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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Ontario Tech University researcher sets the record straight on vaccine facts and myths

Questions and answers with Faculty of Health Sciences expert Dr. Wally Bartfay


From a global health and wellness standpoint, it’s unlikely that history will look back fondly on the early years of the 2020s. The arrival of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has disrupted almost every aspect of our daily lives.

Navigating the health emergency over the past 18 months has not been easy. As of early September 2021, there have been more than 219 million identified cases of COVID-19 and more than 4.55 million deaths. In North America, there have been three distinct COVID-19 ‘waves’, and most experts concur a fourth wave is gathering steam.

One major societal difference in 2021 vs 2020: many people, including a majority of Canadians, have heeded the advice of health experts and are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. While vaccines do not fully guarantee one won’t still become ill to a certain degree, they dramatically reduce the risk of infection and limit the chance for further virus spread. Vaccines lessen the impact on our overall health-care system. History and medicine have proven this with a host of other diseases.

Despite the availability of vaccines and their proven capacity to curb COVID-19, there are pockets of society, in Canada and elsewhere, still pushing back against the notion of vaccination.

While a small percentage of immunocompromised patients may not be eligible for the shots, vaccine hesitancy or refusal threatens to limit the overall effectiveness of vaccination programs. Competing opinions over the merits, and even safety of, vaccines continue to swirl in social media channels.

Dr. Wally Bartfay of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ontario Tech University looks to break down the facts in a myth-busting discussion (data current as of August 28, 2021).

Questions and answers