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Canada changing approach on COVID vaccine plan as supplies begin to outstrip demand: Gen. Brodie – National Post

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‘In the coming weeks, we will cross a symbolic threshold of 66 million doses, signalling there are enough doses in Canada to vaccinate every currently eligible Canadian’

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OTTAWA — The military general overseeing the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the country says Canada is moving to a “more nuanced” approach as the supply of doses is on the verge of outstripping demand.

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Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie says more than two million doses of vaccine are already being held back because provinces have said they can’t use them — a big change from when all newly arrived doses were shipped around the country as quickly as possible.

“In the coming weeks, we will cross a symbolic threshold of 66 million doses, signalling that there are enough doses in Canada to vaccinate every currently eligible Canadian,” Brodie said at a virtual news conference from Ottawa Thursday.

“As we pivot from limited supply to sufficient supply, we are implementing a more nuanced approach to ensure that the vaccines are stewarded in a manner that best supports Canada’s enduring domestic needs, as well as optimizes options for supporting global vaccination efforts.”

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Canada’s vaccination rate remains among the highest in the world, but is starting to slow as the pool of people still looking for a first or second dose shrinks.

Health Canada has not responded to a question asking how many doses of each vaccine are in that reserve or when they expire. Canada has already said it plans to donate the rest of its expected shipments of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine — 17.7 million doses — to the COVAX global vaccine-sharing alliance.

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Those doses will be shipped to developing countries that are nowhere close to the level of vaccination Canada now enjoys. In Africa, about three per cent of the population has now received at least one dose, and 1.4 per cent are fully vaccinated.

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As of Thursday, more than 69 per cent of Canadians had at least one dose, and almost 47 per cent were fully vaccinated.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, warned countries such as Canada, where vaccinations are high and case loads under control, to remember the pandemic is not over. On Thursday, the WHO reported the number of COVID-19 deaths in Africa jumped 43 per cent over the last week, as the Delta variant continues its devastating spread.

Several provinces indicated Thursday that they’ve had to destroy some doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that expired July 1 before it could be used. The doses had already had their expiry date extended by Health Canada for another month.

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Ontario Health said Thursday it has 3,190 doses of AstraZeneca that will be destroyed, Prince Edward Island said it is destroying 3,200 doses and New Brunswick 960.

Demand for AstraZeneca plummeted in May after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization said the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were preferred because they weren’t associated with the rare but serious side-effect of blood clots potentially linked to AstraZeneca.

Canada has yet to say when or if it will donate any doses of Pfizer or Moderna. Procurement Minister Anita Anand said there will be 95 million doses of the two vaccines delivered by the end of September. That is at least 20 million doses more than Canada could use even if 100 per cent of Canadians chose to get fully vaccinated.

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Most polls suggest about 80 per cent of Canadians will be vaccinated. Currently vaccines aren’t authorized for kids under the age of 12, with hopes vaccine trials on younger children will be finished by the end of the summer.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Thursday Canada will keep enough doses to at least ensure supply for younger children when they become eligible. There are about 4.8 million kids in Canada under the age of 12.

“We will never do anything that will jeopardize our ability to have, quickly and safely, access to all the vaccines necessary to immunize any eligible Canadian,” LeBlanc said.

Tedros has chastised wealthier countries for vaccinating children, who are at the lowest risk for serious illness from COVID-19, while vulnerable people in other countries can’t get access to a vaccine.

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B.C. reports 342 new COVID cases, half of which are in Interior Health – Vernon Morning Star

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The province is reporting 342 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday (Aug. 4), a number not seen since May.

Of the new cases, 66 are in Fraser Health, 57 are in Vancouver Coastal Health, 171 are in Interior Health, 13 are in Northern Health, 32 are in Island Health and three new cases are in people who typically reside outside of Canada.

There are 1,764 active cases, of which 945 are in Interior Health. There are 55 people in hospital, 23 of whom are in intensive care or ICU.

