The Saskatchewan Health Authority tweeted yesterday that one's risk from COVID-19 is not determined by "age, fitness level, or community."
Rather, they say that risk from COVID is determined by vaccine status. The health authority justifies the claim by stating that 78 percent of all new cases and hospitalizations in the province in the month of September were "unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people."
The claim, however, was debunked and called "disingenuous" by infectious disease expert Sumon Chakrabarti, who pointed out the tweet's half-truths: "To be clear: Yes! Get vaccinated if you're eligible. But to ignore something like age (which is the biggest risk factor for severe disease) is not being helpful."
Chakrabarti, a physician at the Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, said that while positive messaging around the vaccine was "helpful," that honesty and transparency were more important.
"It was poorly worded," said Chakrabarti, who said that while the tweet was meant to encourage vaccination, that it was not "entirely truthful."
"[I] definitely don't think they mean to purposely mislead," he said in a tweet reply.
According to 2020 COVID mortality figures from Statistics Canada, more than 80 percent of COVID related deaths were in longterm care homes, and 90 percent of deaths from March to July were from those with pre-existing conditions, especially dementia.