Araceli, a 96-year-old woman, laughed after receiving Spain’s first COVID-19 vaccine in a nursing home in Guadalajara on Sunday morning.
She said she hardly felt the shot.
“Let’s see if everyone behaves well and we can make this virus go away,” said Araceli, who wore a blue pantsuit and a white silk scarf to the first of her two vaccine appointments.
She is the oldest resident of Los Olmos nursing home.
Minutes after, Monica, an assistant nurse at the center, got the same Pfizer/BioNTech shot.
She said she was nervous, but her tension appeared to be more due to sending an important message to the media than about the needle.
“We want the majority of people to get vaccinated,” said Monica. “A lot of people have died and it is a shame that more people haven’t made it long enough to get vaccinated.”
She explained how the nursing home had lost several people to COVID-19.
“They died without the warmth of their family, and it was sad. Let’s see if we can bring an end to this soon,” she said from behind two face masks.
Nearly 50,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Spain in less than a year, according to Spanish Health Ministry data.
Spain plans to carry out the first phase of vaccinations on people like Araceli and Monica – residents and workers of nursing homes, as well as front-line healthcare workers and highly disabled people.
Over the next three months, enough Pfizer/BioNTech doses for around 2.3 million people are expected to arrive in Spain.
Spain, with a population of 47 million, has placed enough orders to vaccinate 80 million people. Yet, whether it will all arrive depends on the success of five other vaccine companies.
COVID deaths rise to 53 in Northern Health – Prince George Citizen
One more person in the Northern Health region has died from COVID-19, according to B.C. Centre for Disease Control numbers issued Tuesday.
The fatality increased the total to 53 in the region since the pandemic broke out and was among 12 deaths reported province-wide, increasing that total to 1,090 deaths. Seven of those new deaths were in Fraser Health, raising the total there to 611.
Active cases in Northern Health stood at 525, down by six from the day before, with 40 in hospital, no change from Monday, and 17 of them in intensive care, up by one.
For B.C. as a whole, active cases rose by six to 4,331, with Fraser Health accounting for 1,737, up 34, and Vancouver Coastal 818, down 35. Interior Health stood at 1,055, Vancouver Island at 184 and out of Canada at 12 with marginal changes in those totals from Monday.
Meanwhile, Northern Health reported a new exposure D.P. Todd Secondary School. It is for Jan. 11-12 and is the second time the school has been put on the list.
“If your child’s school has been notified of an exposure, no action is required unless you are contacted by Public Health or are otherwise directed by school officials,” Northern Health says in the posting. “Public Health will contact you directly in case of any school exposure involving your child.”
In a joint statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix stressed good practices while people wait for the vaccine rollout.
“The vaccines are our path forward to the brighter days ahead. However, until that path is wide enough for everyone, we must continue to focus on our individual efforts,” they said.
“To get to the finish line faster and to make our communities safer, we must stop the spread in our communities today. We do that by following the measures we have in place: washing our hands, staying home when we are ill, getting tested and always using our layers of protection.
“Let’s choose safety by continuing to do our part to protect everyone in our province.”
Also on Tuesday, Dix said B.C. is still on track to begin administering second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine despite the news that no vials will be delivered to Canada next week.
COVID-19 update: B.C.'s health ministry to reveal latest new cases, deaths, outbreaks – CTV News Vancouver
British Columbia reported another 465 cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths related to the disease on Tuesday.
The province has now recorded a total of 61,912 coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic and 1,090 fatalities.
In a joint statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix offered condolences to “everyone who lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Another 443 people have recovered from the disease since B.C.’s last update, leaving 4,331 active cases across the province.
That includes 329 patients in hospital, 70 of whom are in intensive care.
The province has seen an average of 479 cases per day over the last week, which is similar to the number of infections that were being identified at end of December.
The rolling seven-day average increased to 582 cases per day after the first week of January, but has been gradually decreasing since.
Tuesday’s COVID-19 update came hours after the federal government confirmed Canada would not be receiving any new shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week. The country received 82 per cent of its expected shipment this week as a result of previously announced delays.
B.C. was expecting to receive about 5,800 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week, though Dix said the province still expects to be able to deliver second doses as scheduled.
Health officials have decided on a 35-day interval between doses, and Wednesday will mark 36 days from when B.C. began administering its first shots.
The province should be receiving 25,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine per week after the shortage ends, according to Dix.
While British Columbians await their turn to get immunized against COVID-19, Henry and Dix stressed the need to continue their individual efforts to limit the spread of the disease.
“To get to the finish line faster and to make our communities safer, we must stop the spread in our communities today. We do that by following the measures we have in place: washing our hands, staying home when we are ill, getting tested and always using our layers of protection,” they said.
“Let’s choose safety by continuing to do our part to protect everyone in our province.”
With files from The Canadian Press
City of Winnipeg allowed employees to use its gyms during code red – CTV News Winnipeg
The City of Winnipeg has been allowing its employees to use gyms and fitness centres at its facilities amid code red restrictions due to an exemption for governments in health orders.
The City of Winnipeg confirmed to CTV News on Tuesday evening that fitness facilities in Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service and Winnipeg Police Service stations, along with six other facilities, have been open and operating for city employees only under a reduced capacity limit.
The city said these centres were used predominantly by first responders working in or near the buildings.
Under current health orders that have been in place in Manitoba since Nov. 12, all indoor sporting or recreational facilities, including gyms and fitness facilities, must be closed. Though some restrictions are expected to be eased when health orders expire on Friday, the province said gyms and fitness centres will be required to remain closed for now.
Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, said while the City of Winnipeg was not specifically given permission to operate its in-house gyms, the health orders that required gyms and fitness centres to close do not apply to any level of government.
“We expect governments to be able to regulate and so we’re not going to tell governments how they function,” Roussin said. “If they feel that they could have limited capacity and run these gyms for their employees for certain reasons, then we’re not regulating that.”
Roussin said if gyms and fitness centres were allowed to open across Manitoba, it could cause cases to spike.
He said he was aware that health inspectors visited some of the gyms operating at City of Winnipeg facilities, and found them safe.
Transcona Coun. Shawn Nason blew the whistle on social media about the city’s operation of fitness centres during code red restrictions.
“I’m disappointed in myself for being so distracted with the business at City Hall to have not raised the issue sooner than when I became aware today that the City was not covered under the blanket rules assigned by (the) Province,” Nason said in a statement to CTV News.
“Even though I didn’t access the gym at any time during the Code Red restrictions, we should respect the provincial orders and align ourselves with so many that have had to shutter their businesses due (to) this unprecedented time.”
A spokesperson for the city told CTV News the city was not aware until today that it was being allowed to operate its fitness centres solely because it is a municipal government.
“Several months ago, we sought clarification from provincial public health officials on whether fitness facilities within civic workplaces accessible only to, and for City employees, could remain open,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“The province advised us that these facilities could in fact continue to operate provided posted capacity limits and physical guidelines were maintained and adhered to.”
Despite the exemption, they said effective immediately the city is closing its employee fitness centres.
Fitness centres at Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service and Winnipeg Police Service stations will continue to operate because “mandatory fitness standards are a requirement of first responders’ jobs.”
“We will continue to encourage our employees to explore alternative ways of maintaining their physical health while adhering to public health guidelines,” they said.
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