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California reports its first coronavirus death of a child as fatalities soar

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California health officials reported the state’s first coronavirus death of a child on Friday as the statewide tally of fatalities surpassed 9,000, saying the victim was a teenager who had other health conditions.

The teenager’s death occurred in the Central Valley, but officials at the state Department of Public Health released no other details, citing privacy rules. The Central Valley is the state’s major agricultural region and recently has become one of California’s hot spots for the virus.

It’s extremely rare for children to die of the coronavirus. As of mid-July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 228 children had died of the disease in the U.S., less than 0.2% of the nation’s deaths at the time.

In California, more than 9,000 people have now died from the virus, and three-quarters were 65 and older. Only about 9% of California’s nearly half-million confirmed virus cases are children, and very few have suffered conditions serious enough for hospitalization, according to state data.

In March, Los Angeles County officials said a 17-year-old boy died of the virus. At the time it was believed to be the first death of a child, but days later local health officials walked back the initial finding, saying it was possible he died from something else. County health officials said the case would need to be evaluated by the Centers for Disease Control.

Rex Parris, the mayor of Lancaster, said the boy from his city died from septic shock after being admitted to the hospital with respiratory issues.

How likely children are to contract and spread the virus is a key question as leaders in California and elsewhere determine if and how to safely reopen schools this fall. Most California counties are now on a state monitoring list because of rising virus cases and and may not reopen schools for in-person instruction until they are off the list for 14 days.

Statewide, 96 deaths were reported in the last day, according to figures released Friday. Cases are still increasing by the thousands each day, but the curve appears to be flattening. The average number of new cases per day over the past week was 8,322, compared to 9,881 in the previous week.

The average percentage of people testing positive dropped to 6.5% over the past seven days, compared to 7.2% over 14 days.

Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged more support for the Central Valley on Monday, including $52 million in federal money for eight counties to improve testing and find places for people to isolate or quarantine if they can’t do so at home. The eight counties, including Fresno and Kern, home to major cities, had positive test rates between 11% and 18% at the beginning of the week.

For many people, the coronavirus causes no symptoms and for others only mild or moderate illness, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and be fatal.

 

Source:- Globalnews.ca

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Canada signs deals with Pfizer, Moderna to get doses of COVID-19 vaccines – Salmon Arm Observer

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Canada is signing deals with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and U.S.-based biotech firm Moderna to procure millions of doses of their experimental COVID-19 vaccines.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand is announcing the deals this morning in Toronto, which will see Canada get access to the vaccines if they prove to be both safe and effective.

Both companies began Phase 3 clinical trials of their vaccine candidates in the last week, large-scale tests to determine how well the vaccines work.

Earlier in July both Pfizer and Moderna reported positive results from smaller trials.

The Phase 3 trials will both test the vaccines on 30,000 people, and results are expected in the fall.

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam warned Tuesday about expecting a vaccine to provide a quick end to the pandemic, saying they provide hope but likely no silver bullet for the novel coronavirus.

READ MORE: COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic, Tam says

READ MORE: 30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine, poll suggests

The Canadian Press


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30% of British Columbians would 'wait and see' before taking COVID vaccine: poll – Chilliwack Progress

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Nearly one-third of British Columbians would take a “wait and see” approach to a COVID-19 vaccine, a poll from the Angus Reid Institute suggests.

The poll, released Tuesday (Aug. 4), took an overall look at how Canadians feel about a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 117,000 people and killed nearly 9,000 across the country. Quebec and Ontario have been hardest hit by the virus, with Alberta seeing recent spikes in cases and B.C. reaching 3,641 cases.

Pollsters found that 30 per cent of British Columbians would wait to see how the vaccine worked, or what its side effects were, before getting the shot. That number was similar Canada-wide at 32 per cent, with Ontario and the Atlantic provinces the most likely to wait at 35 per cent and 34 per cent, respectively, and Quebecers the least likely to wait at 29 per cent. Alberta was equal to B.C. at 30 per cent.

British Columbians were the most likely to get the vaccine right away at 52 per cent, above the country’s average at 46 per cent. Residents of Saskatchewan were the least likely to get the vaccine immediately at 33 per cent, with Alberta next at 41 per cent.

About 61 per cent of Canadians overall said they would be concerned about side effects from a vaccine, while 23 per cent each said they would be concerned about getting infected from taking it, its effectiveness or that COVID-19 is not as serious as people say it is.

Canadians who voted Conservative in 2019 were by far the most likely to think the outbreak was not as serious as others say, at 43 per cent compared to eight per cent for Liberal voters and five per cent for NDP.

Across the country, 14 per cent said they won’t get the vaccine when it becomes available, with Alberta and Saskatchewan least likely to get it at 22 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively. Men were less likely than women to agree to the vaccine, and men between 35 and 54 years old were the least likely overall at 21 per cent.

Health officials worldwide largely believe a vaccine could begin to be distributed as early as January 2021, although according to a Russian state news agency, the country said it will begin a national vaccination campaign in October.

Elsewhere, frontrunner Moderna began phase three trials at the end of July, while several other vaccines made by China and by Britain’s Oxford University, based on different vaccine technologies, began smaller final-stage tests in Brazil and other hard-hit countries earlier this month.

Poll results came from an online survey of 1,519 Canadian adults between July 23 and 24, 2020.

READ MORE: Canada urged to avoid ‘vaccine nationalism’ in race for COVID-19 cure

– With files from The Associated Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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Canada strikes deals for vaccine candidates with Pfizer, Moderna – RFI

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Issued on: 05/08/2020 – 19:14

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Ottawa (AFP)

Canada announced Wednesday it has signed two agreements with American pharmaceutical firms Pfizer and Moderna for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021.

Millions of doses will be supplied, but the vaccines are still in development while negotiations continue with other potential suppliers, Procurement Minister Anita Anand told a news conference.

They will also still need to obtain Health Canada regulatory approvals before being distributed to Canadians, she said.

The agreement with the American giant Pfizer concerns a vaccine candidate developed in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech.

BioNTech and Pfizer reported the first conclusive trials of the BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine candidate in early July, after testing 45 people. They started large-scale clinical trials at the end of July, with 30,000 volunteers aged 18 to 35.

Moderna is to provide its mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate, which has started to be tested in thousands of Phase 3 clinical trial human participants.

On Tuesday, Canada’s chief public health officer, Theresa Tam, warned that a vaccine will be a “very important aspect of the response,” but will not bring a swift end to the coronavirus outbreak.

“We’re planning, as a public health community, that we’re going to have to manage this pandemic certainly over the next year, but certainly it may be planning for the longer term on the next two to three years during which the vaccine may play a role. But we don’t know yet,” Tam said.

“People might think that if we get a vaccine then everything goes back to normal the way it was before. That’s not the case,” added her deputy, Howard Njoo.

Canada had more than 118,000 cases of coronavirus and 8,996 patients have died, as of Wednesday.

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