A Calgary doctor who led protests against the Alberta government’s decision to lift most public health measures recently said that it would be “impossible to vaccinate our way out of the pandemic.”
Dr. Joe Vipond made the comments during a COVID-19 livestream hosted by the group Protect Our Province Alberta while discussing the spread of the Delta variant. According to Dr. Vipond, the solution to combating the Delta variant is to institute more restrictions.
“If I can opine a bit on some of the causes of this situation, it seems that our policymakers have put all their eggs in the vaccination baskets. It was basically, we have enough vaccinated population that we no longer need to do any of the other mitigation measures,” Dr. Vipond claimed.
“And most of the smart scientists on COVID that I follow would suggest that because Delta is so infectious that it is impossible to vaccinate our way out of this pandemic, that we really do need those other simple mitigation measures. And the ones I would point out would be mask mandates. Thank you, Edmonton,” he continued.
“Restriction of mass gatherings like weddings and funerals through this wave. We need to consider closing indoor dining temporarily, indoor drinking temporarily.”
True North reached out to Dr. Vipond to give him an opportunity to clarify his remarks but did not receive a response by the deadline given.
McKenzie Kibler, who is the Issues Manager for the Alberta Minister of Health, told True North in an emailed statement that the COVID 0 approach Dr. Vipond is advocating for has been unsuccessful in curbing cases elsewhere.
“Vaccines work, full stop. They protect us, our families, and the wider community, and they are the only way out of the pandemic. Dr. Vipond’s recommendations are based on aiming for “COVID 0”, an approach that hasn’t worked for other jurisdictions, including some that are now seeing cases ramp up among the unvaccinated,” said Kibler.
“We continue to have confidence in Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and the advice she provides. Municipalities and other institutions have always been able to adopt their own measures, including mask mandates. While we will continue to monitor the situation, our current health measures remain in place, including requiring masks for health care and transit workers.”
As exclusively reported by True North earlier this month, Dr. Vipond was revealed to be an extensive donor to the Alberta NDP. Records show that Dr. Vipond has donated nearly $20,000 to that party since 2014.
When confronted with the donations, Dr. Vipond denied having a conflict of interest and maintained that he had no ties to the NDP other than the said contributions.
Following Alberta’s decision to curb quarantine requirements, Dr. Vipond called for the resignation of Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
To date, 78% of Alberta’s eligible population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 69.8% have been fully vaccinated.
Recently, the Alberta government rolled out a third vaccine booster dose for specific segments of the population such as seniors in long-term care facilities and immunocompromised people.