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Experts divided on whether COVID-19 rules should be eased for fully vaccinated adults

Last Updated Jun 14, 2021 at 4:08 pm EDT

As provinces accelerate their efforts to get their populations fully vaccinated against COVID-19, some people are calling for the federal government to issue clear guidance on what people can do once they receive both shots.

Ontario’s health minister and some experts say Ottawa should provide a framework spelling out which behaviours are considered safe for vaccinated adults, similar to what was issued by the U.S.-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but opinion is divided on whether it’s a good idea.

Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine, a professor of community health and epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan, believes the federal government should be offering some general direction about what people can or cannot do once they’re fully vaccinated with two doses.

However, he believes more people need to get their second dose and more data on vaccine effectiveness against variants is needed before restrictions on mask-wearing can be lifted for the fully vaccinated.

Azim Shariff, a social psychologist at the University of British Columbia, believes allowing greater freedom to fully vaccinated people is worth considering, because it can work as an incentive to encourage hesitant people to get the shot.

But Dr. Donald Vinh, an infectious diseases specialist at the McGill University Health Center, believes that creating a separate set of restrictions for people who are fully vaccinated is a risky idea.

He says the guidelines issued in the United States are difficult to enforce and have led many people to abandon masks and distancing, whether they were vaccinated or not.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press