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At least 1.3 million Canadians opted to mix COVID-19 vaccines by the end of June – CTV News



Health Canada’s latest weekly report on vaccinations shows at least 1.3 million Canadians opted for a mixed-dose finish to their COVID-19 vaccination schedule in June.

The report, published Monday, shows of 6.5 million people who got their second shot between May 31 and June 26, one in five got a different vaccine than their first.

Some provinces began mixing the two mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna as early as April, depending on what supplies were on hand. The practice became more common in the third week of June, when a delayed shipment from Pfizer pushed many provinces to turn to Moderna only for a few days.

Mixing the two types of vaccines — an mRNA with the viral vector vaccine from Oxford-AstraZeneca — only started in early June. That was after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization said people who got AstraZeneca for their first dose could safely get an mRNA vaccine as their second.

NACI went further on June 17, when it said getting an mRNA vaccine after AstraZeneca was the preferred option. The committee cited the rare but serious risk of blood clots potentially linked to getting the AstraZeneca vaccine and evidence that mixing vaccine types produces a stronger immune response.

Health Canada, which has reported weekly on how many people get each type of vaccine Canada has authorized, added a “combination” category for people whose doses weren’t the same, on June 5.

An analysis of that data by The Canadian Press shows at least 627,000 people got AstraZeneca first and then opted for either Pfizer or Moderna.

It appears that during the week when the Pfizer shipment was delayed, nearly 300,000 people who got Pfizer for their first dose were fully vaccinated with a different vaccine. The data does not specify which one.

Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious diseases doctor at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, said many people seemed to take to heart the encouragement to get whatever vaccine they’re being offered.

“I think people followed the evidence, they took the NACI suggestions, and it’s good,” he said. “That means there’s more fully vaccinated people out there.”

As of June 26, only 189,907 people are listed as being fully vaccinated with two doses of AstraZeneca. That data may be incomplete because Quebec is not providing Health Canada with a breakdown by first and second doses, and is only reporting data on people with at least one dose.

Dr. Christos Karatzios, a pediatric infectious diseases doctor at Montreal Children’s Hospital, said if one thing is clear during COVID-19, it is that the vaccines are working and people are vulnerable until they get both doses of any two vaccines.

“Mixing and matching, who cares,” he said. “Just get two vaccines into people.”

He said it is more important than ever to get both doses as well, because the delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 is proving to be a little less affected by only one dose.

Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said Tuesday that between May 15 and June 12, only 1.2 per cent of more than 29,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in his province were found in people with two doses of vaccine.

Conversely 83.2 per cent of cases were in people with not even one dose, and 15.6 per cent were in people with only a single dose.

Nationally, Canada has partially vaccinated at least 78 per cent of people over the age of 12, and fully vaccinated more than 42 per cent. Kids under 12 aren’t yet eligible to get a vaccine.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2021.

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Ontario reports 170 COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths; 124K more vaccines administered –



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.

Read more:
‘Vaccine certificates’ may speed up reopening, incentivize vaccination: Ontario science table

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).

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.

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COVID incidence in Waterloo Region continues to decline –



WATERLOO REGION — The incidence rate of COVID-19 in the region continued to decline, and has now reached the lowest level since early November.

According to the latest numbers released Saturday by Waterloo Region Public Health, the seven-day moving average rate of cases per 100,000 population fell to 2.9 cases per 100,000 on Saturday. While still almost triple the provincial rate of one case per 100,000, the last time the region had an incidence rate that low was on Nov. 2.

The incidence rate in the region is nonetheless still one of the highest in Ontario, with just three regions out of the 24 in the province — Porcupine, Hamilton and Grey-Bruce — showing higher rates.

The number of positive cases in the region increased by 14, for a total of 18,271 since the pandemic began.

Other indicators also showed positive trends.

The number of active cases dropped overnight by nine to 134.

The number of outbreaks decreased from 11 to nine.

The number being treated for COVID in hospital remained steady at 13, while the number of those who have died from the virus was also unchanged at 282. Thirteen people were being treated in intensive care, a decrease of three from the previous day.

The number of variants of concern remained steady at 4,579.

As of Friday, 81.26 per cent of the region’s residents over age 12 have received at least one dose, while 63.75 per cent have been fully vaccinated. Another 5,311 people received a vaccine on Friday.

A total of 537,724 test have been carried out in the region.

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African countries to receive six million Johnson and Johnson vaccines, the African Union says – News Track English



Around six million doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine will be delivered by the African Union to 27 African nations that have paid for the shipments through the end of August. AU coronavirus envoy Strive Masiyiwa said 18 countries are finalizing loans from the World Bank and other global lenders before they make payment.

Deliveries will rise to an average of 10 million a month from September, increasing to 20 million in January until the order is fulfilled by September next year. Global pharmaceutical firms should license production of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa rather than just do piecemeal contract deals, Masiyiwa said while speaking a day after Pfizer and BioNTech announced a “fill and finish” deal with South Africa’s Biovac Institute under which it will carry out the final stages of vaccine manufacturing where the product is processed and put into vials.

Pfizer and BioNTech will handle drug substance production at their facilities in Europe. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has called the arrangement “restrictive” and said much more is needed to support vaccine independence in Africa.

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