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Your second COVID-19 vaccine may not be your last, WDG medical officer says

COVID-19 continues to present new variants as scientists study how best to beat it

It's remarkable that a vaccine to prevent hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 even exists, according to Dr. Nicola Mercer.

The staggering spread of COVID-19 and its ability to create new variants is matched only by the incredible strides humanity has made to combat it. 

As the fight evolves, so too will tactics on both sides.

Currently, our best weapon is our vaccines, which tell your immune system what the spike proteins look like on the coronavirus, which your body then figures out how to fight and kill before it is infected.

With every variant confirmed, there are more chances of that spike protein mutating to a point where our body can't recognize it. 

"This is not going to be your last vaccine, I can guarantee you that," said Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health's medical officer of health, Dr. Nicola Mercer. "If the variants change, and if our vaccines are not effective, you're going to need a booster.

Emerging evidence shows that the current vaccines are very effective against the B117 variant, which is widespread in Ontario.  Evidence is also showing those vaccines are less effective against the P1 and B1351 variants.

Dr. Mercer said guidance could also change regarding vaccines.

"Eventually, down the road, science, technology, the medical world will say, 'This is the best approach to this coronavirus,' which has only been around for 15 months, 16 months. So, the fact that we even have vaccines, that we even have anything that's protecting people right now is nothing short of remarkable, nothing short of a really huge step for ward for medical science, and that's going to have long-lasting implications for vaccine technology, influencing technology for generations to come."

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