Omicron Canada has tripled the number of COVID-19 infections, the study found

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Toronto, May 19, 2022 (GlobeNewswire) – About 30 percent of Canadian adults – 9 million people – were infected during the Omicron alternate wave in early 2022, compared to just 10 percent who were infected in the previous four waves, according to a new study led by Toronto researchers.

Despite the high number of infections, studies have further shown that each dose of vaccine and previous infections enhances immunity. Canadian adults, including three vaccine doses, and COVID-19 had the highest protection against past infections.

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As a result, the editor published a letter New England Journal of Medicine, Fill a gap in understanding the scale of COVID-19’s spread during the fifth wave, as well as Canadians’ resistance to the virus, either through vaccination or natural infection. Provinces postponed COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing in December 2021, leaving policymakers and the public without reliable data to respond to epidemics and measure community risk.

“The incidence of the Omicron variant, which has increased worldwide since December 2021, is not uncommon even among vaccinated individuals. Dr. Prabhat Jha, Chief Investigator of Action to Beat Coronavirus (Ab) -C) is the study and director of the Global Health Research Center at Unity Health Toronto at St. Michael’s Hospital. Professor of Epidemiology.

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The study analyzed more than 5,000 blood samples from a public polling court from January 15 to March 15, 2022, representing Canadian adults – members of the Angus Reed Forum. From these results, the researchers determined that an estimated 9 million 29.7 million Canadians were newly infected during the omikron wave. Of these infections, 1 million were in the country’s 2.3 million immunized adult population – representing 40 percent of all immunized adults.

The Ab-C study is a collaboration between Unity Health Toronto, DLSPH, the Angus Reed Institute, and the Lunenfeld-Tenenbaum Research Institute of Sinai Health. It is funded by the Government of Canada through its COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF). Ab-C has been tracking the epidemic in Canada since May 2020 through periodic voting on live experience and blood sample collection, and will continue to do so as long as the COVID-19 epidemic continues to develop.

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“Canada has normally low rates of infection – probably less than 10 per cent of the adult population before Omicron – as opposed to much of the United States and England. So Canada must rely on vaccination – especially for the elderly population. The adult-to-adult ratio is still below the norm, “said lead author Dr Patrick Brown, Center for Global Health Research and a biostatist from the University of Toronto.

“If we take into account the fact that pediatric surveys have estimated that the rate of infection among children was higher or higher than that of adults, and that new submarines of Omicron continue to infect Canadians in the ongoing Sixth Wave, there are now millions more infections to add to the Ab-C study.” , “Said Katherine Hankins, co-chair of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force. “In short, a significant portion of the Canadian population now has hybrid immunity – a COVID-19 vaccine defined as a combination of past COVID-19 infections with one to three doses.”

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The Ab-C study began surveying approximately 1,300 adults who were infected with the primary Omicron variant (called BA.1 / 1.1) from March to June 2022 to determine if they were infected with the latest Omicron variant (called BA.2). Didn’t. .

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the thousands of Canadians from each region who took the time to share their blood samples and related surveys. Their participation made this study possible, “said Dr. Angus Reed, chairman of the Angus Reed Institute.

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides sympathetic care to all who enter its doors. The hospital provides outstanding medical education for future healthcare professionals in more than 27 academic disciplines. Among the recognized areas of expertise are complex care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, homeless care, and global health hospital expertise. Through the Keenan Research Center and the Li Ka Sheng International Health Care Education Center, which created the Li Ka Sheng Knowledge Institute, the research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital is recognized and influenced worldwide. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully accredited with the University of Toronto.

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About Unity Health Toronto

Unity Health Toronto, made up of Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph’s Health Center and St. Michael’s Hospital, works to improve the health of all in our urban community and beyond. Our health network provides post-acute services across the full spectrum of patient, resident and client care, including primary care, secondary community care, tertiary and quaternary care services through rehabilitation, palliative care and long-term care, where world-class investments are made. Research and education. For more information, visit

About Dalla Lana School of Public Health

The Dalla Lana School of Public Health is a faculty of the University of Toronto and the largest public health school in Canada. Our community is made up of internationally recognized teachers, students, practitioners, policy makers and citizens. We create new knowledge; Educating changemakers; Advance practice leads to better, more equitable outcomes in population health and health systems. Join us at the forefront of health change!

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About the Angus Reed Institute

Angus Reid Institute (ARI) Polster and sociologist Dr. Angus Reed founded Canada to better understand and encourage issues and trends that affect public policy. Since 2014, the Institute has conducted more than 500 studies on topics ranging from foreign policy to poverty reduction. Institute research in the health sector has helped create controversy over pharmacare, examined waiting times for selective approaches, and provided up-to-date information on gaps in primary care and mental health services. Strictly non-partisan, ARI is funded by the Reed family and not for the benefit of partnering with others. ARI has the status of a registered charity in Canada.

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About COVID-19 Immunity Task Force

The Government of Canada established the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) in late April 2020 to catalyze, support, fund and coordinate research on SARS-CoV-2 immunity for federal, provincial and regional decision makers. Protect Canadians and reduce the impact of COVID-19. To date, CITF has supported more than 100 studies across Canada that have provided critical insights into the levels, trends, nature and duration of immunity derived from the SARS-CoV-2 infection and the COVID-19 vaccine. CITF volunteers are overseen by a leadership group that includes leading scientists and policy makers across Canada. The Task Force and its Secretariat work closely with a variety of partners, including governments, public health agencies, organizations, health organizations, research teams, other task forces, stakeholders and stakeholders.

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Sinai about health

Sinai Health consists of Mount Sinai Hospital, Heinrich Bridgepoint Hospital, Lunenfeld-Tenenbaum Research Institute and its system partner Circle of Care. It provides excellent care in hospitals, communities and at home, focusing on the wider needs of the people. Sinai Health discovers and translates scientific advances, pushes the boundaries of health solutions and educates future clinical and scientific leaders. Clinical areas of specialization include rehabilitation and complex intensive care, surgery and oncology, emergency and critical care, and the health of women and children. Its Lunenfeld-Tenenbaum Research Institute ranks among the top ten biomedical research institutes in the world. Sinai Health is a wholly owned affiliate of the University of Toronto.

Media contact:

Jennifer Stranges, Unity Health Toronto; [email protected]
Dr. Angus Reed, Angus Reed Institute; [email protected]
Rebecca Burns, COVID-19 Immunity Task Force; [email protected]
Heidi Singer, Dala Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto; [email protected]

The opinions expressed herein do not represent the views of the Canadian Public Health Agency.



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