‘Reason to celebrate’: Early evidence suggests vaccines halting COVID outbreaks in nursing homes


The evidence is anecdotal and less-than-definitive, but experts say the limited amount of COVID-19 vaccination completed in Canada is already having a tangible, positive impact.

Outbreaks in long term care facilities have been stopped or prevented in the wake of residents receiving coronavirus shots, say doctors in British Columbia and Ontario.

In hard-hit Toronto, for instance, the number of new nursing home outbreaks is “way down,” and in homes with existing outbreaks, new cases seem to stop at about 21 days after the residents received their first vaccine dose, said Dr. Allison McGeer, one of Canada’s leading infectious-disease specialists.

Such results are obviously the hoped-for goal of a vaccination campaign, but the apparent success as Canada’s initial supply of vaccine peters out provides at least a glimmer of hope amid the continuing infection and death.

“It certainly looks like the vaccine is doing what it’s supposed to be doing,” said McGeer Monday. “It’s definitely something to celebrate. If this is happening, it’s brilliant.”