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What Can You Expect With Covid-19 in 2022

On March 11, 2020, life as we know it changed when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. 

Now, more than two years on, we are still dealing with the fallout but people have mostly managed to learn how to live with COVID-19.

Moving forward in 2022, you might wonder what role this disease will play in our lives, what restrictions will still apply locally and internationally, and what are the chances of cases soaring again and future outbreaks.

The Global COVID-19 Situation

As incidences of the disease continues to fall, most COVID-19 trackers the world over have stopped reporting cases on a daily basis.

The COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, one of the earliest and most thorough trackers, now shows cases, deaths and vaccine doses administered over a 28-day period. As of June 25 this year, a total of 542,971,332 COVID-19 cases and 6,328,086 deaths have been recorded over the world since the start of the pandemic. Overall, 11,641,631,715 vaccine doses have been administered.

New Cases

But what has been the trend of new cases and deaths lately? Globally, if we compare on a weekly basis over the past four weeks, 3.69 million new cases were reported on 19/06/2022, 3.37 million on 12/06/2022, 3.29 million on 05/06/2022, and 3.34 million on 29/05/2022. These numbers are nowhere near as high as the 23.301 million new cases reported on 23/01/2022. We can see that the incidence of new cases decreased considerably since the start of the year but now is actually rising again. Depending on what public health measures countries enforce, this trend could either plateau or increase.

New Deaths

Deaths from COVID-19, however, declined for a while earlier and are now staying somewhat steady. At the beginning of May this year, 18.222k new deaths were registered. For the past four weeks, 9.74k new deaths were recorded on 19/06/2022, 10.406k on 12/06/2022, 9.335k on 05/06/2022, and 10.487k on 29/05/2022. Experts predict that as more and more people get vaccinated, the deaths will reflect a declining trend.

The COVID-19 Situation in Canada

The situation in Canada is steadily improving. Provincial and territorial governments have mostly lifted restrictions as well as mask mandates in public spaces.  However, people still need to exercise caution. The virus is not done with us yet.

The latest statistics, reported by the Government on 24/05/2022, for COVID-19 in Canada are:

Total cases: 3,892,409

Deaths: 41,470

Total tests performed: 62,220,040

As of June 22, 2022, the Government of Canada switched to providing key updates about new cases and deaths from a daily to weekly basis.

Let’s compare the numbers over these past two weeks:

Weekly updateJune 17June 24
New cases15,72615,047
New deaths174137
Percent positive %9.69.3
Total cases3,897,8793,913,975
Total deaths41,36341,566

There is a clear-cut decline in all three parameters–new cases reported, new deaths and the positivity rate.

What Do Mathematical Models Predict for 2022?

Mathematical modelling helps governments and health organizations the world over prepare a response to the COVID-19 pandemic by informing decisions about planning, resource allocation, and implementation of social distancing measures and other population-based interventions.

Regarding COVID-19, the Canadian government has predicted “ongoing transmission with intermittent waves” for this year.

Some of the most important points pertaining to the forecast for this year are:

  • Immunity is high due to prior infection and vaccination, but gradually decreases over time
  • Less circulation of the coronavirus, but it will remain present and continue to transmit at a low to moderate level
  • New variants of the virus might emerge, spread and cause rise in cases and severe outcomes
  • Intermittent waves and outbreaks will possibly occur, and may coincide with influenza and other respiratory virus outbreaks but levels of cases and severe outcomes are expected to be manageable for health systems without the need for restrictive public health measures

What Variants Do You Need To Be Worried About?

The coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is constantly evolving and producing new variants. Like any other virus, it needs to do this in order to survive and continue its spread in the population. By studying genetic changes in the structure of the virus we can better predict the impact of new mutations.

The Public Health Agency of Canada works with the provinces and territories to monitor and identify variants of concern (so-called as they represent the majority of recently reported COVID-19 cases across the country).

