CK MOH continues to refute local MPP’s claims about COVID-19 vaccines

Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls on June 15, 2021. (Photo from Facebook Live announcement)

The top public health official in Chatham-Kent finds himself once again fighting vaccine misinformation after a local MPP tweeted a recent interview bashing COVID-19 vaccines.

Independent MPP Rick Nicholls, who was booted from the PC party caucus for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine, insisted in a recent interview that he shared on his Twitter account that the vaccines are experimental and that there is not enough evidence yet for short-term and long-term effects.

Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby — who also previously disputed those claims — addressed the claims once again on Thursday, saying that vaccines, in general, are very safe and that the COVID-19 doses being offered to the public have been fully approved by Health Canada. Colby also said members of the public need to form their opinion of the COVID-19 vaccines based on credible and qualified medical and scientific sources.

“Our bodies go through many immune responses every day and this is a way to trigger an immune response without actually getting sick,” said Colby. “The question of whether there’s going to be side effects come to light in 10 years is certainly something that you can’t absolutely say. That’s because 10 years haven’t elapsed.”

Colby said he still doesn’t understand why there has been so much backlash against COVID-19 vaccines.

“Why people approach that with such skepticism and fear, I really do not understand. So, I’m just going to have to agree to disagree with Mister Nicholls here,” he said.

Colby noted there have only been six confirmed deaths across Canada from a rare blood-clotting syndrome out of 55 million doses administered in total. He said all of the deaths are linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Colby also said the chance of suffering a serious side effect from the COVID-19 vaccine is very, very low at .008 per cent.