#InteriorHealth; #CentralOkanagan; #BC; #COVID19Outbreak
Interior Health (B.C.)/Canadian-Media: A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared by British Columbia (B.C.) in the Central Okanagan region, which accounts for more than half of B.C.'s daily and active COVID-19 cases.
Image: Dr. Bonnie Henry. Image credit: Official site
"We are concerned in public health about the rapid increase in the Central Okanagan region, particularly around the Kelowna area," Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Wednesday.
Due to this rapid rise in Covid-19 cases in the Central Okanagan region, B.C. health authorities are issuing a new health order to local mask mandate, as well as other public health measures
As of midnight masks will be mandatory in indoor public spaces for anyone over the age of 12.
In cases when people indoor cannot physically distance themselves, they are encouraged to be outdoors.
Travel to and from the region, including Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland, and Lake Country, is also being strongly discouraged for not fully immunized individuals.
#BC; #EmergencyManagementBC; #PrivateHomeInsurance
Vancouver/Canadian-Media: British Columbians in wildfire-affected communities are being asked by Emergency Management BC to plan their accommodations, in the event of an evacuation order, in advance to facilitate capacity for evacuees who need hotel rooms said a news release today.
Image: Wild fire. Image credit: Unsplash
f possible, the best option would be to arrange to stay with family or friends, so commercial accommodations have capacity for evacuees who have no other option.
Your private home insurance should be accessed whenever possible to cover additional costs incurred while on mandatory evacuation. Make sure to confirm your coverage with your insurance provider, and notify your insurance provider of the evacuation order. If other supports are unavailable, check with Emergency Support Services (ESS).
Those under an evacuation order, can either self-register with ESS online: https://ess.gov.bc.ca or go the reception center designated by your local government or First Nation to register in-person. By registering, your community will know where you are, and loved ones can find out if you are safe.
In many communities, accommodations are reaching capacity. By returning home, people can help host-community ESS create capacity for people who have been evacuated from their homes due to a direct wildfire threat.
Those not on evacuation order and worried about smoke issues in your area, should stay indoors and keep the air clean, reduce the amount of time spent outdoors, avoid vigorous outdoor activities, when in a vehicle, keep windows closed with air conditioning set to recirculate, visit places with controlled air supply, such as shopping malls, swimming pools, public libraries, etc. and people with asthma or other chronic illnesses should ensure they have an adequate supply of inhalers/medication, and should activate their asthma or personal protection plans.
#Ontario; #Covid9Pandemic; #AstraZeneccaVaccine, #NACI
Toronto/Canadian-Media: In keeping with updated recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and in consultation with Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, and other health experts Ontario is providing updated guidance for second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Image: Covid19Vaccine. Image credit: Pixaby
Ontarians who received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and who have not yet received their second dose from the Ontario government to allow for the mixing of COVID-19 vaccines if desired.
“Nothing is more important than the health of Ontarians, and for the best protection against COVID-19 it is vital that everyone who received the AstraZeneca vaccine for their first dose receives the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.” “We are providing individuals who have received only their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine with two recommended options based on the available data and evidence and will continue to work with Health Canada to monitor the quality and efficacy of all COVID-19 vaccines being used in Ontario,” said Dr. Williams in a news release on June 3.
Beginning June 4, 2021, Ontarians who have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have a choice to get a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, or an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine provided at the recommended 12-week interval.
#HealthCanada; #NACI; #MixingAndMatchingVaccines
Ottawa/IBNS: Canada is changing its guidelines and will advise Canadians to combine either the AstraZeneca-Oxford, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Moderna shots interchangeably in certain situations.
Image: Covid-19 vaccination. Image credit: Pixaby
The efficacy and safety of mixing and matching AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines in preventing COVID-19 are based on emerging research from Spain and the United Kingdom.
National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI)'s current guidelines states that a vaccination series that begins with AstraZeneca should follow up with the same shot and only recommends mRNA vaccines to be used interchangeably if the same first dose is unavailable.
Based on these findings, NACI would provide the updated guidelines to provinces and territories in the coming days.
These recommendations will impact Canada's vaccine rollout due to issues with the supply of AstraZeneca and a rare but serious type of blood clot that can result after the shot called vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).
NACI will recommend Canadians who have had the first dose of Moderna or Pfizer, to take either of the two shots as a second dose.
#OntarioHealth; #Covid19Variants; #OntarioLockDown
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: The significant risks being posed by the new, more contagious variants has caused the Ontario government in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health Ontario, to extend the Stay-at-Home Order (O. Reg. 265/21), set to expire on May 19 until at least June 2, 2021.
Ontario LockDown. Image credit: Pixaby
The case counts rates also continued to be very high at 134.9 cases per 100,000.
“While we are seeing positive trends as a result of the public health measures put in place, we cannot afford to let up yet,” said Ontario Premier Ford on May 13 a news release and added, “We must stay vigilant to ensure our ICU numbers stay down and our hospital capacity is protected. If we stay the course for the next two weeks and continue vaccinating a record number of Ontarians every day, we can begin looking forward to July and August and having the summer that everyone deserves.”
All publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools in the province will also continue to follow teacher-led remote learning.
“Despite the progress...we are not yet at the point where we can safely exit the Stay-at-Home Order, as our health system remains under significant strain,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health in the news release.
#HealthCanada; #Covid19VaccinesMixing; #UnitedKingdomTrial; #Ontario
Ottawa/IBNS: A United Kingdom (U.K.) study's early results, which is being watched closely by health officials in Canada and beyond has indicated that mixing different types of COVID-19 vaccines for two doses can increase the chance of someone having mild or moderate reactions like fatigue, headache or a fever.
