Regulators should reach a decision about whether to approve Canada’s first COVID-19 vaccine for infants and preschoolers in coming weeks, federal officials said Friday as the United States prepared to roll out tot-sized shots.
Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo said that Health Canada continues to review Moderna’s application for a vaccine to protect children between six months and five years old.
“We anticipate a decision in the coming, I would say, weeks or so. I can’t give you a precise date,” Njoo told a virtual press conference. “Obviously, they need to do their due diligence.”
On Friday, U.S. regulators authorized Moderna’s and Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccines for the youngest kids, setting the stage for doses to be doled out next week.
Canada has yet to authorize a vaccine for its nearly two million children under five.
Moderna’s shot is the only vaccine for this cohort that has been submitted for regulatory review, Njoo said. Moderna has applied for its vaccine to be given in two doses, each a quarter of its adult dose, given about four weeks apart.
A Pfizer Canada spokeswoman said in an email that the company is making progress on its vaccine submission, but couldn’t provide a timeline on when it would be filed.
Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine can be used on kids as young as five, and Moderna’s Spikevax shot has been approved for children ages six and up.
Compared to adults, children face a lower risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes, but that risk isn’t zero, said Dr. Katharine Smart, president of the Canadian Medical Association.
In recent months, many of the children treated in hospital for COVID-19 have been ineligible for vaccination, said Smart. As the prospect of a potential seventh wave looms, she said Canada needs to extend the benefits of vaccination to the youngest members of its population.
“We know that children under five have had no protection from COVID. There’s many parents, of course, that are very concerned,” said Smart.
“We don’t know what we’re facing in the fall. So I think being able to protect those youngest children is going to be critical.”
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, told reporters Friday that indicators suggest the spread of COVID-19 is stabilizing at a national level, and rates of severe illness are declining in most jurisdictions.
While officials are “cautiously optimistic,” said Tam, there are signs of increased viral activity in some areas. And new Omicron subvariants — including BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 — appear to be more contagious and better at evading immunity than their predecessors.
“We do not expect our progress to be linear,” Tam said. “Therefore, maintaining readiness for a potential resurgence that could result in severe impacts is our best advantage as we head into summer.”
Also on Friday, the federal government discontinued the COVID Alert app. The app was launched in the summer of 2020 as a way to alert people if they’d been in close contact with someone who had been infected with COVID-19, without collecting personal data.
The app was criticized as being ineffective and not living up to expectations. While 6.89 million people had downloaded it as of Feb. 1, the latest federal figures say it recorded only 63,117 positive COVID-19 test results.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 17, 2022.
— With files from The Associated Press and Laura Osman in Ottawa
Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press
Toronto Public Health hosting pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics throughout Canada Day weekend – Toronto.com
Toronto Public Health continues to host summer pop-up vaccination clinics across the city in partnership with Toronto’s Canada Day festivals and special events. This is part of Team Toronto’s continued efforts to bring COVID-19 vaccination opportunities to places residents live, work and play.
“As people gather to celebrate Canada Day across the city, Team Toronto will be out helping residents get vaccinated against COVID-19 and keep their vaccinations up to date,” said Mayor John Tory. “We have made such progress thanks to our world-leading vaccination efforts, and that’s why we’re continuing to work throughout this holiday and into the summer to help deliver vaccine doses.”
TPH will host the following vaccination clinics in early July:
• High Park Canada Day Festival at High Park, 1873 Bloor St. W., Friday, July 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• East York Canada Day Festival at Stan Wadlow Park. 373 Cedarvale Ave., Friday, July 1, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Canada Day event at Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St. Friday, July 1, 2 to 7 p.m.
• CIMA Mayor’s Cricket Trophy event at Sunnybrook Park, 1132 Leslie St. Saturday, July 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Lakeshore Ribfest at 1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Dr. Saturday July 2 and Sunday, July 3, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Afrofest at Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St. E. Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10, 1 to 7:30 p.m.
• Dragon Boat Challenge (GWN Sport Regatta) at Marilyn Bell Park, 1095 Lakeshore Blvd. W. Saturday July 9, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
These family-friendly and youth-friendly clinics will provide first, second, third, fourth and children’s COVID-19 doses to eligible residents age five and up on a walk-in basis, with no appointment or health card required. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be offered by TPH nurses, who will also answer COVID-19 and vaccine-related questions.
Residents can continue to get vaccinated at city-run immunization clinics, primary care offices and more than 525 pharmacies. A full list of clinic locations and hours is available on the City’s COVID-19: Where to Get Vaccinated webpage.
As of Monday, July 4, the city-run immunization clinic at Metro Hall will operate Monday to Friday noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents can find a pharmacy offering COVID-19 vaccination by using the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 pharmacy vaccine locations webpage.
All eligible residents are encouraged to get their third and fourth dose as soon as possible. As with vaccines for other diseases, people are protected best when they stay up to date. COVID-19 vaccines have been scientifically proven to lower the risk of illness, hospitalization and death while protecting oneself, loved ones and the community, and residents with three doses had the lowest rates of hospitalization, ICU and death over any other level of vaccination.
Style File: Smart sunscreens – Montreal Gazette
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Sunscreen is always a good idea.
Skin cancers are the most common forms of cancer in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. And severe sunburns are noted as “an important risk factor for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers,” according to the agency.
With this in mind, it’s important to slather, smooth, spray — or whatever your chosen format of sun protection may be — this summer.
Here are four smart sunscreen options to consider adding to your daily sun-protection plan:
From the French brand La Roche-Posay, this “ultralight” sunscreen formula features a universal tint to match most skin tones. See you later, face makeup. The Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra Fluid boasts a sun protection factor (that’s the SPF) of 50, thanks to 100 per cent mineral filters. Suitable for sensitive skin, the broad-spectrum sunscreen — it blocks both UVA and UVB rays, is sweat resistant and water resistant for up to 40 minutes.
$35.95 | Shoppers Drug Mart, Laroche-posay.ca
This advanced sunscreen formula from Shiseido acts as a moisturizer, sunscreen and face primer all-in-one formula. The Urban Environment Oil-Free Sunscreen has an SPF of 42 and features skin-loving ingredients such as spirulina and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and smooth skin while broad-spectrum UV filters protect against ultraviolet rays.
$45 | Sephora, Shiseido.com
Perfect for those who struggle with acne, this Clear as Day SPF 46 from the brand Starface is vegan and cruelty-free, while also being oil-free and non-comedogenic. The fragrance-free formula features a unique gel texture and is completely clear so there’s no fear of a white cast on skin. Water resistant for up to 80 minutes, so you can spend a little extra time splish-splashing about.
$32 | Starfaceworld.ca
Sun protection doesn’t stop at the face, neck and décolletage. Introduce head-to-toe coverage to your summer routine with the Garnier Ombrelle Sensitive Expert Body Lotion SPF 60. The hypoallergenic sunscreen formula features broad-spectrum coverage, is fragrance-free, dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic and water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Plus, the lotion formula is easy to apply, and absorbs quickly.
$24.99 | London Drugs, Londondrugs.com
Mysterious staggering disease in cats down to previously unknown virus – New Scientist
A previously unknown rustrela virus might be the cause of a staggering disease that affects cats in some parts of Europe
1 July 2022
The cause of a brain disease in cats that makes them develop symptoms such as staggering is a previously unknown virus, a study suggests. The pathogen is a rustrela virus and is probably carried by wood mice.
The findings show that rustrela viruses are more diverse and widespread than previously thought, according to Kaspar Matiasek at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and his colleagues. They write that the viruses might cause neurological diseases in other mammals …
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