#Ontario; #RapieSurgeInCovid19Cases; #OntarioNotToReseveDoses
Ontario/IBNS: A single-day surge of high of 2,553 new cases of COVID-19 was reported by Ontario today, with 895 in Toronto, 496 in Peel Region, 147 in Windsor-Essex, 144 in Hamilton, and 142 in York Region bringing the province's seven-day average to 2,236.
Ontario. Image credit: Pixaby
Ontario public health officials were under severe criticism for scaling down the province's vaccination program over the holidays.
The Hospital staff also was overwhelmed by a record-high of 304 people in intensive care units, and warned that it was reaching its maximum capacity, which would overburden the health care system .
Ontario announced on Monday of its decision not to reserve doses for the second doses and instead vaccinate as many people as possible.
"We're going to keep our eye to make sure that the second dose for those individuals is on our … horizon," Retired gen. Rick Hillier, the head of Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine task force said.
Hillier said on Monday that "we're exactly where we planned to be."
Defending the government's decision to scale back vaccinations during the holiday, Hillier said it was based on advice that front-line workers needed a break.
"They've been working under terrible stress, terrible hours, under terrible conditions oftentimes for 10 months. And they had a little time planned with their supervisors for their time off at Christmas," he said.
#Coronanavirus; #NewVariantOfCoronavirus; #U.K.; #Canada
Canada/Canadian-Media: A new strain of the COVID-19 coronavirus that was first discovered earlier this month in Britain has been detected in British Columbia and Ontario, provincial health officials said Sunday.
Canada. Image credit: Internet wallpaper
Modeling and epidemiological studies by Canada's provincial health officials suggest that this new variant of the virus can spread more easily and faster than the original version of the coronavirus.
A total of four new cases of this new virus have been detected in Canada.
"This further reinforces the need for Ontarians to stay home as much as possible and continue to follow all public health advice, including the provincewide shutdown measures beginning today," Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health, said in a statement.
Some other countries including Denmark, Belgium, France, Australia, and the Netherlands have also reported the detection of this virus.
"All British Columbians have to remember [is] the virus spreads quickly but shows up slowly. By staying local, avoiding all non-essential travel, and using our layers of protection, we can reduce the potential for a surge in new cases and keep our communities and loved ones safe." B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement on Sunday.
#HealthCanada; #Moderna; #Covid19Vaccine; #NACI
Canada/Canadian-Media: The second COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by Moderna gets authorized by Health Canada today for use for people 18 years of age or older, marking a critical step in ensuring the availability of additional COVID-19 vaccines to all Canadians in all parts of the country.
Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. Image credit: Facebook page
The different storage and handling requirements of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine said Health Canada facilitates its distribution to isolated and remote communities, including the territories.
Moderna vaccine's compliance with the Health Department’s stringent safety, efficacy, and quality requirements was determined by Health Canada's thorough, independent review of Moderna’s submission on October 12, 2020.
The terms and conditions of the Moderna vaccine authorization require that vaccine manufacturer would keep Health Canada informed on safety, efficacy, and quality to ensure the benefits of the vaccine continue to be demonstrated through market use.
Health Canada is committed to openness and transparency to support vaccine's authorization, and said it is publishing a number of documents and added that more detailed information including a scientific summary and the full clinical trial data package will be made available in the coming weeks.
Once the vaccine starts to roll out on the market, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada will closely monitor the safety of the vaccine.
The safe use of the Moderna vaccine would be further supported by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), which will update its recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines to inform federal, provincial, and territorial immunization programs.
#HealthCanada; #FDA; #PfizerBioNTechCOVID19vaccine; #PfizerVaccineAllergicReactions
Canada/Canadian-Media: Health Canada and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are closely monitoring for any adverse allergic reactions of COVID-19 vaccines after a health worker in Alaska (US), devoid of any history of allergies, had a severe anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine, and after Britain reported two similar cases last week, media reports said.
Image: Covid19 vaccination. Image credit: Unsplash
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised vaccine recipients to stay at the center of vaccination for 15-30 minutes, so they can be treated immediately if they have a reaction.
