’s willingness to book appointments when the Moderna vaccine is being offered. 

“It is vital for people not to vaccine shop or wait to get the same vaccine they received the first time. The risk of getting COVID is much greater for those who aren’t fully vaccinated than the potential risk of a serious side effect from any of the vaccines. All of the vaccines approved for use in Canada are safe, with the potential for similar, generally mild, side effects and can be used interchangeably.”

All Our Relations, the University’s 2020-25 Strategic Plan, recognizes that our strength lies in our relationships and our interconnectedness and that together we are stronger. The University is a community that cares about each other and prioritizes the well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and community partners. It is up to each of us to stick it to COVID and help end this horrible pandemic.

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