Variants of concern in Canada include:

  • Alpha (B.1.1.7)
  • Beta (B.1.351)
  • Gamma (P.1)
  • Delta (B.1.617.2)
  • Omicron (B.1.1.529)

Of these, the Omicron variant is the most transmissible and currently accounts for almost all new cases. The Omicron variant is further divided into sub-lineages: BA.1, BA.2, BA.3, BA.4, and BA.5.

Here’s a breakdown of the prevalence of each:

Omicron100%100.1%99.9%99.9%100%100.1%100%100.1%99.9%100%
BA.115.8%9.6%5.7%3.8%2.9%1.7%1.0%1.0%0.3%0.3%
BA.284.2%90.4%94%95.9%96.7%97.6%97%93%88.8%76.9%
BA.30.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.2%0.1%
BA.40.0%0.1%0.1%0.2%0.5%0.8%2.8%3.5%8.1%
BA.50.0%0.0%0.0%0.1%0.2%1.1%3.2%7.1%14.6%
Others0.0%0.0%0.1%0.0%0.0%0.0%

The new sub-variants are spreading more quickly than other variants, which could lead to more cases, hospitalizations and deaths as they become dominant.

Do You Still Need to Get Vaccinated?

Absolutely.

Medical experts continue to stress the importance of COVID-19 vaccines and encourage people to get their shots on time. COVID-19 vaccines are available throughout the country free of charge.

The government has, however, dropped vaccination mandates for federal employees as well for domestic travellers. Those who wish to travel internationally need to consult their destination country’s vaccine guidelines for foreign travellers.

These are the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in Canada along with their boosters:

mRNA vaccines

  1. Comirnaty™ (tozinameran, BNT162b2):
  2. Manufactured by Pfizer and BioNtech
  3. Authorized for use in people 12 years of age and older (30 mcg) and children 5 to 11 years of age (10 mcg)
  4. Authorized as a booster dose in adults 18 years of age and older (30 mcg)
  5. First booster dose can be offered 6 months after primary vaccination
  6. A second booster dose, if needed, can be offered 6 months after the first booster
  • Spikevax™ (elasomeran, mRNA-1273):
  • Manufactured by Moderna
  • Authorized for use in people 12 years of age and older (100 mcg) and children 6 to 11 years of age (50 mcg)
  • Authorized as a booster dose in adults 18 years of age and older (50 mcg)
  • First booster dose can be offered 6 months after primary vaccination
  • A second booster dose, if needed, can be offered 6 months after first booster

Protein subunit vaccine

  • Nuvaxovid (SARS-CoV-2 recombinant spike protein):
  • Manufactured by Novavax
  • Authorized for use in adults 18 years of age and older

Virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine

  1. Covifenz (SARS-CoV-2 recombinant spike protein, plant-based virus-like particle):
  2. Developed by Medicago and GlaxoSmithKline
  3. Authorized for use in adults 18-64 years of age

Viral vector (non-replicating) vaccines

  • Vaxzevria (ChAdOx1-S recombinant):
  • Developed by AstraZeneca
  • Authorized for use in adults 18 years of age and older
  • COVISHIELD (ChAdOx1-S recombinant):
  • Developed by Verity Pharmaceuticals/Serum Institute of India (in partnership with AstraZeneca Canada)
  • Authorized for use in adults 18 years of age and older
  • Janssen (Ad26.COV2.S):
  •  Developed by Janssen Inc.
  • Authorized for use in adults 18 years of age and older
  • Authorized as a booster dose in adults 18 years of age and older
  • First booster dose can be offered if there’s contraindication to other vaccines

Should You Get a Second Booster Dose?

Currently, second booster shots are recommended for adults 80 years and older, residents of long-term care and nursing homes, and people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised.

Companies behind the mRNA vaccines–Pfizer and Moderna–are in the final stages of testing an updated version of their COVID-19 vaccines to better target the Omicron variant and its sub-lineages. They predict that their variant-adapted vaccine would be ready for approval in the fall.

As vaccines developed for coronavirus variants become more widely available, there is a possibility that second booster shots start being administered regularly in the near future.

If you are looking to protect yourself with PPE, look no further! AGMD Group is Toronto’s largest PPE supplier. Contact us today to get a quote.

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