Find answers to common questions and get the full context around common assertions pertaining to various elements of COVID-19. No half truths or unsubstantiated claims. We think opinions are over rated, so we have the science to back it up.
All information provided is sourced to original scientific and peer reviewed data so you can read it for yourself.
CLAIM - The Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective for kids aged 5-11
FACT CHECK - Partially False, misleading
Pfizer recently completed their trials for children aged 5-11 and submitted to Health Canada for authorization. The FDA has already approved the application under emergency use authorization in the US. However, even a surface overview of the documentation produces very concerning results. There were just 2285 children included in the study, of which just 1528 received the vaccine (757 received a placebo). Any adverse event that occurs less frequently than 1:1500, such as myocarditis which occurs at a rate of about 1:5000 in the 12-17 male demographic, would not be picked up by a trial that is so small. The entire trial only captured a total of 19 symptomatic Covid cases (16 in the placebo group, 3 in the vaccinated group). Not a single case was serious, all were mild. All the study confirms is that Covid generally only causes mild disease in children 5-11, and the vaccine reduces the occurrence of mild disease.
We already know from existing data that children 5-11 are at very low risk from Covid. As of February 19, 2022 Canadian data confirms those under 19 are hospitalized at an annualized rate of around 1:7000 people (8,000,000 people, 4149 hospitalizations over 23 months, only 57% of which were actually directly due to COVID) and risk of death is just 0.0048%, which is less than 1:20000 (31 deaths from 636785 lab confirmed cases), or an annualized death rate of about 1:700,000.
The size and scope of the trial data is insufficient to determine the risk the vaccine poses, and there is no discernible benefit as this age group is at no statistical risk from Covid itself. It is the position of the NSCLA that the risk-benefit analysis overwhelmingly rejects widespread vaccination within this age group. We believe it should only be made available to those deemed high risk due to co-morbidities, and under no circumstances should any vaccine mandates apply to this age group. The vast majority of this age group is quite likely to be at far greater risk of a serious adverse event such as myocarditis from the vaccine, than any negative outcome from Covid. Using children as human shields to protect adults by vaccinating them to theoretically reduce the potential of spread, is immoral and unethical on every conceivable level. These actions offer no benefits to the child and put them at risk of vaccine injury. This must not happen.
CLAIM - Vaccines are safe and effective
FACT CHECK - Partially False, overly simplified
The claim that vaccines are safe and effective is widely touted by governments and media across the world. However, this statement is highly subjective and doesn't mean anything without additional facts and context. In Nova Scotia alone, there have been 83 serious adverse events as of August 22, 2021. Astra Zeneca's vaccine has been discontinued for use across most of Canada and elsewhere around the globe due to the real risks of adverse events such as blood clotting. More recently, Moderna has been discontinued for use in Ontario for males under 25 and similar policies have been made regarding Moderna in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark due to the risks of cardiac events such as myocarditis in this demographic. Both Moderna and Astra Zeneca were touted as safe and effective for everyone, until they weren't.
Efficacy is another concern. We are seeing breakthrough cases on an exceedingly regular basis. In NS, the week from October 1-8, 2021, saw over 30% of new cases in those aged 12+ occur in fully vaccinated individuals. It's now also accepted that overall protection from the vaccines drops from over 90% to under 50% and as low as 30% after just 5 months. This means boosters may be required every 5-6 months indefinitely, and every additional dose taken puts a person at higher risk of an adverse event.
Additional details and references can be found on our main Vaccine information page.
CLAIM - Vaccine mandates (otherwise known as vaccine passports or proof of vaccination) are a necessary, effective and legal means to keep each other safe
FACT CHECK - FALSE on all accounts
Such a policy that fundamentally breaches several sections of protected Charter Rights needs to be proven to be reasonable, proportional to the risk, and most importantly, the LEAST invasive policy available to achieve the desired results. It is the opinion of the NSCLA that vaccine mandates do not pass any of these tests.
Existing rhetoric is espoused in such a way as to make people think of an unvaccinated person as a dangerous, contagious, disease factory. This is not only harmful and divisive, but it's categorically false. The average person without symptoms at any given time is unlikely to have COVID-19. As of October 8, 2021 just 0.7% of Nova Scotians have had a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in nearly 19 months. The cumulative positive test rate in NS since March of 2020 is 0.56%, meaning 99.44% of all tests have been negative, and this includes all symptomatic testing. The chances of a random person without symptoms having COVID-19, being contagious and actually transmitting the virus to someone outside their household (in a place where unvaccinated individuals are currently or soon to be banned) is exceedingly close to 0%. Vaccination may take this risk even closer to 0% but given the incidental risk is near zero, regardless of vaccination status, this policy cannot be deemed proportional to the risk.
We also deem the policy unreasonable as vaccination is not without risk, there are no long term studies and vaccinated individuals can still carry and transmit the virus, become hospitalized and die from COVID-19. Dr Robert Strang, NS Chief Medical Officer of Health, has gone on the record on multiple occasions confirming the proof of vaccination policy is temporary and will only last for the shortest amount of time necessary. Yet vaccination itself is permanent, as are the job losses being threatened against thousands of Nova Scotians. For these reasons, The NSCLA does not find vaccine mandates to be in any way proportional or reasonable given the incredibly small risk an unvaccinated person poses compared to a vaccinated person.
As a result of everything discussed so far, the NSCLA also takes the position that vaccine mandates are without a doubt NOT the least invasive policy possible, and in fact are likely counter productive to the goal of reducing COVID-19 cases. As illustrated already, the risk posed by a random, asymptomatic unvaccinated person is very close to 0%. Testing could easily be offered as a valid, and arguably more effective alternative which would result in reducing any risk that existed, to effectively 0%. Under the current policy/mandate, vaccinated people are able to work and gather without restrictions and no testing is required. Given breakthrough cases are commonplace and occur daily, vaccinated people who are not being tested are at greater risk of spreading the disease than unvaccinated people who are tested. In other words, a hospital full of unvaccinated employees or a Mooseheads game full of unvaccinated fans who are being tested regularly are without a doubt offering a safer environment than one full of vaccinated people who are never/rarely tested.
Vaccine mandates harm society by creating immense division and offer no discernible benefit. Many people who were touted as heroes are on the brink of losing their livelihoods because they are not comfortable with taking a vaccine at this stage. This is wholly unnecessary as asymptomatic, unvaccinated people pose near zero risk to anyone around them, and offering a rapid testing strategy as an alternative would not only maintain individual charter rights, but also offer an even safer environment than currently being offered through vaccine mandates. The other benefit of a rapid testing policy is that it can quickly and easily be implemented and rescinded as need be based on the rate of community transmission at any given time. It's a nimble and highly effective policy that achieves all goals - it ensures the safety of public spaces whilst also protecting individual rights and not unnecessarily and unethically forcing people out of work and children out of healthy social lives.