Vaccination rates for people ages 12 and older have reached 81.5 per cent for first doses and 67.9 for second doses. There have been 6,931,815 doses of COVID vaccines administered so far.

There are five long-term care facilities currently experiencing COVID outbreaks: Holyrood Manor (Fraser Health), Nelson Jubilee Manor, Kootenay Street Village, Cottonwoods Care Centre and Brookhaven Care Centre (Interior Health).

According to the province, 78 per cent of cases are in people who are unvaccinated, while 18 per cent are in people who have had just one dose.

READ MORE: Vaccinated? You’re 10x less likely to catch and transmit COVID-19, but risk remains


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B.C. reports 342 new cases of COVID-19 over past 24 hours, with half in Interior Health – Kamloops This Week

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After days of reporting elevated case counts near 200 new per day, B.C. reported 342 new cases over the past 24 hours on Wednesday.

After a dramatic decline in cases from April to July, which the provincial government attributed to vaccinations taking hold in the province, cases have once again started spiking upwards, and the Interior Health region is leading the way.

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On Wednesday, Interior Health accounted for 171 of the 342 new cases, continuing the trend of making up approximately half of all new cases in the province.

But daily case data from the BC Centre for Disease Control also shows other regions beginning to increase, including Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health.

Interior Health now has nearly 1,000 active cases.

By the numbers, Fraser Health has 388 active cases, Vancouver Coastal Health has 258, Northern Health has 52, Island Health has 109, 12 are non-residents of Canada and Interior Health has 945.

As to where cases are emerging in Interior Health, weekly case data won’t be released until later on Wednesday. Previous weeks showed cases emerging in the Central Okanagan, where an outbreak was declared by Interior Health on July 28. That outbreak only affected the Central Okanagan local health area, but other local health areas also saw modest increases in cases.

Hospitalizations and deaths, however, remain low. No deaths were reported on Wednesday and only about a dozen deaths have been reported since the beginning of July.

As of Wednesday, B.C. had 55 people in hospital and 23 of those patients in ICUs.

With vaccinations continuing, B.C. has now put two doses in 67.9 per cent of everyone eligible to receive the vaccine in this province.

The province’s one-dose rate as of Wednesday is 81.5 per cent for everyone age 12 and older.

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COVID-19 outbreaks in two Kelowna area care homes announced as case numbers rise | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source – iNFOnews

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Cottonwoods in Kelowna had an outbreak.
(KATHY MICHAELS / iNFOnews.ca)

August 04, 2021 – 2:44 PM

New case numbers of COVID-19 continue to rise across B.C., with Interior Health yet again showing the most growth.

It seems that the disease may have spread beyond the 20 to 40 age group, as well, with two new outbreaks in area care homes being reported.

Cottonwoods Care Centre in Kelowna and Brookhaven Care Centre in West Kelowna are listed among the province’s long-term care facilities where there’s an outbreak. Brookhaven has eight cases: four residents and four staff. Cottonwoods Care Centre long-term care has three resident cases.

In the last 24 hours there have been 342 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed, for a total of 150,973 cases in the province since the start of the pandemic. Of these new cases, 171 were in Interior Health.

It now has 945 of the 1,764 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the active cases, 55 people are in hospital and 23 are in intensive care. 

Fraser Health is reporting 66 new cases, for a total active caseload of 388, Vancouver Coastal Health is reporting 57 new cases for a total of 258 active cases, Northern Health had 13 new cases raising the active cases to 52 and Island Health had 32 new cases raising its active caseload to 109.

In the past 24 hours, no new deaths have been reported, for an overall total of 1,772.

Since December 2020, the Province has administered 6,931,815 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

As of Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, 81.5% (3,777,588) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 67.9% (3,146,669) have received their second dose.
In addition, 82.4% (3,564,533) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 70.1% (3,033,200) have received their second dose.

 


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2021

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