Connect with us

Health

45 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Island Health – CHEK

Published

 on


British Columbia health officials have reported 485 new cases – including 45 in Island Health – and four deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

The number of confirmed cases in B.C. climbs to 65,719 while the province’s death toll now stands at 1,172.

Of the new cases, 115 were recorded in Vancouver Coastal Health, 210 were in Fraser Health, 45 in Island Health, 83 in Interior Health, and 32 in Northern Health.

There are currently 4,299 active cases in the province, 303 people in hospital — 74 of whom are in intensive care — and 6,520 people under active public health monitoring due to possible exposure to an identified case.

A total of 58,778 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 and 124,365 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across, 4,160 of which are second doses.

Today’s data was released by health officials in a statement to the media.

More to come

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

So you got your COVID-19 shot. Does that mean life goes back to normal? – CBC.ca

Published

 on


After Toronto family physician Dr. Tali Bogler received her final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in January, she felt a newfound sense of relief — but also knew her daily life wasn’t going to suddenly change.

On an afternoon in late February, while still dressed in her bright blue hospital scrubs after a shift, she was cuddling one of her twin daughters while catching up with her parents on a video chat.

It’s the same kind of virtual family time Bogler has experienced throughout the pandemic. Being vaccinated doesn’t mean she’ll start seeing them in person without precautions any time soon, she said, since her parents won’t get their shots for months.

“It’s really hard,” she said, though acknowledging there’s also a sense of excitement for what’s to come. “This period of time, from now until September, I guess, when everyone else is vaccinated, is a transition period.”

More and more Canadians will be grappling with that sense of limbo in the weeks and months ahead after getting vaccinated and protected against COVID-19 while millions of others are still waiting for their turn.

“What does that normalcy look like?” asked Dr. Donald Vinh, an infectious disease specialist and medical microbiologist at the McGill University Health Centre.

“That’s a question that we are collectively struggling with.”

Dr. Tali Bogler, pictured with her daughter in their backyard in Toronto, video calls her parents who haven’t yet received the COVID-19 vaccine. (Sam Nar/CBC)

Experts who spoke with CBC News stressed that people still need to err on the side of caution and keep their guard up awhile longer, whether vaccinated or not, to protect those around them. 

But after a year of lockdowns and restrictions, there’s also bound to be plenty of friends and families hoping to spend time together once more Canadians start getting their shots — a reality that requires taking stock of everyone’s comfort level when it comes to risk.

“I do think we’re entering into a phase where people are more and more tired of having to deal with public health restrictions, and so we’re probably more likely to encounter that,” said infectious disease specialist Dr. Susy Hota, an associate professor at the University of Toronto.

“I think the important message to give people is that in the short term, nothing changes. So they have to live their lives the same way as they were before they were vaccinated, because it will take some time to get enough people vaccinated.”

Risk ‘quite low’ among vaccinated people

Of course, as time passes, more vaccinated people will know more vaccinated people, be it friends, family members or co-workers.

So, at what point can those groups of COVID-protected people start spending time together without the usual pandemic safety concerns?

“If your parents are older, and they’ve gotten vaccinated — and you’re vaccinated — the risk is quite low, especially if you are continuing publicly to maintain all the other public health measures,” Hota said.

But those situations won’t be common for a while, forcing friends and families to navigate a stark, two-tier world of protection levels. 

That means even while vaccinations scale up, public health measures such as mask-wearing and distancing from others are expected to stay in place.

“We often talk about herd immunity,” said Dr. Vinita Dubey, Toronto’s associate medical officer of health. “And that’s often what we really need to have before we can be confident that having so many people vaccinated is acting like that wall to keep COVID from coming back into our community.”

‘Nothing changes’ in the short-term until more people are vaccinated, says Dr. Susy Hota, medical director of infection prevention and control for the University Health Network in Toronto. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

While the vaccines in use so far are proving highly effective at stopping serious illness and death, they aren’t 100 per cent protective and don’t offer instant immunity. Researchers also still aren’t sure how much they might curb transmission of the virus.

“If it interrupts infection, then it’s kind of stopping that chain of transmission from happening, just by virtue of having fewer people who are going to get infected,” Hota said. “But there may still be some asymptomatic infections and some ability to shed virus.”

In Israel, where mass vaccinations are already taking place, the country’s largest health-care system has so far reported a 94 per cent drop in symptomatic COVID-19 infections — and early study findings suggest at least one vaccine may curb transmission, too.

Those results bode well, but it’s still going to take time to confirm them more broadly, Vinh said.

In the meantime, plenty of people waiting to get vaccinated will remain highly vulnerable to the impacts of a COVID-19 infection, be it lingering, long-lasting symptoms or a gruelling recovery following an ICU stay.

“People who have had cancer, people who had transplants, people who have genetic conditions,” he said.

