Unvaccinated drivers pose a safety risk, finds researcher given $50k to encourage vaccination

Mike Campbell

December 14, 2022

A researcher awarded $50,000 to encourage Covid-19 vaccine uptake in Canada published a paper claiming that unvaccinated drivers pose a safety risk.

Unvaccinated drivers pose a safety risk, finds researcher given $50k to encourage vaccination
Unvaccinated drivers pose a safety risk, finds researcher given $50k to encourage vaccination.

Donald Redelmeier, a University of Toronto professor and director of Clinical Epidemiology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, was given a $50,000 grant in July 2021 to encourage vaccine confidence in Canada. 

The grant was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), which the Canadian federal government funds.

Redelmeier hypothesized that unvaccinated drivers might ignore traffic safety rules, given they ignored Health Canada’s intense vaccine campaigns. 

He accessed medical records of people in Ontario hospitalized from car accidents during August 2021, before vaccine passports were introduced in the province. 

Of the 6,682 individuals who required emergency care following a car crash, 1,682 were unvaccinated, which accounted for 25% of the accidents. 

Redelmeier said that during that same period, just 16% of Ontarians 18 years or older were unvaccinated, which is “equal to a 72% increased relative risk compared with those vaccinated.” 

“A relative risk of this magnitude, furthermore, exceeds the safety gains from modern automobile engineering advances and also imposes risks on other road users,” he said.

Redelmeier also said that “the observed risks might also justify changes to driver insurance policies in the future.” He added, “we hope that this knowledge might convince them to get vaccinated.”

Redelmeier further issued a warning to emergency care providers who are first to arrive at car crash scenes. 

“Prehospital care providers need to also be aware that unvaccinated adults are overrepresented in the aftermath of a traffic crash, thereby justifying maintaining adherence to COVID precautions at the frenzied crash scene.” 

In February 2021, the Canadian federal government announced $30.25 million to “support the efforts of community members and leaders to increase vaccine confidence.”

Subsequently, on March 3, 2021, the federally funded NSERC announced a $2.25 million funding opportunity for researchers “to support activities that promote vaccine confidence in Canada.”

“You can use the grant to cover operational costs, such as staff and personnel salaries, materials, supplies or translation, as long as they are essential to the delivery of activities supported by the grant,” the conditions stated

About two months later, Redelmeier received a grant from NSERC, titled “Encouraging Vaccine Confidence in Canada.” Redelmeier was awarded the maximum allotment of $50,000.

Although the government of Canada funds NSERC, the grant was titled “international (non-governmental).” 

Redelmeier acknowledges in the study that correlation does not imply causation. Instead, he speculates what factors might contribute to the correlation, including anti-government sentiments and unvaccinated individuals having a “freedom” and rule-breaking mentality. 

Redelmeier did not respond to a request from The Counter Signal.

In September, hundreds of doctors declared a medical crisis due to the damage caused by the COVID vaccines.

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