"Balancing any potential risks with the benefits the vaccine provides in the pandemic is an ongoing process," CDC's Dr. Jay Butler cautioned Wednesday, CBC News reported.
FDA's extensive study of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna vaccine did not uncover any major safety risks , said FDA and added no serious side effects were found in the tens of thousands enrolled in studies of the vaccine.
"Health Canada has reviewed the available evidence and has concluded that the current Product Monograph and available public health guidance are appropriate, and is not recommending any changes to the product's use at this time...If any new safety issues are confirmed, Health Canada will take appropriate action, which could include communicating any new risks to Canadians and health-care providers or changing the recommended use of the product," the department said in an advisory to the general public and health professionals.
The most common side effects reported are sore arm, a fever, some flu-like symptoms, fatigue, aches, chills, headache which last about a day, and more common after the second dose and in younger people, said the health authorities.
Earlier this week Health Canada had advised that people with allergies to any of the ingredients in the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID 19 vaccine should speak with their health professional about any serious allergies or other health conditions they may have before they receive this vaccine.
Canadians who experience a potential side effect following immunization are asked to report it to their health-care professional who can also help manage any side effects.
Health-care professionals are required by Health Canada to complete the Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) form, about the potential side effects experienced by those following immunization, appropriate for their province or territory and send it to their local health unit.
Health Canada participates with international regulators to share information about coronavirus vaccines as they are rolled out around the world.
#Alberta; #COVID19Teams; #Edmonton; #Calgary; # PfizerBioNTechCOVID19Vaccine
Alberta/Canadian-Media: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said during a news conference Dec 15 that its government is planning to send COVID-19 Care teams into the 11 hardest-hit neighborhoods in Edmonton and Calgary to offer masks, hand sanitizer, and to provide free hotel rooms to allow people in those areas for self-isolation, if needed.
Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine. Image credit: Unsplash
Kenney said that public health data has revealed that said some areas of the province such as northeast Calgary, and nine areas in Edmonton — Northeast Edmonton, Northgate, Castle Downs, Woodcroft West, Jasper Place, Woodcroft East, Eastwood, Abbotsfield and Mill Woods West are hard hit with high rates of transmission and added,
"Albertans in these particular communities are at high risk of COVID-19... residents of these communities often have public facing jobs which may make them more susceptible to community transmission," said Kenney.
Apart from providing materials, these Covid-19 Care teams would give clarification about public health orders in the languages people speak in those areas, and deliver care packages with masks, hand sanitizer and relevant information, and social supports, said Kenney.
"These heaviest-hit neighborhoods tend to be lower incomes areas...Many of these families also have English language barriers." said Kenney and added that as part of this community campaign people will be eligible for a temporary emergency payments of $625 once they have completed their self-isolation at one of the designated hotels.
The Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccination program began on Dec 15 on Dec 15 and Kenney said that it has to run impartially and objectively, based on decisions made by experts, the premier said, and added,
"No minister, no MLA, nobody involved in the political side of government should be picking up any phone to say that so-and-so should be jumping this queue."
#Ontario, #PfizerBioNTech COVID19Vaccine; #TorontoToReceiveFirstDoseToday
Ontario/Canadian-Media: Toronto will receive today the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, retired general Rick Hillier, the head of the province's vaccine distribution task force said, after as public health officials reported 1940 more cases of the COVID-19 infections in Ontario today as against 1,677 new cases on Dec 13.
Image credit: Unsplash
The new cases include 544 in Toronto, 390 in Peel Region, 191 in York Region, 134 in Hamilton, and 114 in Windsor-Essex.
The initial shots will be administered at a hospital site in Toronto's University Health Network (UHN).
The arrival of several thousand doses Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario late Sunday night marked a major milestone in the massive immunization campaign.
"This is 'V-Day'," retired general Rick Hillier said in an interview with CBC News Network this morning, CBC News reported.
"The number of vaccinations that take place today will probably be pretty small but I think there's a little trickle down the spine of every single person in the province and in the public service and in the health sector who have been working for months, who have been fighting COVID-19," he continued.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford was at the Hamilton International Airport to greet the plane after it landed.
Health-care workers, long-term care residents, and their caregivers will be among the first to receive the vaccine, said Ford, and added adults in Indigenous communities, residents of retirement homes, and recipients of chronic home health-care will also be priority groups.
