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Talking shots with Science Sam and U of T Professor Christina Guzzo (Part 1)

Canada has been ramping up its COVID-19 vaccination campaign in recent weeks, with more than 46 per cent of the population having received at least one dose. But hesitancy about vaccine safety persists among some individuals.

In the first segment of a three-part series, Samantha Yammine – a neuroscientist, science communicator and University of Toronto alumna otherwise known as “Science Sam” on social media – talks to Christina Guzzo, an assistant professor in the department of biological sciences at U of T Scarborough, about the risks and benefits of getting the COVID-19 shot.

Guzzo explains that vaccinated people have far lower rates of reinfection compared to those who contracted COVID-19. The risk of experiencing long-term effects from COVID-19 also far outweigh the chance of experiencing extremely rare complications from the vaccine, she says.

“We don’t have enough science and data and evidence to understand who might have a long-term effect from COVID-19,” Guzzo says, “so vaccination provides an additional benefit where it protects you from ... taking a chance and [saying], ‘Might I be the person who has a neurological impact from a COVID-19 infection?’”

Guzzo adds that the risks surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine are both low and acceptable, compared to the daily risks we face in the normal course of our lives.

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