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Britain secures additional 2 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine; appoints vaccines minister – The Globe and Mail

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Protesters march through central London as they take part in an anti-lockdown protest against government restrictions designed to control or mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and lockdowns, in London on November 28, 2020.

TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images

Britain has secured an additional two million doses of Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, the government said in a statement on Sunday.

Following the latest deal, Britain has access to enough doses of Moderna’s vaccine candidate for around 3.5 million people. Overall, it has access to 357 million doses of vaccines from 7 different developers, according to the statement.

“With a wide range of vaccine candidates in our portfolio, we stand ready to deploy a vaccine should they receive approval from our medicines regulator, starting with those who will benefit most,” Britain’s health minister, Matt Hancock, said in the statement.

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On Saturday, the British government appointed a vaccines minister as it prepares to inoculate millions of people against the coronavirus, potentially starting within days.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Conservative lawmaker Nadhim Zahawi will oversee the country’s biggest vaccine program in decades.

The U.K. medicines regulator is currently assessing two vaccines — one developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, the other by Oxford University and AstraZeneca — to see if they are safe and effective. The Guardian newspaper reported that hospitals have been told they could receive the first doses of the Pfizer shot the week of Dec. 7, if it receives approval.

The U.K. says frontline health care workers and nursing home residents will be the first to be vaccinated, followed by older people, starting with those over age 80.

Britain has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, enough for 20 million people, and 100 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

In all, the U.K. government has agreed to purchase up to 355 million doses of vaccine from seven different producers, as it prepares to vaccinate as many of the country’s 67 million people as possible.

Decisions about which, if any, vaccines to authorize will be made by the independent Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

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Pfizer and BioNTech say their vaccine is 95% effective, according to preliminary data. It must be stored at ultra-cold temperatures of around minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit).

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored at conventional refrigerator temperatures, and is also cheaper than its main rivals. But some scientists have questioned gaps in its reported results.

Oxford and AstraZeneca reported this week that their vaccine appeared to be 62% effective in people who received two doses, and 90% effective when volunteers were given a half dose followed by a full dose. They said the half dose was administered because of a manufacturing error, and they plan a new clinical trial to investigate the most effective dosing regimen.

The British government hopes a combination of vaccines and mass testing will end the need for restrictions on business and everyday life it imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Britain has had Europe’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak, with more than 57,000 confirmed virus-related deaths.

The prime minister said this week that officials hope to inoculate “the vast majority of the people who need the most protection by Easter.” But he warned that “we must first navigate a hard winter” of restrictions.

A four-week national lockdown in England is due to end Wednesday, and will be replaced by three-tiered system of regional measures that restrict business activity, travel and socializing. The vast majority of the country is being put into the upper two tiers.

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The restrictions have sparked protests, with police arresting scores of people at an anti-lockdown demonstration in London on Saturday.

Several bottles and smoke bombs were thrown as anti-mask and anti-vaccine demonstrators scuffled with officers in the city’s West End shopping district. The Metropolitan Police force said 155 people were arrested.

Johnson also faces opposition to the measures from dozens of his own Conservative Party’s lawmakers, who say the economic damage outweighs the public health benefits.

Bur Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the restrictions were “grimly” necessary to avoid the health system being overwhelmed this winter.

Writing in The Times of London, Gove said there are currently 16,000 coronavirus patients in British hospitals, not far below the April peak of 20,000. A rise in infections would mean coronavirus patients would “displace all but emergency cases. And then even those.,” he said.

“If, however, we can keep the level of infection stable or, even better, falling, and hold out through January and February, then we can be confident that vaccination will pull the plug on the problem,” Gove wrote.

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How to Succeed When Buying a Franchise Store and Financing Its Cost

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Franchise Store

It’s a road you want to go down successfully. We’re talking about your decision on buying a franchise in Canada, financing the franchise cost, and being successful in the franchise store or business you have chosen.

Clients always ask us if it’s ‘ risky ‘ to buy a franchise. Our answer is somewhat facetious, in that if a franchise fails, we prefer to have someone to blame – that’s you, the franchisor, or your franchise lender. It’s rarely the lender, leaving you and the franchisor.

The reality is quite frankly the same as if you were acquiring any business, namely, Do your homework! And invest some time in solid due diligence. Make a good decision about who you are going to do business with.

After selecting a franchise opportunity the challenge of financing the business becomes even more bewildering to some of our clients. Let’s share some solid tips, info, and suggestions around the successful financing of your franchise cost.

We often focus solely on your financing challenge when buying a franchise; we should add that it’s just as important to spend some time on understanding the general financing situation around the partnership you are about to enter into with your franchisor. Disclosure documents these days are fairly heavily weighted towards you as the franchisee understanding that you are entering into business with, so we encourage all clients to take a strong look at your franchisors profitability, its financial management, and any items of public record that might hint or portend of future problems.

Unfortunately many franchisees we talk to about franchise cost and how we will finance the franchise are under the misconception that there is 100% financing available for your new business. In Canada that is pretty well never the case, and you need to make a strong assessment of the maximum amount you can contribute to the venture from a personal equity basis. If you borrow too much and put too little in the financial folks call that being ‘ over-leveraged’- therefore any little bumps in the economy or your ability to generate sales becomes a huge problem if you aren’t properly capitalized.