Find ways to lower risk

At first blush, it’s probably not the news most people want to hear. Finally, at long last, vaccine shipments are ramping up and more residents will be rolling up their sleeves in the months ahead, yet nothing changes?

Hota said while it might feel that way at first, there’s likely going to be a slow and steady reduction in restrictions as vaccination campaigns roll out from high-risk age groups to younger populations.

“If you rush it,” she said, “you can jeopardize the whole approach.”

Dr. Dominik Mertz, an infectious disease specialist and associate professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, said it will become even more crucial in the months ahead to assess your comfort level around risk, and the comfort level of those with whom you’re considering spending time.

“Policy decisions aside, it’ll be a discussion,” he said. 

“Some families may decide, OK, my grandparents or parents are vaccinated — they’re high risk, but highly protected — and we as a family decide it’s OK meeting in their house.”

Care home workers get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto in late December. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

But you can also make those efforts to start seeing each other without fully scrapping precautions, he said. Instead of meeting indoors post-vaccination, you could spend time outside where the transmission risk is lower.

“Maybe don’t take the full risk,” Mertz said. “Find something in between, where your personal needs are met but you don’t take the highest possible risk.”

And, he said, it’s important to pay attention to what’s happening in your broader community, not just your own social circle. 

High levels of community transmission would mean the chance of people you know being infected goes up as well. It’s a trend public health officials are watching closely given the cases of highly contagious variants already circulating, which could lead to another surge in cases.

WATCH | Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may curb transmission, early research suggests:

New research conducted in Israel shows that if a person is infected with COVID-19 after receiving a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine there’s less coronavirus in the system, and that could mean the vaccine may help prevention transmission. 1:55

‘Normalcy is on the horizon’

With so much to consider, Canadians could face some frustration and ethical dilemmas over the next year.

Toronto resident Mary Ellen Abrams, who is currently living in a retirement community in Palm Springs, Calif., said she was surprised to get access to a local vaccination program during her stay in the U.S. — but then found herself stumped on what to do next.

“We’re all kind of saying, by mid-March, two weeks after the second dose, we should all be able to hang around each other, to go for dinner together,” said the 65-year-old. “They’ve opened up indoor dining here in California and we thought, ‘Gosh, can we do that?'”

She also wondered whether it would be safe to see her grandchildren in Toronto after she gets back and completes the mandatory hotel quarantine, since she hasn’t spent time with them in-person since last March, beyond saying hello on a front porch or during drive-by greetings.

Mask-wearing, physical distancing and other public health precautions will likely stay in place for some time as vaccinations ramp up, experts say. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

But finding answers to her questions hasn’t been easy, Abrams said, with little information available on any government websites about what you can or can’t do in your daily life post-vaccination.

“Everyone will want to be vaccinated if they know they can get their life back to somewhat normal,” she said.

Vinh said that scenario requires a little more patience to avoid giving the virus more chances to spread during what has the potential to mark a turning point in the pandemic.

“We don’t want to say, ‘Well, we have a vaccine coming and they say it is almost 100 per cent effective, and once I get my first shot I can go out and do my thing, my regular thing,'” he said. “Not yet, not yet.”

The payoff of getting your shot, for now, remains the personal protection it provides, not a sudden end to the pandemic for everyone in your life — even though that’s the ultimate hope for mass vaccination efforts.

Bogler, the Toronto physician and mother to twins, can certainly relate to that feeling.

Memories of her COVID-19 exposures at work are still fresh, including a stretch where she had to isolate from her daughters and partner for two weeks last year. But those close calls likely won’t be the norm for her anymore, taking a weight off her shoulders even as she continues masking, distancing, and staying apart from her parents awhile longer.

“Normalcy is on the horizon,” she said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

Who have provinces have pegged to receive COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks? – Kamloops This Week

Published

 on


As COVID-19 vaccine supplies gradually ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here’s a list of their plans to date:

Newfoundland and Labrador

article continues below

The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of “advanced age” and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority.

Other priority groups will be offered the vaccine once logistics allow.

Nova Scotia

The provincial website says the first phase of vaccines will be given to residents of long-term care homes, those who work directly with patients, those who are 80 and older, and those who are at risk for other reasons including First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities.

The next phase will include anyone who works in a hospital and may come into contact with a patient, community health-care providers such as dental and pharmacy workers, correctional facilities, shelters, temporary foreign worker quarters and those working in food security industries.

The third phase will include all Nova Scotians going down in five-year increments.

Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021.

Prince Edward Island

The province says the first phase of its vaccination drive, currently slated to last until March, targets residents and staff of long-term and community care, as well as health-care workers with direct patient contact at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure.

Those 80 and older, adults in Indigenous communities, and truck drivers and other rotational workers are also included.

The next phase, which is scheduled to begin in April, will target those above 70 and essential workers.

