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Authorities in Ontario, Quebec scramble to contain rapid COVID-19 spread

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THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Apr 6th, 2021

Ontario and Quebec are continuing to report high numbers of new COVID-19 cases, leaving officials in both provinces scrambling to contain the spread of the virus.

Ontario today reported nearly 6,000 new COVID-19 cases over a two-day span, as Toronto Mayor John Tory announced he is working on a plan to vaccinate high-risk workplaces.

But Tory said the province needs to go further by working with the federal government to expand paid sick leave programs to help workers stay home and self-isolate.

Quebec, meanwhile, has added five municipalities south of Quebec City to a list of cities that will have to abide by strict lockdown rules.

Non-essential businesses and many cultural venues must close, schools will move to virtual learning and the overnight curfew will be advanced to 8 p.m. from 9:30 p.m. starting tonight in five parts of the Chaudiere-Appalaches region.

Health Minister Christian Dube says officials are also concerned about the Montreal area and the number of people in hospital, which is putting pressure on fragile intensive care resources.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 5, 2021

Source:- Breakfast Television Toronto

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‘No longer safe’: Family flees Manitoba city over COVID-19 attitudes – Flipboard

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Ridin’ Dirty: Guinea Pigs Cruise Around in Style

Two summer-ready guinea pigs took a ride in a remote-controlled car in Montreal, Quebec.The footage was captured by Melissa Trihey, who regularly documents the adventures of her pet guinea pigs, pugs,…

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B.C. reports 66 new COVID-19 cases in Island Health, two deaths – CHEK

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British Columbia health officials have reported 661 new cases and seven deaths from COVID-19 since their last update on Tuesday.

In the Island Health region, 66 new cases were reported, increasing the number of active cases in the health authority to 615, along with two deaths.

The number of confirmed cases in B.C. climbs to 168,459 while the province’s death toll now stands at 1,873.

READ MORE: B.C. introducing COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all health-care workers

In addition to the new cases in Island Health, 99 were recorded in Vancouver Coastal Health, 237 were in Fraser Health, 196 in Interior Health, and 62 in Northern Health.

There are currently 5,791 active cases in the province and 288 people in hospital — 137 of whom are in intensive care.

A total of 168,459 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 7,643,973 doses of vaccine have been administered province-wide. Out of all eligible adults in the province, 79.5 per cent have received two doses of vaccine and 86.7 per cent have received one dose.

The Ministry of Health said that 76.5 per cent of cases recorded Sept. 7-13 were in people who have not been vaccinated. Unvaccinated people have also accounted for 87.3 per cent of hospitalizations, the ministry said.

Island Health

Island Health has identified 531 active cases — 61 in North Island, 255 in Central Island and 215 in South Island — on Vancouver Island.

Twenty-four people are currently in hospital after becoming infected with the novel coronavirus, 15 of whom are in critical care.

Over the past 24 hours, there were 2,193 doses of vaccine administered on Vancouver Island. Of those doses, 35 were AstraZeneca, 1,370 were Moderna and 788 doses were Pfizer.

A total of 1,274,685 vaccine doses — 611,677 of those are second doses — have been administered on Vancouver Island. This includes 33,156 doses of AstraZeneca, 336,516 doses of Moderna and 905,013 doses of Pfizer.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 7,479 cases reported, 58 deaths, 318 total hospitalizations, and 6,752 recoveries recorded on Vancouver Island.

Editor’s note: The BCCDC lists the active case count for Vancouver Island at 615, which is 84 more active cases than what Island Health has reported. There are often discrepancies between the figures due to “differences in reporting” timeframes between the two agencies.

Island Health has identified 531 active cases — 61 in North Island, 255 in Central Island and 215 in South Island — on Vancouver Island.

Twenty-four people are currently in hospital after becoming infected with the novel coronavirus, 15 of whom are in critical care.

Over the past 24 hours, there were 2,193 doses of vaccine administered on Vancouver Island. Of those doses, 35 were AstraZeneca, 1,370 were Moderna and 788 doses were Pfizer.

A total of 1,274,685 vaccine doses — 611,677 of those are second doses — have been administered on Vancouver Island. This includes 33,156 doses of AstraZeneca, 336,516 doses of Moderna and 905,013 doses of Pfizer.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 7,479 cases reported, 58 deaths, 318 total hospitalizations, and 6,752 recoveries recorded on Vancouver Island.

Editor’s note: The BCCDC lists the active case count for Vancouver Island at 615, which is 84 more active cases than what Island Health has reported. There are often discrepancies between the figures due to “differences in reporting” timeframes between the two agencies.

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Calgary firm advances new trial, manufacturing of mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 – pentictonherald.ca

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OTTAWA – Calgary-based Providence Therapeutics says it has signed two contracts to have its developmental mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 manufactured in Canada.

The company says it has signed a $90-million, five-year contract with Emergent Biosolutions to make part of the drug substance, and also to fill and finish the vaccine, at its Winnipeg manufacturing plant.

Another $15-million contract was signed with Calgary’s Northern RNA firm to make some of the raw materials needed to produce the messenger RNA in the vaccine.

Providence this week reported that a Phase 1 trial, involving 60 adults between 18 and 64, showed its mRNA vaccine is producing immunity levels comparable to those produced by authorized mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

A Phase 2 clinical trial in 525 people is now about to begin to further test the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

Canada has yet to authorize a made-in-Canada vaccine for COVID-19 and has relied mostly on importing mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

As of Tuesday, 26 million Canadians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and another 2.4 million people have received their first dose.

Canada’s lacklustre manufacturing capacity for vaccines was a major issue heading into the COVID-19 vaccination procurement process and the federal government is working to expand the industry.

The vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are the first mRNA products authorized for widespread use and have been critical to helping slow the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada and elsewhere.

The technology is being researched for use on a number of other conditions including cancers and influenza.

Moderna recently signed an agreement to build a manufacturing plant for its mRNA vaccine somewhere in Canada, but the location has yet to be chosen. Earlier this week Moderna announced it has also signed a contract with National Resilience for the latter to start producing the mRNA used in Moderna’s vaccine.

The federal government last spring invested almost $200 million to help Resilience expand its manufacturing facility in Mississauga, Ont., so it can make more vaccines, including mRNA vaccines.

Emergent BioSolutions is based in Maryland and has multiple facilities in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The company was heavily criticized earlier this year when a mistake in manufacturing at one site in Baltimore, Md., led to the destruction of at least 60 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 14, 2021.

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