British Columbians are proving to be quick on the draw when it comes to booking their vaccines online.
Tuesday’s launch of a province-wide online booking system for COVID-19 vaccine shots secured 160,464 registrations between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., Health Minister Adrian Dix revealed during a briefing in Victoria.
Of those who were eligible to register, a total of 23,827 people were able to book vaccinations.
Prior to this week, the Fraser Health authority was the only one offering an online platform for bookings.
The remaining four health authorities had been booking vaccinations via call centres maintained by Telus Corp.
People born in 1950 and earlier, Indigenous people 18 and older and those considered clinically extremely vulnerable are now able to register for a vaccination by visiting www2.gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated.html.
Eligible British Columbians are also able to book in person at a Service BC location or else phone the new provincial call centre at 1-833-838-2323.
Once someone registers, they receive a confirmation code and will need to await a prompt from health officials via email, text or phone informing them they can book the appointment itself.
Last month’s initial booking rollout proved to be chaotic, with the Telus call centres receiving 1.7 million calls within three hours of phone lines opening up on March 8. Meanwhile, a total of 18,466 vaccine doses have been administered in B.C. over the last 24 hours.
That’s down significantly from the rates of vaccinations last week, when the province was administering about 32,000 doses on some days.
At a rate of 32,000 doses a day, it would take B.C. until at least November to administer both doses to all remaining 4.3 million eligible British Columbians once already-administered doses are taken into account. So far, 87,472 people have received two doses since December.
While the Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneva plc vaccines require two doses for maximum efficacy, the Johnson & Johnson requires only one shot.
Doses of the one-shot vaccine are expected to arrive by the end of the month. And the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may allow the province to resume its vaccination program for essential workers, according to Henry.
Immunization on the West Coast relies on administering the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to the general population based on descending age brackets.
The province had briefly embarked on using the AstraZeneca vaccine in March for essential workers before the program was suspended last week amid growing global concerns the vaccine was linked to a small number of cases of blood clots to have emerged in those who have received a dose.
Instead, the province reallocated those AstraZeneca doses to British Columbians between the ages of 55 and 65 — an age group not considered to be at risk — allowing them to get their jabs outside the normal age-based program.
“As we have the ability, we will jumpstart our worker program once again, so please be patient. We know that there’s always challenges that we have with our immunization program, and the immunizations arriving and we will be getting back to the worker program as soon as we possibly can,” Henry said.
Calgary firm advances new trial, manufacturing of mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 – pentictonherald.ca
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.
COVID-19 cases at Central Okanagan seniors facilities plateau as Interior Health numbers decline – Global News
The spread of COVID-19 at Central Okanagan care homes seems to have slowed significantly in the last week.
Since infections started to spike in the Kelowna area in August, there have been 142 cases related to COVID-19 outbreaks in seven seniors facilities and 20 related deaths. This is up from 139 cases and 19 deaths just a week ago, on Sept. 9.
Interior Health loosens COVID-19 restrictions for vaccinated people
Of the cases, 98 have been among residents and another 44 were among staff members. Now six care homes remain on outbreak status from the original seven.
Most affected by the outbreaks has been David Lloyd Jones long-term care in Kelowna, which has reported 55 cases among 41 residents and 14 staff. There were seven deaths connected to the outbreak.
Cottonwoods long term care was similarly hard hit, with 30 cases among 20 residents and 10 staff, with six deaths connected to the outbreak.
B.C. health minister provides details on unvaccinated ICU patients with COVID-19
Brookhaven Care Centre in West Kelowna has 17 cases, with 10 residents and seven staff, and three deaths connected to the outbreak.
Village at Mill Creek assisted living/independent living in Kelowna has 12 cases among seven residents and five staff with two deaths connected to the outbreak.
Spring Valley Care Centre long-term care in Kelowna had 15 cases among 11 residents and four staff, with two deaths connected to the outbreak.
Sun Pointe Village assisted living/independent living in Kelowna has eight resident cases, with one death connected to the outbreak.
According to Interior Health, there’s been an uptake in people getting their first dose of vaccine since vaccine card announcement was made
The current stagnation of cases within the Central Okanagan seems to be reflected in the larger population. While current Okanagan-specific COVID-19 numbers aren’t readily available, the provincial ministry of health’s daily case numbers for health regions and Interior Health, which covers much of the Southern Interior has, shown some progress.
Of the 677 new cases across the province reported on Tuesday, 153 were within Interior Health. There are still 1,583 active cases in the region.
That’s the lowest new case count in weeks.
Interior Health hosts vaccine clinics at schools
And, while Interior Health may be showing some progress, things aren’t necessarily as rosy everywhere else.
Fraser Health is now leading the province for new cases, reporting 237 new cases in the area. There were 102 in the Vancouver Coastal health region, 99 in the Northern health region, and 86 on Vancouver Island.
Ten more people are in hospital with COVID-19, bringing the total to 288, an increase of 10 from Monday. Nearly half of those patients are in intensive care.
B.C.’s COVID-19 death toll is now 1,866.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Manitoba reports 49 new COVID-19 cases, mostly among people not fully vaccinated – CBC.ca
Manitoba reported 49 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, more than 80 per cent of them among people not fully vaccinated against the illness.
Of those infections, 31 are among people not vaccinated at all while another nine are among people who are only partly immunized, the province’s online vaccine dashboard says.
Two more deaths linked to the illness were also posted on Wednesday. While details have not been released, the number of deaths connected to more contagious coronavirus variants also rose by two, the province’s online variant dashboard says.
That dashboard also shows 104 newly identified cases of more infectious coronavirus variants: 100 more in the unspecified category, three more linked to the alpha variant and one more connected to the delta strain.
The deaths bring Manitoba’s total to 1,203. More details, including the ages, sexes and health regions of those who died, are expected Thursday in the province’s next COVID-19 news release.
Most of the new cases reported Wednesday are split between the Winnipeg health region, which has 20, and the much more sparsely populated Southern Health region, which has 17, the province’s online coronavirus dashboard says.
The rest are spread among the Interlake-Eastern and Northern health regions, with five new cases each, and the Prairie Mountain Health region, with two new infections.
Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate dropped to 2.9 per cent, the dashboard says, down from 3.2. There were 2,364 more COVID-19 tests done in the province on Tuesday.
No fully vaccinated active cases in ICU
There are now 69 people in Manitoba hospitals after getting COVID-19, including 15 in intensive care, the dashboard says. Both numbers are up one since Tuesday.
Among those in hospital, 29 are still considered to have active cases of the illness — 86 per cent of whom either only have protection from one dose or aren’t immunized at all, the vaccine dashboard says.
In intensive care units, seven patients are considered to have active COVID-19 cases. None of them have been fully vaccinated, the dashboard says.
The number of people in Manitoba ICUs remains well above the province’s pre-pandemic capacity of 72. As of midnight, there was a total of 91 people in intensive care, including those with COVID-19 and those there for other reasons, a Shared Health spokesperson said.
Most of Manitoba’s 584 active COVID-19 cases — 70 per cent — are also among people not fully vaccinated against the illness.
The proportion of vaccinated eligible Manitobans rose slightly on Wednesday. For those with at least one shot, the number now sits at 83.9 per cent, while for those fully immunized, it’s now 78.9 per cent.
In total, 57,679 people have been deemed recovered after testing positive for COVID-19.
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