Image covid19 vaccine. Image credit: Pixaby
The findings from the Oxford Vaccine Group's Com-Cov vaccine trial, which is studying the use of different combinations of approved COVID-19 vaccines for first and second doses. were published Wednesday in a peer-reviewed medical journal as correspondence, not as a full study.
It also said it was "reassuring" the vaccine-induced symptoms were short-lived and that the limited data sparked no concerns.
More findings are awaited in the participant-blinded, randomized trial that has been taking place at a network of trial sites across the U.K.
This first round only shows the impact on post-vaccination reactions — not the overall safety or effectiveness of each mix-and-match approach.
Further studies, including those incorporating vaccines manufactured by Moderna and Novavax, are ongoing, the Lancet correspondence noted.
Ontario health officials also hope to explore the possibility of mixing two different COVID-19 vaccines.
Ontario's Health Minister Christine Elliott said Wednesday that the province is awaiting guidance from health regulators before taking any further decision after the use of AstraZeneca-Oxford supplies as a first dose was recently paused over blood clot concerns.
Currently the same two-dose schedule, with a first dose followed by a booster dose later, has been followed with all of the shots being used in Canada and the U.K., with the exception of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot, which has has not yet been administered in Canada, even though it has been approved for use in Canada.
Canadian officials considering alternating COVID-19 vaccines due to rare side effects AstraZeneca vaccine
#HealthCanada; #AstraZenecaVaccine; #RareSideEffects; #AlternatingDoses
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: Rare side effects of AstraZeneca vaccines have caused Canadian health officials to study mixing various COVID-19 shots.
Image: AstraZeneca Vaccine. Image credit: Wikimedia commons
Some provinces are already considering pausing AstraZeneca vaccinations altogether.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief provincial public health officer, said in a news conference Sunday that a temporary suspension "has been discussed at many levels, and certainly discussed at our provincial program right now."
While Health Canada regulators repeatedly had claimed the safety and efficacy of the AstraZeneca product has been deemed safe and effective, some people who already have received that vaccine are now looking at their options.
The United Kingdom (U.K) is already studying the mix and match vaccine regimen.
According to the belief of some scientists, administering two doses of different products could boost a person's immune response beyond what can be achieved by giving the same shot twice.
#HeathCanada; #PfizerVaccine; #Covid19Pandemic
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: Health Canada approved Wednesday the Pfizer vaccine for use in adolescents in ages 12 to 15 down from 16 and above after Canadian Health regulators reviewed clinical trial data on Pfizer vaccines submitted by the New York-based company last month.
Canada vaccination. Image credit: Pixaby
Enrolment of 2,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 to 15 by Pfizer in its U.S.-based trial, for Pfizer vaccines, when half the group received a placebo and the other cohort the same vaccine that is used in adults.
None of the adolescent recipients in the clinical trial of the Pfizer vaccine developed symptomatic infections indicating significant protection. In the group that did not receive the vaccine, there were 18 cases of COVID-19.
Calling this authorization a significant milestone in Canada's fight against the pandemic, Dr. Supriya Sharma, the chief medical adviser at Health Canada said that the vaccinated adolescents also produced strong antibody responses and experienced roughly the same temporary side effects seen in people ages 16 to 25 such a sore arm, chills or fever
She also said that move would facilitate young people to safely return to school and extracurricular activities.
Pfizer is the first product to be approved in Canada for use in this younger age category, the other three AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna can only be used in people over the age of 18, for now.
#NationalPhysiciansDay; #Covid19Pandemic; #CanadianMedical Association
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: A statement was issued today by Canada's Health Minister Patty Hajdu on "Today is National Physicians' Day — a day to recognize the tireless work of physicians to care for their patients and build a stronger healthcare system. Although these times are anything but normal, physicians have shown incredible selflessness, courage and strength, despite unimaginable challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Physicians’ Day 2021. Image credit: oma.org
Canada’s National Physicians’ Day is the Canadian Medical Association’s recognition of Dr. Emily Stowe, the first female physician to practice in Canada. Dr. Stowe’s career is an example of all the roles that physicians play in our society—healers, educators, leaders, and activists for change. This year, perhaps more than ever, we have seen the dedication of physicians and health professionals as they fight to keep Canadians safe from COVID-19.
In long-term care homes, intensive care units, vaccination clinics, and family health centres, through in-person or virtual visits, from one-on-one discussions to large press conferences, physicians in Canada are guiding our public health response, caring for the ill, and advocating for the system as a whole.
Today, we celebrate the inspiration and hope physicians provide to us, while acknowledging the burdens that they, and all health care workers, have had to carry this past year. On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, I extend the most sincere appreciation for the care you provide, today and every day."
#HealthCanada; #JohnsonandJohnsonCOVID19vaccine; #QaulityControl
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: Distribution of the the first shipment of 300,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine received by Canada on Wednesday is being held off by Health Canada after it learned that these doses were processed in the same U.S. plant that's been entangled in quality-control problems.
Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine. Image credit: Facebook Page
The federal department said in a statement Friday evening that distribution of these shots will only be released once Health Canada ensures they've met its "high standards for quality, safety and efficacy,"
The move followed a brief U.S. pause to investigate reports of clots in 15 of the roughly 6.8 million Americans who got the shot, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It was also announced by Emergent earlier last month that 15 million doses of the latter had been ruined by cross-contamination that prompted the White House to put Johnson & Johnson in charge of the facility.
This announcement also marks the latest hurdle for the single-dose vaccine, which has been long-awaited in hard-hit regions.