TORONTO – Ontario youth aged 12 to 17 can move up their second COVID-19 vaccine doses next week as the province eyes the return to classrooms in September.
Youth can book appointments through the provincial booking system, pharmacies or local public health units starting Monday at 8 a.m.
The province announced the change Friday, saying it’s aiming to provide more protection against COVID-19 and allow for a safe return to school in the fall.
“We are on track to significantly increase the number of Ontarians who will be fully immunized this summer, helping to protect themselves and their community,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in a statement.
Vaccines have largely been booked four months apart in the province but people now have the option of rebooking for an earlier date as more supply becomes available.
Youth are only eligible for doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The province says 77 per cent of adults have received at least one dose and more than 42 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Among those aged 12 to 17, more than 56 per cent have at least one dose and more than six per cent are fully vaccinated
The province has yet to share its plan for returning to school in September, after a year of pandemic-related disruptions that saw classes move online repeatedly when cases surged.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce has said the province wants to see students return to in-class learning full time in September, but details of that plan are expected to be released later this month.
Youth-focused clinics were held across the province throughout the month of June, an initiative that’s been extended into next week.
A group representing Ontario doctors urged families this week to book their shots as soon as possible, noting that the vaccination rate among the 12 to 17 age group has been “lower than expected” so far.
“Parents or anyone with questions about vaccines should talk to their family doctor, pediatrician or public health unit, who all have a critical role to play in explaining the benefits of vaccines and administering them,” the Ontario Medical Association said in a statement.
Dr. Adam Kassam, president of the association, said he was encouraged by the news of expanded access to a shortened interval between doses for youth.
COVID-19 infections have been dropping in the general population as the vaccine rollout picks up speed in Ontario. More businesses were permitted to reopen and larger gatherings were allowed last week under the province’s reopening plan, which is tied to pandemic indicators and vaccination rates.
Kassam said the push to vaccinate youth will help the province avoid another spike in infections in September.
“This drive to aggressively vaccinate as many kids fully, over the course of the next coming months before school starts, is going to be a crucial component to success for averting a fourth wave and to really stamping out this pandemic once and for all,” Kassam said in an interview Friday.
He said doctors involved in the vaccine rollout are looking at how to adjust communication strategies to target youth by looking at social networks like TikTok where more teens spend their time, and gearing discussions about vaccination to whole families rather than individuals.
Several health units were planning to hold youth-focused clinics over the weekend.
In Peel Region, all 1,000 appointment slots had been filled as of Friday for a clinic running Saturday to administer Pfizer-BioNTech shots to young people and their families.
The health unit covering Grey Bruce also held a youth-only clinic on Friday in Hanover, Ont., offering first doses to everyone aged 12 to 17. The region, which had relatively low infections throughout the pandemic, has recently seen a spike in COVID-19 cases driven by the more infectious Delta variant.
Waterloo Region, another hot spot for the variant, was also promoting its options for youth first doses this week.
Starting Thursday, vaccination clinics in the region started accepting walk-ins for first doses. A by-appointment drive-thru clinic in Kitchener, Ont., was set to start vaccinating on Saturday, offering Pfizer shots to youth in line.
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit said youth who received their first shots at community clinics in June would be booked for their second sometime before the end of the month, with confirmations going out by next Friday.
Ontario reported 200 COVID-19 cases on Friday and 284 cases that weren’t released on Thursday due to the Canada Day holiday.
Twenty-eight deaths were reported over the two days.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2021.
People Recovered From Covid-19 Still Need Vaccine – TheHealthMania
The Covid-19 vaccine is now available in most countries across the world and health experts recommend getting the jab as soon as possible. Amid the rollout of vaccines, some people who contracted the virus and recovered from it wonder if they should get the vaccine or not. Since exposure to the coronavirus leads to the production of antibodies, some people think they have adequate immunity against the virus. However, the health experts recommend otherwise and suggest getting the vaccine like any other person.
According to the Lake County health officer, Dr. Chandana Vavilala, everyone should get the Covid vaccine at the earliest no matter if they developed a coronavirus infection or not. She recommends getting the vaccine as the cases of Covid-19 surge again in this region as the summer season comes to an end. Dr. Vavilala also mentioned that we can prevent the next wave of the pandemic by getting vaccinated as early as possible. It can help save from contracting the fatal virus and protect the community as well.
The data from the Indiana Department of Health shows nearly 48% of the residents of Lake County fully vaccinated. The data shows that these people received both shots of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine. Also, this data includes those who got the single-shot vaccine, Johnson and Johnson.
Some health experts including Dr. Vavilala believe that some of the people who did not receive any vaccine are those who previously contracted the coronavirus infection. These individuals may believe that they have lifetime protection against the virus after developing the infection. However, it is not the case and they need the vaccine shot just like other residents of their community.
