Originally posted: October 1, 2021
We understand it is a stressful time with a wide range of opinions on the current COVID-19 situation in Alberta. However, Alberta Health Services (AHS), the Alberta Medical Association (AMA), the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA), the Cumming School of Medicine (UofC), and the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry (UofA) believe it is extremely important for all Albertans to have correct, trustworthy and updated information about COVID-19, so they can make informed choices and protect themselves and loved ones.
As Alberta’s hospitals are filling up with critically-ill patients and there are increasing deaths due to COVID-19, we felt it was our responsibility to address recent letters and social media content containing misinformation, disinformation, and data or information taken out of context, such as a letter addressed to CPSA Council and an open letter to AHS signed by a group of nurses and physicians. This type of misinformation spreads incorrect, dangerous beliefs and ignores our growing, improving scientific evidence base, developed by scientists, physicians, public health experts and researchers from across the globe.
We continue to see a parallel epidemic of misinformation and conflicting opinions from various “experts” spreading across social and digital media who do not have relevant expertise. Meanwhile, unvaccinated people are being infected, being hospitalized and are dying of COVID-19, which is a largely preventable infection. Misinformation is delaying pandemic control and threatening both our pandemic response, and our ability to function as a cohesive society. Infodemic (who.int)
There is overwhelming evidence that COVID-19 vaccines, which are approved for use by Health Canada, are effective and safe, and the risk of not being vaccinated is far greater than the very small risk of any potentially severe side effects related to the vaccine.
We hope the following information provides a starting point for healthcare providers and Albertans, to have meaningful, fact-based conversations about COVID-19 vaccines.