The first doses will be administrated to people over the age of 80, frontline healthcare workers and care home staff and residents.
Britain is preparing to become the first country to roll out the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine this week, initially making the shot available at hospitals before distributing stocks to doctors’ clinics.
The government said on Sunday that the first doses are set to be administered on Tuesday, with the National Health Service (NHS) giving top priority to vaccinating the over-80s, frontline healthcare workers and care home staff and residents.
Britain gave emergency use approval for the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech last week, jumping ahead in the global race to begin the most crucial mass inoculation programme in history.
In total, Britain has ordered 40 million doses, enough to vaccinate 20 million people in the country of 67 million.
About 800,000 doses are expected to be available within the first week.
Initial doses that have arrived from Belgium are being stored in secure locations across the country, where they will be quality checked, the health ministry said.
Hard to preserve
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has onerous storage requirements. It needs to be kept at -70C and only lasts five days in a regular fridge.
For that reason, the health ministry said the vaccine would first be administered in 50 hospitals.
It said it would take a few hours to defrost each vaccine and prepare it for use.
NHS England has written to general practitioners, telling them to get ready to start giving vaccinations through local doctors’ services from December 14.
Rather than run clinics in individual surgeries, groups of local doctors will operate more than 1,000 vaccination centres across the country, the government said.
Exciting news: We received the world’s first authorization of a #COVID19 #vaccine, with @MHRA granting emergency use authorization in the UK. More regulatory decisions may come in 2020. More information: https://t.co/8Fpa22leS5 pic.twitter.com/mTIO48RgnN
— BioNTech SE (@BioNTech_Group) December 2, 2020
Boxes of the vaccine contain five packs of 975 doses, but special regulatory approval is needed to split them up.
A senior medical official has said that while he is hopeful it would be possible to split the packs and deliver straight to care homes, it will not be guaranteed.
Britain is among the first nations to roll out vaccinations outside the context of a clinic trial, raising hopes that the tide could soon turn against a virus that has killed nearly 1.5 million people globally and hammered the world economy.
Russia began distributing its Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine through 70 clinics in Moscow on Saturday, although the shot has not finished its final trials.
While China is also preparing for a mass nationwide rollout of its locally-produced vaccine.
What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Jan. 20 – Yahoo News Canada
Local Journalism Initiative
Donald Fisher, known to some as ‘Scotty,’ is known to others as: Don, Pappa, Grandpa, very recently great-grandpa, ‘Buddy’ to his sister-in-law Evelyn, ‘My hero’ to his other sister-in-law, Jeannette, and Donnie-Onnie (thanks to his love of rhyming everyone else’s name.) You can also replace Fisher with its original, Odjig. More on that later. There is also ‘Odiepop,’ the name given to him by his grandson, Drake, and often called out to his grandfather while Fisher would take his daily walks past the school. A name also given to him by the entirety of Drake’s schoolmates, who would call out to him just as his grandson did. Other titles? Veteran of the Second World War, chief engineer on The Philip R. Clark, beloved Wiikwemkoong community leader, nonagenarian, recipient of the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Union of Ontario Indians, golf-enthusiast, a joker and … The first COVID-19 Vaccine recipient in Northeastern Ontario. He said it only hurts a little, just in case you were wondering. Donald Fisher (Odjig) was born in Wiikwemkoong (as it was then called) on June 18, 1926, to Dominic and Joyce Odjig (née Peachy). Fisher and his three older siblings were raised on a small family farm. Fisher left home at 15 to work at a lumber camp in Sault Ste. Marie, but the stories his father told of the First World War made him dream of fighting as well, and in 1943, Donald Odjig left the lumber yard to enlist, lying about his age in order to do so. He changed his name from Donald ‘Odjig’, to the English translation of the word, ‘Fisher’. An often-repeated story has Fisher telling the enlistment officer that, as the man’s friends recall, “Indians don’t have birth certificates.” Just like that, he’s going to war. Of course, while Fisher heard many stories of the war from his father, his own seven children never heard much. “Painful memories linger for Scotty,” said his daughter-in-law, Lynda Fox Trudeau. “He will not openly talk about his personal experiences of the war. He always swore he would never talk about it with his children, a personal promise he keeps to this day.” They know he received his training in Shilo, Man., and volunteered to become a paratrooper. As a member of the 1st Canadian Paratroop Battalion, Fisher was sent overseas on Christmas Day, 1944. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and on March 17, 1945, he crossed the Rhine River, fighting for his country until the end of the war. Well, sort of. The end of Fisher’s service is somewhat legendary among his friends and family, as related to Sudbury.com by his friends Patrick and Patricia Ryan, both retired teachers who have known Fisher since 1970. “He was with the first group of Canadians who met up with the Russians near the end of the war,” Patricia said. “While busy ‘celebrating’ with them, he fell off a horse, broke his ankle, and was shipped back to England. He used to laugh about his noble war injury!” She also said this sense of humour is the core of who Fisher’s being. “Don is a fun-loving extrovert. He never hesitated to voice his opinions and had no time for people who complained, but did nothing to change a situation. He is smart, well-read and kind. He does not suffer fools and demands the best from everyone. If Don was running anything, you knew it would be done the right way, and efficiently.” And her descriptor, ‘well-read,’ is an understatement. His favourite book? “Anna Karenina” (Leo Tolstoy, 1855). Another core part of who Fisher is? Wiikwemkoong. “With the ending of World War Two,” Fox Trudeau said, “Don began his 27-year chief engineer career, shipping iron ore on the Great Lakes. Upon the passing of his wife, Rosemary Peltier, he returned home to look after and raise his family. He embarked upon his next career working for the then Department of Indian Affairs for 17 years.” Fisher worked as a local government advisor for the department, a position that his colleague Larry Leblanc describes as “the federal government had finally realized that having Native people to communicate with Natives was a good idea.” Leblanc was also the person who sparked Fisher’s interest in running, something Fisher was not keen on previously. When he learned that Leblanc was a marathon runner, Fisher got curious and began training in secret on the island. He was shy, so he would run at dawn or at night, and no matter how hot the weather, never in shorts. Leblanc said Fisher told him, “I don’t want those old ladies seeing my butt.” But he later loved running so much, he helped the youth on the Island understand and love the sport as well. In addition to this, Leblanc describes him as a true community member. “He volunteered to coach countless hockey teams for I don’t know how many years. He initiated and developed community projects such as, Thunderbird Ballpark, the Wiikwemkoong Recreational Centre and, his pride and joy, the Rainbow Ridge Golf Course.” Those who speak of the golf course say that Fisher was the driving force behind its creation. Fisher is a big fan of golf and his grandson, Drake Trudeau, remembers getting ice cream with his grandfather and driving by to check on who was golfing at the golf course. Of all his accomplishments, Trudeau thinks his grandfather is proudest of “anything to do with golf.” Of course, because it is Donald Odjig Fisher we speak of, there are many other descriptors for him, courtesy of family and friends. For instance, he is regimented. Or so says his sister-in-law, Evelyn Corbiere, the one who calls him ‘Buddy.’ “Mostly everything he did was on a schedule. Our fond memory to illustrate this were their (Fisher and his late wife, Lori) Sunday morning coffee visits. Guaranteed, their vehicle would come down our road precisely at 8:25 a.m. so he and Lori would be here for 8:30. After a good visit, jokes and coffee and Lor’s one or two slices of bacon at exactly 9:10 he would say, ‘Okay Lor, time to go as I have to go for my walk’.” And there are few things Fisher likes better than a good joke. “Scotty always has a good joke,” said Donna Debassige, his friend and former colleague. Sister-in-law Corbiere adds, “He would tell jokes at social gatherings or after Couples’ Night at golf. Although the jokes were often repeated, or whether he needed reminders with the punchlines, we would all have a good laugh. He would always look at Lor for help, which made it funnier.” Plus, he knows the keys to good health, said his family. “He believes that a healthy diet of fish, a glass of red wine a day, exercise, and a good joke is the secret to living a long and fulfilling life,” said Fox Trudeau. A vaccine helps with that, too. “Scotty is important in so many ways that Wiky would not be the welcoming community it is today,” says Leblanc. “He was a band councillor, education committee leader, community recreation director, and a multi-sport player and coach. He loves children and would go out of his way to help them be better in every way. “This honourable man is more than just a friend to me. He is a mentor, a brother, a man devoted to the humanity around him. He always gave of himself – his all. He is a devout giver and leader. It is easy to say, ‘He is my brother.’ Chi miigwech Nitchke.” Jenny Lamothe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Jan. 20 – CBC.ca
- As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 465 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths.