The province intends to make the vaccine available to everyone in late summer and fall.

New Brunswick

The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March.

The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees.

The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots.

Quebec

The province’s proposed order of priority for vaccination according to its website is those in residential and long-term care centres, workers in the health and social services network, followed by those in isolated and remote communities, people 80 years or older, and then the general population in 10-year increments.

It says the vaccination of children and pregnant women will be determined based on future studies of vaccine safety and efficacy in those populations.

Ontario

The province has mapped out a three-phase approach to its rollout. Phase 1, which is still ongoing, reserves shots for those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers, and people who live in congregate care settings.

All Indigenous adults, people aged 80 and older and adults receiving chronic home care will be next in line. The province says it will begin vaccinations among the 80 and older age cohort starting the third week of March.

Vaccinations will begin for people 75 and older starting April 15. The province will then move to offer shots to those 70 and older starting May 1; 65 and older starting June 1; and 60 and older the first week of July.

Indigenous adults and patient-facing health-care workers will receive vaccinations as the province works through those age groups. The government is still finalizing the list of essential workers who will receive vaccinations in May if supply is available.

The province has not detailed when people younger than 60 can expect to be vaccinated.

Appointment bookings can be made online and by phone starting March 15 for those in eligible age cohorts.

Manitoba

Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 95 and up, or 75 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. They say most people over 80, and First Nations individuals over 60, could be eligible in early March.

The province plans to have all personal care home residents vaccinated with two doses by the end of February, and has started sending team to other congregate living settings such as group homes and shelters.

Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province’s vaccine task force, say inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if new vaccines are approved and supplies are steady.

The plan does not include a separate category for essential workers — something that Reimer says will be considered as vaccine supplies increase.

Saskatchewan

The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage.

The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age.

It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable.

Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scare.

Alberta

Some 230,000 people born in 1946 or earlier are now eligible to be immunized at 58 sites across the province. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Wednesday the website was temporarily overwhelmed when more than 150,000 people tried to get access to it. By mid-afternoon, 25,000 appointments had been booked.

He said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March.

The government’s website says the province will be offering second shots of the COVID-19 vaccine within 42 days after initial doses are administered.

Initial immunization efforts have focused on long-term care residents and certain health-care professionals, with plans to expand vaccine offerings by the end of the month.

Provincial officials have said February will see seniors over 75, First Nations, Métis and people 65 and older living in a First Nations community start to receive their vaccines.

Work is underway to identify target populations for future phases of the provincial rollout.

British Columbia

The first phase of B.C.’s immunization campaign launched in December and focused on health-care workers in hospitals, paramedics, residents and staff at long-term care homes, and remote Indigenous communities.

The second phase set to wrap up in March includes people aged 80 and above, Indigenous elders 65 and up, Indigenous communities that didn’t receive vaccine in the first phase, as well as more health-care workers and vulnerable populations living and working in certain congregate settings.

The third phase of B.C.’s immunization campaign is set to start in April and last until June, reaching people between the ages of 60 and 79, along with those who are highly clinically vulnerable, such as cancer patients.

B.C.’s plan for the general population is based on age, with the oldest residents first in line.

Nunavut

Nunavut’s vaccination rollout is underway, with vaccine clinics for the general population scheduled or completed in all 25 communities.

In Iqaluit, Nunavut’s capital, a general vaccination clinic is underway for priority populations, including staff and residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and frontline health care staff.

Starting March 1, the vaccine clinic will be extended to all adults in Iqaluit ages 45 and up.

Nunavut still expects enough vaccines to immunize 75 per cent of its residents over the age of 18 by the end of March.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories says it has vaccinated 42 per cent of its adult population since its vaccine rollout began in early January.

Vaccine clinics are either completed or underway in all 33 of the territory’s communities. In Yellowknife, residents and staff in long term care homes are being prioritized for the vaccine. Vaccination of Yellowknife’s general population will begin in late March.

The N.W.T. still expects to receive enough vaccines to inoculate 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March.

Yukon

The government website says it has vaccinated high risk health-care workers, adults 70 and older, and people who are marginalized and living in group settings.

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley says uncertainty about the arrival date of the next vaccine shipment has forced a delay in a planned immunization clinic for the general public in Whitehorse.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2021

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

Who have provinces have pegged to receive COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks? – Toronto Star

Published

 on


As COVID-19 vaccine supplies gradually ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here’s a list of their plans to date:

Newfoundland and Labrador

The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of “advanced age” and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority.

Other priority groups will be offered the vaccine once logistics allow.

Nova Scotia

The provincial website says the first phase of vaccines will be given to residents of long-term care homes, those who work directly with patients, those who are 80 and older, and those who are at risk for other reasons including First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities.

The next phase will include anyone who works in a hospital and may come into contact with a patient, community health-care providers such as dental and pharmacy workers, correctional facilities, shelters, temporary foreign worker quarters and those working in food security industries.

