Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines via CDC

Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?

No. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.​

If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, vaccine should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. CDC is providing recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first.

Will a COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.

Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?

No. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.

Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines via CDC.
Vaccines for COVID-19 via BC Centre for Disease Control.
Tips on finding credible information on COVID-19 vaccines via CDC.

6th International Faculty Development in the Health Professions Conference

The AMEE conference is excited to announce that the 6th IFDHP conference “Faculty Development in Times of Extraordinary Change” will be held on Saturday, August 28, 2021 from 8:00-4:30 pm GMT

Goals of the conference are: 

  1. To share and discuss how faculty developers promote and demonstrate adaptive expertise in the context of change 
  2. To address how faculty developers utilize change science/change management approaches in their work at individual and institutional levels. 
  3. To provide a forum for shared learning across the global faculty development community 

    February 5, 2021 is the deadline for innovation and research (short communications) and workshop abstract submission. Abstracts should be submitted to the AMEE conference abstract submission here.  

Anti-racism Praxis in Canadian Health Education: Reflections & Directions

Taqdir Kaur Bhandal
Ph.D. Candidate, UBC Social Justice Institute

Presentation: Anti-racism Praxis in Canadian Health Education: Reflections & Directions

Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Zoom ID: For connection details, please email ches.communications@ubc.ca.

During this presentation participants will:

  • Learn the definition of ‘race’ through the lens of social justice, so we can have a reference point for where to start unraveling threads.
  • Take away 3 tips that can be used to braid anti-racism practice into health education classrooms and research.
  • Practice one of the tips together through a group meditation to support stress release during the anti-racism paradigm shift.


Taq Kaur Bhandal is a Ph.D. candidate at UBC, and work with theories & practices of intersectionality and anti-racism. She is part of the Mahwari Research Institute team, an independent think tank studying pleasurable living, pelvic health, and periods.

Cannabis: Reducing Fentanyl & Overdose Risk

“Untreated opioid use disorder is a key driver of the overdose crisis in BC and across the United States and Canada, and expanding access to evidence-based addiction care like OAT has been identified as an urgent need and a key part of BC’s response. Research has found that without access to and rapid scale-up of take home naloxone, overdose prevention services, and OAT, the number of overdose deaths in B.C. would be 2.5 times as high. However, while more British Columbians diagnosed with an opioid use disorder are being connected to evidence-based treatments, retention on these medications remains a challenge. People who are retained in OAT face much lower risks of dying from an overdose, acquiring HIV or suffering other harms of drug use compared to people who are out of treatment.

Cannabis may play an important role in supporting retention on OAT. Previous research from the BCCSU found that individuals initiating OAT who reported using cannabis on a daily basis were approximately 21 per cent more likely to be retained in treatment at six months than non-cannabis users. This was the first study to find a beneficial link between high-intensity cannabis use and retention in treatment among people initiating OAT.

The findings published today add to an emerging body of research suggesting cannabis could have a stabilizing impact for many patients on treatment, while also reducing the risk of overdose.”

More on Cannabis could reduce fentanyl use, reduce overdose risk via UBC Medicine News.

Boosting Federal Health Transfers

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised after meeting with premiers that the federal government will increase transfer payments to the provinces for health care after the immediate crisis of the pandemic is over.

It’s not the immediate increase of at least $28 billion more in unconditional transfers each year the premiers were seeking. However, Trudeau said the federal government will increase its share of the cost of health care in the years to come, and continue to help provinces with extra costs linked to the pandemic, ‘whatever it takes, as long as this pandemic lasts.’

That includes fully covering the cost of COVID-19 vaccines, so ‘the provinces and territories won’t have to use their funding,’ and creating a federal compensation program for people who experience rare adverse reactions.”

More on Trudeau promises to boost federal health transfers when the pandemic is over via CMAJ.

Lyme Carditis

Image via Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme Carditis: JACC Review

“Lyme disease, caused by the tick-borne spirochete bacterium Borrelia spp., is becoming increasingly prevalent in Canada. Lyme carditis is a rare but important early disseminated manifestation of the disease, which can present with high-degree atrioventricular block in otherwise healthy young adults. Timely treatment of Lyme carditis with appropriate antibiotics can lead to complete resolution. However, patients with Lyme carditis often have missed or late diagnoses, which can result in unnecessary pacemaker implantations, complications, and even fatalities. Considering Lyme carditis in the differential diagnosis of young patients presenting with new atrioventricular blocks is critical to ensuring timely diagnosis and treatment.”

Lyme Carditis: A Can’t Miss Diagnosis via BCMJ.

Friday Link Pack: Gratitude, Recognition, & Perseverance

Artist: Banksy.

Gratitude. Recognition. Perseverance.
Words that come to mind right now.

Our Abbotsford-Mission site would like to thank our primary preceptors and rotation, elective, and faculty leads for their commitment to teaching over this past year. We are incredibly fortunate to have a group of educators dedicated to the growth and development of our future physicians. The pandemic has created several challenges (and opportunities) and we appreciate your flexibility and creativity that you’ve implemented in our residents’ learning journey. We also acknowledge the energy and heart that you and your team invest each and every day in our program and community.

Faculty, Primary Preceptors, Rotation & Elective Leads 2020-2021
Drs. Caroline Cook, Holden Chow, Clifford Moodley, Sarah Culkin, Dan Husband, Harj Dau, Jeff Kornelsen, Jody Ching, Justin Boporai, Kamal Rahal, Leslie Meloche, Manjit Gosal, Odayoth Bhargavan, Parin Patel, Richard Egolf, Hardeep Aujla, Presley Moodley, Deep Sidhu, Trent Loewen, Kaver Purewal, Carol Pomeroy, Jean-Marc Smith, Abid Khattak, Akash Sinha, Anthony Cohen, David Wickham, Brian Driedger, Shah Khan, Kathryn Morrison, Thanh Luu, Mandeep Dulai, Dustin Mattie, Nader Elmayergi, Terry Leung, Jennafer Wilson, Steve Mitchinson, Iris Liu, Mohan Gill, David Melnychuk, Willem De Klerk, Kirti Aneja, Ashley Fontaine, Peter Chang, Shaoyee Yao, Ashkan Golshan, Randy Walker, Aaron Brown, Sunny Gill, Trevor Hartl, Ryan Punambolam, Elizabeth Watt, Alasdair Nazerali-Maitland, and Kara Aiton.

We thank our superhero site directors and staff, Dr. Holden Chow, Dr. Thanh Luu, Ann Douglas and Susan Hart, who have successfully captained this ship through uncharted waters. We are a stronger and wiser crew because of their ability to listen, lead, and innovate. Honestly, it’s like having team Mandalorian at the helm :).

Our residents have excelled during this period and I’m proud of you all for continuing to work through this experience. Thank you to our Resident Leads, Drs. Monika Wojtera and Andrea Wong, and R1 Reps Drs. Casey Hicks and Clare Chiu. I promise you that we’ll find ways to bridge the disconnect and bring our team closer in 2021. On that note! Congratulations to Drs. Sandhu and Zhao for slam-dunking my medical trivia questions. Both responded back with the correct answers in under 5 minutes. I’m impressed and inspired to design something even more difficult. Just wait :).

Wrapping up 2020, here are a few things that caught my eye this week:

Finding connectedness via BCMJ.
Indigenous perspectives on wellness via BMC.
Girls leading the way via UNWomen.
Banning conversion therapy via CBCKidsNews.
We need more peace, love, and Cookie Monster via CBC.
Need a creative, musical distraction? Here’s my latest piece via Blob Opera.

Wishing you and your families a safe, festive, and physically-distanced holiday.
Know before you go via Accuweather & #WearAMask
Catch you in 2021.

Onward & Upward,

Firearm-Related Pediatric Deaths

“The American Public Health Association recognizes police violence as a public health crisis. This crisis has received national attention in light of recent events, and concerns of systemic racism among law enforcement have been reignited.

Firearms are the second leading cause of pediatric death in the United States, with noted racial and ethnic disparities. We sought to measure racial and ethnic differences in adolescent mortality rates related to firearm injury from law enforcement over a 16-year period.”