- There are currently 4,331 active cases of the coronavirus in B.C.
- 329 people are in hospital, with 70 in the ICU.
- 92,369 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C.
- There are no new health-care facility outbreaks.
- The number of cases linked to the Big White Mountain community cluster has grown by 28.
B.C. health officials confirmed 465 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday and said 12 more people had died of the disease.
In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 329 people, 70 of whom are in intensive care.
A total of 1,090 people in B.C. have lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
B.C. recorded no new outbreaks in health-care facilities.
Interior Health also confirmed there are now 28 additional cases of COVID-19 linked to the Big White Mountain community cluster — bringing the total to 203 since the cluster was declared. Of the 28 new cases, 22 reside and work at Big White.
B.C.’s current health restrictions are in effect until at least Feb. 5 at midnight. The current orders include a ban on gatherings with people outside of one’s immediate household.
Henry said in a news conference on Monday that if B.C.’s case count continues to trend downward, there is a possibility some restrictions could be lifted by the Family Day weekend in mid-February.
A non-existent flu season
Health officials in B.C. have not detected a single case of influenza circulating in the community since flu season began, continuing an “exceptional” nationwide trend.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) confirmed the non-existent seasonal flu numbers to CBC News on Monday.
“It’s still a big goose egg in terms of influenza detection provincially. It’s really quite exceptional how low the influenza activity is,” said Dr. Danuta Skowronski, the lead for influenza and emerging respiratory virus monitoring at the BCCDC.
B.C. ‘prepared’ for vaccine delays
The federal government on Friday announced Pfizer is temporarily reducing shipments of its vaccine in order to expand manufacturing capacity at a facility in Belgium. The move means there will be fewer shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccing coming to Canada until at least March.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday he’s still confident the country is on track to vaccinate every Canadian who wants a shot by September.
Henry called the delay a “setback” that will temporarily slow the province’s delivery of the vaccine to at-risk people. But she said the province is working to ensure the highest number of people are immunized.
- The B.C. government should tighten restrictions on travel from other Canadian provinces to curb the spread of COVID-19, a global health expert said Tuesday.
- British Columbia’s health minister says the province is still on track to begin administering second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine despite the news that no vials will be delivered to Canada next week.
- A man and woman have each been fined for not wearing masks after they coughed in the direction of customers at a gym just steps from Vancouver police headquarters.
- Health officials in B.C. have not detected a single case of influenza circulating in the community since flu season began, continuing an “exceptional” nationwide trend even as the province sits in the thick of its regular flu season.
- Despite a significant short-term gap in deliveries of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he’s still confident the country is on track to vaccinate every Canadian who wants a shot by September.
- The Vancouver School Board is getting a failing grade from some parents who say their children aren’t getting enough class time in high school.
What’s happening elsewhere in Canada
As of 9 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Canada had reported 719,465 cases of COVID-19, and 18,266 total deaths.
A total of 71,055 cases are considered active.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath.
- Loss of taste or smell.
But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.
What should I do if I feel sick?
Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they’re mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911.
What can I do to protect myself?
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.
- Keep your distance from people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
- Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.
More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government’s website.
COVID-19 in B.C.: Youth cases increase, six more foreigners test positive, health violations, and more – Straight.com
Case numbers continue to remain steady or are decreasing in several categories, while the number of deaths remains concerning.
In addition, there has been an increase in cases observed among young people, and there have been a number of incidents involving health order violations.
When B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry was asked at yesterday’s briefing about cases among young people, she said that they have seen an increase in cases among youth over the last few weeks, “particularly when school ended in mid-December”.
She said they have been watching these cases carefully to try and figure out what contributing factors are, and she said most of the cases appear to be related to transmission within households and in small groups.
She said that all children who have been in intensive care units have recovered.
