'2 shots are necessary': Local physician says B.C. is a long way off from lifting masking, distancing rules
VANCOUVER -- As all adults in B.C. can now receive an invitation to book their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, some might be wondering what the months ahead will look like in the province.
CTV Morning Live spoke with local physician Dr. Rhonda Low Monday about what a "one-shot summer" will be like locally, since most eligible British Columbians will have only had their first dose.
"We've heard various efficacy levels after having just one dose … it ranges anywhere from 61 to 90-plus per cent," she said.
"Some folks have wondered if they even need to get a second dose … it's likely one dose only gives you partial immunity."
Low spoke of a recent study out of Scotland that showed while, for those under the age of 65, one dose can dramatically reduce the risk of hospitalization, the benefit isn't sustained after five weeks.
"In that study, the risk of hospitalization then increased again to about a 50-50 chance," Low said.
"So I want to stress, what we know now, is that two shots are necessary for adequate protection. So going into the summer, if you've only had one shot, especially if it's been more than a month since you got it, you still need to take those precautions like masking and physical distancing."
And for those wanting to make plans with their friends who have also had only one shot, Low said it's important to stick to the public health guidelines, keep a physical distance and stay outside.
"Outdoors, the risk is low," she said. "If you each have one shot, go hiking, hang out, but try to stay six feet apart."
Last week, the Centre for Disease Control announced those in the United States who have received two shots can avoid wearing masks in most indoor spaces and won't need to physical distance in most places. But Low said B.C. is still a ways off from those restrictions lifting.
"In Canada we can't follow that advice yet because we have nowhere near the same percentage of our population who are fully vaccinated," she said.
"The good news is we have real-world data from different countries showing the vaccines are highly effective."
Dr. Rhonda Low's comments were part of a five-minute interview that aired on CTV Morning Live. Watch the full interview in the video player above.