As 1006A members continue to get vaccinated, they join millions of Canadians in the national effort to get themselves and their loved ones protected from COVID-19.
“I found that getting vaccinated for COVID-19 provided a huge sense of relief for my mental health,” said Caroline Brisebois, a steward at a Loblaw Great Food location and a Vice-President on the local union’s Executive Board. “I’m still very careful at work but I do feel better protected against COVID.”
Even with the one dose, Brisebois knows the second one is necessary and is ready to get hers.
“I do find myself panicking when serving a person who doesn’t wear a mask in the store,” said Brisebois, who works on the frontlines in Ottawa.
Brisebois said she constantly worries about her children, one of whom works as a teacher, and her grandchildren.
“I can’t wait till I can get my second dose so I can see my daughter,” said Brisebois. “You don’t think that COVID affects your mental health but it does because it plays on your mind.”
So far, Canada is leading the world in rate of first dose vaccinations with more Canadians rolling up their sleeves every day. By late June, more than 75% of Canadians had been vaccinated with a first dose.
Moderna and Pfizer have shown to be about 94.1% to 95% effective at preventing infection. These vaccines, along with Astrazeneca, are highly effective at preventing most serious illness and hospitalization.
UFCW Canada Local 1006A has been persistent in advocating for vaccination prioritization for members who work on the frontlines, by reaching out to public health officials and government leaders and making sure our members’ issues are heard.
Experts say the more Canadians who are vaccinated with both doses, the safer our workplaces, public spaces, and communities will be. Estimates have ranged from 70% to 90% of the entire population needing to be fully vaccinated to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
While one mRNA dose provides significant protection, it is only 33% effective against the Delta variant, which is significantly more transmissible, so Canadians are encouraged to get their second dose when it is their turn.
The presence of quickly emerging variants and their ability to mutate to become more transmissible also poses challenges to Canada’s vaccination efforts. As the virus rages uncontrolled in various parts of the world, variants have more opportunity to develop.
“Vaccinations are vital in keeping workers and their loved ones safe,” said President Wayne Hanley. “It’s been inspiring to see Canadians’ enthusiasm and commitment to keep each other safe by getting the vaccine.”
Gord Knowles, a steward at a YIG store and a Vice-President on the local union’s Executive Board, said most of the people he knows have been vaccinated, including himself. However, Knowles said there is a lot of misinformation regarding vaccinations.
“There is so much bad information on social media and some people are scared,” he said.
Natasha Grey, a steward at a No Frills store and a Vice-President on the local union’s Executive Board, recently got both her doses.
"I wanted to get vaccinated so I am doing my part to keep myself and the people around me safe. My first shot was Pfizer and my second was Moderna and I feel great."
Your union encourages our members, who have not yet been vaccinated, to talk to their family doctors and health care professionals for guidance. In the meantime, keep yourself and your loved ones safe by continuing to follow public health measures like physical distancing and mask wearing.