She that so far, B.C. has had five multi-inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) cases and all of these young individuals have recovered. She addd that she will provide more MIS-C data later this week.
Once again, the B.C. government has extended the provincial state of emergency, this time until February 2.
Today, Emergency Management B.C. stated that 693 violation tickets were issued between August 21 and January 15, which includes:
- 119 fines of $2,300 each to owners or organizers for gatherings and events;
- 26 violation tickets for $2,300 each for violating food and liquor orders;
- 548 tickets of $230 fines each to individuals who refused to comply with law enforcement.
Since the pandemic began, police agencies in B.C. have issued a total of 85 violation tickets to individuals who violated the federal Quarantine Act, for total of $93,466 worth of fines.
Today, the Vancouver Police Department stated that a couple—a 60-year-old man and his 25-year-old girlfriend—each received fines of $230 for walking through a gym near False Creek without masks and coughing in the direction of people and equipment.
In addition, West Vancouver police, in response to a complaint about a loud late-night party, issued a $2,300 fine to a 40-year-old man hosting several individuals at a business for breaking provincial public health orders on gatherings and events.
In Prince George, RCMP were informed on January 13 that guests staying at the Ramada Plaza Hotel (444 George Street) were violating public health orders. While conducting a compliance check, officers found:
- large amounts of suspected fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, crack cocaine, and numerous prescription pills;
- several firearms hidden throughout the room;
- various stolen items, including laptops, industrial tools, and other electronic devices.
Police arrested two individuals, who were charged with possession of prohibited device, and the investigation remains ongoing.
In Kelowna, Harvest Church violated public health orders by holding in-person faith services, according to CBC News. RCMP issued a $2,300 violation ticket after a gathering was held on January 17 at the church. This is the second such fine for the church, which was previously issued a violation ticket in December for the same reason.
In a joint statement, Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced that there are 465 new cases (including 13 epi-linked cases) in the province today.
By region, that includes:
- 262 new cases in Fraser Health;
- 83 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
- 61 in Interior Health;
- 32 in the Northern Health;
- 21 in Island Health;
- six people from outside Canada.
Currently, there are 4,331 active cases, which is only five more people since yesterday.
Once again, the number of hospitalized cases continues to decrease. With 14 less people in hospital since yesterday, there are now 329 people are in hospital, with 70 of those patients in intensive care (two more than yesterday).
Public health is monitoring 6,864 people who have been exposed to confirmed cases.
Sadly, Henry and Dix announced 12 new COVID-19-related deaths, which brings the cumulative total to 1,090 people who have died during the pandemic.
A cumulative total of 55,099 people have now recovered.
During the pandemic, B.C. has recorded 61,912 total cases, which includes:
- 38,068 cases in Fraser Health (62 percent);
- 14,092 in Vancouver Coastal Health (23 percent);
- 5,374 in Interior Health (nine percent);
- 2,943 in Northern Health (five percent);
- 1,306 in Island Health (two percent);
- 129 people from outside Canada (less than one percent).
When it comes to vaccinations, a cumulative total of 92,369 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is now providing daily immunization data on its COVID-19 dashboard available on its website. (On the dashboard, click on the “Vaccine Supply and Administered, B.C.” tab at the bottom of the page.)
The good news is that there aren’t any new healthcare outbreaks.
Today, Fraser Health declared outbreaks over at these three healthcare facilities:
- Maple Ridge Seniors Village in Maple Ridge;
- The Emerald at Elim Village in Surrey;
- Guildford Seniors Village in Surrey.
Interior Health stated today that an additional 28 new cases have brought the community cluster at Big White Mountain has now had a cumulative total of 203 cases since it began. At the moment, there are 43 active cases and 160 people have recovered.
Loblaw reported that two of its stores has staff members who tested positive:
- one employee who last worked on January 6 at Real Canadian Superstore (3000 Laugheed Highway) in Coquitlam;
- one employee who last worked on January 15 at Shoppers Drug Mart (1006 Homer Street).
Rumble Boxing announced on January 17 that it would be voluntarily closing its studio in Yaletown (968 Expo Boulevard) for 48 hours for sanitization after a staff member tested positive.
What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Jan. 20 – Yahoo News Canada
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