And we already know your next question, which is ‘ how much do I have to put in ‘. We would prefer to give you a clear final answer on that one, such as xx %, but the reality is that your investment is tied to a couple of factors… the size of the financing you require, how you will finance it, and whether initial ratio analysis will show that you meet all qualifications.

A ratio is just a ‘ relationship’ of numbers. The two key ratios that you need to focus on in franchise financing are debt to equity and working capital. Typically you want to have only two times more debt than your investment in the business, and from a working capital point of view, you want to ensure you have liquid assets to cover at a minimum short-term payable.

Do franchisors offer loan assistance – the answer is yes… and no. By that, we mean simply that many franchisors have developed relationships with Canadian business financing advisors who assist franchisees in finalizing all aspects of the franchise cost financing – including business plan preparation, negotiations, sourcing debt, etc. You should rarely if ever, expect the franchisor to supply direct loan financing assistance – they are selling franchises, not building a financial empire.

In Canada typical methods of financing, a franchise are a BIL loan, a working capital term loan, and equipment leasing and financing.

Speak to a trusted, credible, and experienced business financing advisor who will work with you to successfully finance your franchise store in a minimum amount of time with a maximum amount of success!

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Three deaths, 216 new COVID-19 cases identified in Manitoba – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
The province announced three new deaths linked to COVID-19 Saturday, the same day restrictions were eased across most of the province.

A man in his 60s died, along with two women; one in her 70s, the other in her 80s. They were all from the Winnipeg health region, according to the provincial COVID-19 bulletin.

Public health officials recorded 216 new infections, with more than half in the province’s north.

Of the new cases, 118 are in the Northern health region, 50 in the Winnipeg health region, 22 in Interlake-Eastern, 14 in Southern health and 12 in Prairie Mountain Health.

The five-day test positivity rate is 9.8 per cent in Manitoba and 6.5 per cent in Winnipeg.

There are 272 people in hospital, with 40 in the ICU.

The number of Manitobans who have died of COVID-19 now stands at 798.

According to the bulletin, 1,836 tests were done Friday, bringing the total number since February 2020 to 463,084.

The Manitoba government released the update as new public health orders came into effect.

Retailers can sell non-essential items again, hair salons and barber shops can open and Manitobans are allowed to have two designated visitors to their households.

The new orders do not apply to northern Manitoba, where cases have jumped over the past few weeks.

The province also began accepting appointments Saturday for a pilot testing site in Winnipeg, which is dedicated to educational staff.

Manitoba teachers, educational support staff and others working in schools or with students can now book appointments for rapid testing at the Fast Pass site at 1066 Nairn Avenue.

“Eligible clients must be symptomatic, identified as a close contact because of an exposure at school or have a symptomatic household member,” reads the bulletin.

Appointments can be made here.

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216 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, including 118 in north – CBC.ca

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There are 216 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths from the illness in Manitoba, according to a provincial news release issued on Saturday.

Of the new cases, more than half — 118 — are in the Northern Health Region, which has seen a worrisome spike recently.

The rest of the cases are in the Winnipeg (50), Interlake-Eastern (22), Southern (14) and Prairie Mountain (12) health regions.

The deaths reported Saturday were all in the Winnipeg health region — a man in his 60s, a woman in her 70s and a woman in her 80s.

The provincial five-day test positivity rate — a rolling average of the number of tests that come back positive — is 9.8 per cent, up from 9.3 per cent on Friday. Winnipeg’s rate also rose slightly, to 6.5 per cent from 6.2.

The province’s news release says 1,836 COVID-19 tests were completed Friday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February 2020 to 463,084.

The number of Manitobans in hospital is 272, up from 268 on Friday. There are also 40 people in intensive care, up from 33 the day prior.

On Friday, the province reported 173 new cases of COVID-19, with more than a third — 64 — in the Northern Health Region.

As well, Fox Lake Cree Nation declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on Friday.

There are 34 active cases in the First Nation, about 700 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, Chief Morris Beardy said in a news release.

That number includes Beardy himself.

“This is very serious and scary for us all. I also know how resilient and strong our community is, and how we can support each other through difficult times,” he said.

There are 88 Fox Lake households affected by the virus, including 15 in the Bird reserve and 70 in the nearby town of Gillam, according to the release.

The northern region, including the town of Churchill, was excluded from an easing of some of the province’s strict pandemic restrictions, which came into effect for the rest of Manitoba Saturday, following recent drops in case numbers.

Two designated visitors are now allowed for each household, and group of up to five can gather outdoors on private property.

Retailers are allowed to sell non-essential items in-store again, and barbers and hair stylists are able to go back to work.

As well, as of Saturday, all Manitoba teachers, educational support staff and other staff working in schools and directly with students can now make an appointment for rapid COVID-19 testing at the Winnipeg Fast Pass site at 1066 Nairn Ave., provided they meet certain criteria.

To be eligible, people who work in schools must be symptomatic, identified as a close contact because of an exposure at school, or have a symptomatic household member. 

Appointments for the pilot site are now open for eligible staff working in all schools and school divisions, the province says.

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