The third phase will include all Nova Scotians going down in five-year increments.

Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021.

Prince Edward Island

The province says the first phase of its vaccination drive, currently slated to last until March, targets residents and staff of long-term and community care, as well as health-care workers with direct patient contact at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure.

Those 80 and older, adults in Indigenous communities, and truck drivers and other rotational workers are also included.

The next phase, which is scheduled to begin in April, will target those above 70 and essential workers.

The province intends to make the vaccine available to everyone in late summer and fall.

New Brunswick

The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March.

The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees.

The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots.

Quebec

The province’s proposed order of priority for vaccination according to its website is those in residential and long-term care centres, workers in the health and social services network, followed by those in isolated and remote communities, people 80 years or older, and then the general population in 10-year increments.

It says the vaccination of children and pregnant women will be determined based on future studies of vaccine safety and efficacy in those populations.

Ontario

The province has mapped out a three-phase approach to its rollout. Phase 1, which is still ongoing, reserves shots for those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers, and people who live in congregate care settings.

All Indigenous adults, people aged 80 and older and adults receiving chronic home care will be next in line. The province says it will begin vaccinations among the 80 and older age cohort starting the third week of March.

Vaccinations will begin for people 75 and older starting April 15. The province will then move to offer shots to those 70 and older starting May 1; 65 and older starting June 1; and 60 and older the first week of July.

Indigenous adults and patient-facing health-care workers will receive vaccinations as the province works through those age groups. The government is still finalizing the list of essential workers who will receive vaccinations in May if supply is available.

The province has not detailed when people younger than 60 can expect to be vaccinated.

Appointment bookings can be made online and by phone starting March 15 for those in eligible age cohorts.

Manitoba

Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 95 and up, or 75 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. They say most people over 80, and First Nations individuals over 60, could be eligible in early March.

The province plans to have all personal care home residents vaccinated with two doses by the end of February, and has started sending team to other congregate living settings such as group homes and shelters.

Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province’s vaccine task force, say inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if new vaccines are approved and supplies are steady.

The plan does not include a separate category for essential workers — something that Reimer says will be considered as vaccine supplies increase.

Saskatchewan

The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage.

The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age.

It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable.

Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scare.

Alberta

Loading…

Loading…Loading…Loading…Loading…Loading…

Some 230,000 people born in 1946 or earlier are now eligible to be immunized at 58 sites across the province. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Wednesday the website was temporarily overwhelmed when more than 150,000 people tried to get access to it. By mid-afternoon, 25,000 appointments had been booked.

He said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March.

The government’s website says the province will be offering second shots of the COVID-19 vaccine within 42 days after initial doses are administered.

Initial immunization efforts have focused on long-term care residents and certain health-care professionals, with plans to expand vaccine offerings by the end of the month.

Provincial officials have said February will see seniors over 75, First Nations, Métis and people 65 and older living in a First Nations community start to receive their vaccines.

Work is underway to identify target populations for future phases of the provincial rollout.

British Columbia

The first phase of B.C.’s immunization campaign launched in December and focused on health-care workers in hospitals, paramedics, residents and staff at long-term care homes, and remote Indigenous communities.

The second phase set to wrap up in March includes people aged 80 and above, Indigenous elders 65 and up, Indigenous communities that didn’t receive vaccine in the first phase, as well as more health-care workers and vulnerable populations living and working in certain congregate settings.

The third phase of B.C.’s immunization campaign is set to start in April and last until June, reaching people between the ages of 60 and 79, along with those who are highly clinically vulnerable, such as cancer patients.

B.C.’s plan for the general population is based on age, with the oldest residents first in line.

Nunavut

Nunavut’s vaccination rollout is underway, with vaccine clinics for the general population scheduled or completed in all 25 communities.

In Iqaluit, Nunavut’s capital, a general vaccination clinic is underway for priority populations, including staff and residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and frontline health care staff.

Starting March 1, the vaccine clinic will be extended to all adults in Iqaluit ages 45 and up.

Nunavut still expects enough vaccines to immunize 75 per cent of its residents over the age of 18 by the end of March.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories says it has vaccinated 42 per cent of its adult population since its vaccine rollout began in early January.

Vaccine clinics are either completed or underway in all 33 of the territory’s communities. In Yellowknife, residents and staff in long term care homes are being prioritized for the vaccine. Vaccination of Yellowknife’s general population will begin in late March.

The N.W.T. still expects to receive enough vaccines to inoculate 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March.

Yukon

The government website says it has vaccinated high risk health-care workers, adults 70 and older, and people who are marginalized and living in group settings.

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley says uncertainty about the arrival date of the next vaccine shipment has forced a delay in a planned immunization clinic for the general public in Whitehorse.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2021

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending