OTTAWA — While researchers across the planet race to find a vaccine for COVID-19, a new poll suggests Canadians are divided over whether getting it should be mandatory or voluntary — setting up a potentially prickly public health debate if a vaccine becomes available.
The federal government has committed tens of millions of dollars to help find or create a vaccine for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the respiratory illness that has infected at least 48,000 Canadians and killed more than 2,700.
Yet the poll conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found that while 60 per cent of respondents believe people should be required to get the vaccine once it is ready, the other 40 per cent think it should be voluntary.
While that doesn’t mean only 60 per cent would get the vaccine themselves, Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque nonetheless said he would have expected much higher support for a mandatory vaccine given the scale and scope of the pandemic.
“It’s almost as if it’s seen as just another flu vaccine,” Bourque told The Canadian Press. “I myself would have expected a higher number given the severity, given the crisis we’re in. But Canadians are kind of divided on this.”
The Leger poll was conducted April 24 to 26 and surveyed 1,515 adult Canadians recruited from Leger’s online panel. The internet-based survey cannot be assigned a margin of error because online polls are not considered random samples.
Older Canadians, who are most at risk of serious harm from COVID-19, were more likely to support a mandatory vaccine. Respondents who identified themselves as likely to vote Liberal were also most likely to agree with a mandatory vaccine while those leaning Conservative were least likely.
Bourque suggested this was a reflection of ideological differences seen throughout the crisis: those on the left of the political spectrum are more willing to accept government intervention than those on the right who prioritize personal freedoms.
The poll also looked for the first time at what activities Canadians would feel comfortable doing once government restrictions imposed because of COVID-19 are finally lifted, including returning to their offices, shopping, dining out and attending concerts and sporting events.
The results, which comes as many provinces are unveiling tentative plans and timelines for easing restrictions, was a mixed bag. Respondents were comfortable with some activities but not others, particularly those involving large groups of people in the same place.
The majority (58 per cent) felt they would be comfortable allowing in-home renovations by contractors, going to farmers’ markets (57 per cent) and shopping at the mall (53 per cent). And only 15 per cent said they would not be comfortable returning to their own workplaces.
Yet only 45 per cent said they would be comfortable eating in a restaurant while 24 per cent would feel comfortable going to the gym, 23 per cent flying on an airplane and 21 per cent attending a large gathering such as a concert or sports event.
“The ones that are at the top, these are activities where people feel they can manage some form of social distancing,” Bourque said.
The poll also indicated the level of trust and satisfaction Canadians feel toward their leaders and public-health officials has remained consistently high since a similar poll was conducted the previous week. The number who were afraid of catching COVID-19 also remained unchanged.
Yet the number of respondents who admitted to breaking at least one of the guidelines around managing COVID-19, such as practising physical distancing, going out only for necessities and washing their hands more often, was found to have increased to 33 per cent from 27 per cent.
“To me it’s an indication that they’re looking for deconfinement news because they’re starting to slack off a little bit on what they should be allowed to do,” Bourque said. “I think if there is no plan for deconfinement, people will start to become more delinquent.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 28, 2020.
Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
Canadian study of critically ill patients with COVID-19 found lower death rate – EurekAlert
A Canadian case series of all patients with COVID-19 admitted to six intensive care units (ICUs) in Metro Vancouver found patient outcomes were substantially better than reported in other jurisdictions. The paper is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Researchers looked at outcomes for 117 patients with COVID-19 admitted to one of six hospitals in Metro Vancouver between February 21 and April 14, 2020. Patients ranged in age from 23 to 92 years, with a median age of 69 years. Two-thirds (67.5%) were male. As of May 5, 85% of patients were still alive and 61% had been discharged home. The overall mortality rate was 15%.
“The overall mortality was appreciably lower than in previously published studies, despite comparable baseline patient characteristics and a higher proportion of patients with completed hospital courses,” writes Dr. Donald Griesdale, a critical care physician at Vancouver General Hospital and associate professor at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine, Vancouver, BC, with coauthors.
Data from Lombardy, Italy, showed a 61% mortality rate for patients admitted to an ICU, a case study of 24 people in Seattle had a 57% mortality rate among patients in the ICU, and a case series from Wuhan, China, reported a mortality rate of 80% in patients admitted to the ICU.
Fewer patients in the Canadian series (63%) received mechanical ventilation than in Lombardy (88%), Seattle (75%) and New York (90%), but in Wuhan even fewer (42%) received mechanical ventilation. Very few patients received unproven treatments for COVID-19; one patient received hydroxychloroquine, four received tocilizumab, and none recived remdesivir.
“Despite the observed differences between patients and critical care interventions in these studies, it is unclear whether these solely account for the marked lower mortality that we report,” write the researchers. “We hypothesize that these encouraging results may be due to a broader system-level response that prevented an overwhelming surge of critically ill patients with COVID-19 from presenting to our hospitals and ICUs.”
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.
Two deaths, eight new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa – CTV News
Two more residents of Ottawa have died due to COVID-19, while eight new cases of the virus have been detected.
Ottawa Public Health announced the new cases in its daily epidemiology update on Thursday afternoon.
Since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Ottawa on March 11, there has been 1,930 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 240 deaths.
Thirty-seven residents are currently in hospital for treatment of COVID-19.
The median age of the COVID-19 cases in Ottawa is 56-years-old. The youngest case involved a four-month-old.
Recovering from COVID-19
Ottawa Public Health says 80 per cent of COVID-19 cases are now resolved.
The report shows 1,544 people have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19.
There are currently 146 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa.
Source of COVID-19
Half of Ottawa’s 1,930 cases of COVID-19 are linked to an outbreak in a retirement home, long-term care home, group home, hospital or shelter.
Ottawa Public Health says 975 cases are linked to an institutional outbreak.
A total of 426 cases, 22 per cent, are linked to close contact with a known case or linked to a community outbreak.
The report shows 10 per cent of COVID-19 cases, 183 cases, are linked to community transmission of the virus.
PoCo care home latest with COVID-19 outbreak, special team sent to Langley Lodge – CityNews Vancouver
PORT COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130 — A resident at a long-term care home in Port Coquitlam has tested positive for COVID-19, while the Fraser Health Authority is taking extra measures to control further spread and deaths at Langley Lodge.
To date, 22 Langley Lodge residents have died from virus, more than at any other care home in B.C.
The first reported case of COVID-19 was at the Lynn Valley Care Centre, where 20 people died from the virus. The outbreak there involved 76 cases, but was declared over earlier this month.
Nicola Lodge, a long-term care facility in Port Coquitlam, reported its first case Thursday.
The resident is in isolation, according to Fraser Health.
The health authority has implemented enhanced control measures at the site.
Fraser Health has also appointed a director of pandemic response at Langley Lodge.
“The COVID-19 outbreak has been challenging to control at Langley Lodge due to complex factors, such as the outbreak being on a behavioral stabilization unit,” Fraser Healths says.
“We have been working very closely with Langley Lodge and this decision was made to further support the facility leadership and staff.”
As well, Fraser Health has deployed an ultraviolet germicidal irradiation machine, along with infection control specialists, and additional nurses and care staff at Langley Lodge.
According to latest update from the lodge, 10 staff members, including two from the health region, have contracted the virus, while one resident remains sick. Of all the cases, 22 people have fully recovered.
As of Wednesday, the province reported 14 outbreaks remained active in long-term care or assisted-living facilities, as well as one in an acute-care unit.
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