Dr. Vavilala also mentioned that the three approved Covid-19 vaccines in Lake County are more effective as compared to the natural route of infection. These vaccines provide a stronger and more long-lasting immune response to keep severe infection at bay. Moreover, these vaccines are also effective against the different variants of the coronavirus.
According to Dr. Vavilala, most people hospitalizing after contracting coronavirus are those who did not receive any vaccine. This shows that the coronavirus vaccine works despite the evolution of the virus. Also, the number of variants released into the communities. She also mentioned that new variants spread faster and cause more severe infections as compared to the original strain. Hence, it is strongly recommended to get the coronavirus vaccine to prevent the infection.
Dr. Vavilala also mentioned that the increased number of vaccinated people will help the communities develop an overall immunity against the virus. Therefore, it can help those who could not get the shot because of their health condition or age. She said that the people who previously got the coronavirus infection should go ahead and receive their vaccine dose. It does not matter if they got the infection in the past as it does not provide adequate immunity.
The increased immunization rate can help prevent the rapid spread of new coronavirus variants. Also, it can provide help for those who are unable to get their vaccine due to one reason or another.
Ontario reports 170 COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths; 124K more vaccines administered – Global News
Ontario reported 170 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 549,156.
“Locally, there are 44 new cases in Toronto, 26 in Peel Region, 17 in Hamilton, 15 in the Region of Waterloo and 13 in Grey Bruce,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.
For comparison, last Saturday 176 cases were reported.
Three new deaths were also announced on July 24, bringing the provincial virus-related death toll to 9,311.
A total of 538,421 coronavirus cases are considered resolved, which is up by 150 and is 98 per cent of all confirmed cases.
More than 19,100 additional tests were completed. Ontario has now completed a total of 16,451,025 tests and 5,325 remain under investigation.
The province indicated that the positivity rate for the last day was 0.8 per cent, which down slightly from Friday’s report, when it was 0.9 per cent, and up from last Saturday’s report, when it was 0.6 per cent.
Provincial figures showed there are 132 people in intensive care due to COVID-19 (down by four), 86 of whom are on a ventilator (up by two).
Science advisory table proposes COVID-19 vaccine certificates for Ontario
Here is a breakdown of Ontario’s cases by age and gender:
- 273,725 people are male
- 271,734 people are female
- 88,751 people are 19 and under
- 205,695 people are 20 to 39
- 156,528 people are 40 to 59
- 72,892 people are 60 to 79
- 25,196 people are 80 and over
The province notes that not all cases have a reported age or gender.
The province also notes that the number of cases publicly reported each day may not align with case counts reported by local public health units on a given day. Local public health units report when they were first notified of a case, which can be updated and changed as information becomes available. Data may also be pulled at different times.
As of 8 p.m. Friday, 18,848,661 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered in Ontario, marking an increase of 124,261. Of those, 105,628 were second doses.
In Ontario, 80.7 per cent of adults aged 18-plus have received at least one vaccine dose and 67.1 per cent are fully vaccinated.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
NB businesses ponder how to proceed once pandemic restrictions are removed – CBC.ca
How fast to return to normal? That’s the question some business owners are asking in the wake of news that New Brunswick will remove its COVID-19 restrictions in less than a week.
More than 16 months have passed since the province implemented restrictions limiting the number of customers inside businesses, and enforcing mandatory masking and physical distancing.
At the end of the day next Friday, July, 30, those pandemic restrictions will end.
But when the clock strikes midnight don’t expect those precautions to magically disappear from all businesses.
The province has said businesses can choose to ease out of the restrictions more slowly if they want.
Dave Traboulsee, the owner of River Valley Footwear in downtown Fredericton, said that’s exactly what he plans to do.
Gauging by what he’s heard from his customers, he’s planning a cautious approach.
“I don’t think we can fully go back to normal yet — there’s still a lot of anxiety out there with shopping,” he said.
Until now he’s only been allowing people from two bubbles inside the store at a time.
He plans to increase that capacity slightly once the restrictions are removed, but said he hopes to talk to other business owners in the area to get a sense about whether masks should still be worn.
“It’s quite a big move to go from certain restrictions and keeping masks on to a free-for-all — and I don’t think we can go to a free-for-all,” he said.
In Moncton, those who work at Café Cest la Vie are hoping the move will bring more people back to work downtown again, and in turn, bring more people back into their shop.
Rebecca McCabe is a barista at the cafe and said masks will no longer be required, and they intend to get back to doing events again, like poetry readings and live music.
“It also means it’s an opportunity for us to have more people in the cafe so we can open up our capacity again.”
McCabe said they are still trying to figure out if there will be any restrictions in place at the cafe, but generally expects it to be a return to normal.
“Everyone seems pretty excited honestly — I think it will be nothing but help,” she said.
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