#Ontario; #PfizerCovid19Vaccine; #UniversityHealthNetwork, #OttawaHospital
Ontario/Canadian-Media: Ontario would reportedly receive 6,000 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday and start administering the first shots to health-care workers from long-term care homes and other high-risk settings on Tuesday at the University Health Network in Toronto and the Ottawa Hospital said retired Gen. Rick Hillier, who is leading Ontario's vaccine task force.
Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine. Image credit: ContactPharma.com
"We are going to come after people who are in most vulnerable circumstances and our health care workers first and get them vaccinated because the tragedy has been visited upon them most," he said.
90,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are anticipated by the the province by the end of December, which will be distributed to 13 hospitals across Ontario, said Hillier and added that Ontario may also receive between 30,000 and 85,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the new year, subject to Health Canada's approval in the coming weeks.
Premier Doug Ford said Dec 10 in a news release that more details would be provided Dec 11
Toronto has been hard hit during the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ottawa was selected in part to "test and validate provincial distribution networks, as well as in recognition of the challenges the region has faced with certain long-term care home outbreaks," the premier said.
Ontario reported single-day highs of 1,983 new COVID-19 cases and nearly 62,000 tests earlier Thursday.
#Canada; #LongTermCareHomes; #SeniorResidences; #Revera
Ontario/Canadian-Media: Adoption of widespread surveillance testing as part of an internal review set to be released on Monday is being advised by one of the largest operators of Canadian seniors' residences and long-term care homes, Revera chaired by Dr. Bob Bell, former deputy health minister in Ontario and a former hospital CEO, media reports said.
Revera. Image credit: Website
"The most important factor depends on how much virus is in the community," he said during an interview that aired on Rosemary Barton Live on Sunday and added, "These folks unknowingly, in the best interest of their patients, come to work, and if they are not tested, [the risk] of them unknowingly bringing disease into the home during a time when they're infected but asymptomatic is high."
Eversince Ontario has adopted surveillance testing, said Bell, the protection of long-term care residents have been more more efficient.
Although Canada has not adopted surveillance testing elsewhere in Canada, where thousands of COVID-19 deaths have been reported at care homes, Revera, which operates more than 70 long-term care homes in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, and nearly 100 retirement residences in the same provinces, as well as in Saskatchewan. itself is contracting with private testing companies to actually do tests for their staff, said Bell.
"If the risk is as high as it currently is, for example, in Alberta or in communities like Toronto or Peel, to be testing every day," he said.
"Because staff don't want to be carrying disease in. They are unknowing that they're infected. They should be given an easy way to test themselves."
#Canada; #Covid19DistributioinPriorities, #NACI; #LTCHomesResidentsAndStaff;
Canada/Canadian-Media: As federal officials are planning for distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) in its final directive released Dec 4 said that first batch of roughly six million doses, when available should be given to residents of long-term care (LTC) homes, and assisted living facilities, retirement homes and chronic care hospitals along with staff who work in the facilities.
Covid19 Vaccine. Image credit: Unsplash
The first batch of Pfizer's vaccine, expected to be the first product approved for use in Canada, requires two doses and will be enough for roughly three million Canadians.
In the months to follow, Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada's deputy chief public health officer said, Canada is expecting more product to arrive from the other drug companies that have developed promising vaccines such as Massachusetts-based Moderna and Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical division, Janssen.
Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who is leading vaccination logistics at a new national operations centre in the Public Health Agency of Canada, laid out the rollout plan at a press conference Thursday.
Vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, which are expected to be the first approved for use in the country, need to be kept at approximately -80 C and -20 C, respectively, to remain stable.
Eventually, there will be 205 "points of issue" locations across the country where health-care professionals can administer the vaccine, Fortin said and provinces and territories would specify where and when individual Canadians will be inoculated.
At a COVID-19 briefing on Friday, the head of the World Health Organization said recent progress on vaccines is positive but the agency is concerned this has led to a growing perception that the pandemic is over.
"The truth is that at present, many places are witnessing very high transmission of the COVID-19 virus, which is putting enormous pressure on hospitals, intensive-care units and health workers," said Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.