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Canada plan to suspend passenger flights from India, Pakistan

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By David Ljunggren and Allison Lampert

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada‘s government said it would temporarily bar passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days starting on Thursday as part of stricter measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The center-left Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acted after prominent right-leaning politicians complained Ottawa had not done enough to combat a third wave of infections ripping through Canada.

The ban, which takes effect at 11.30 p.m. (0330 GMT Friday), does not affect cargo flights.

India on Thursday recorded the world’s highest daily tally of 314,835 COVID-19 infections amid fears about the ability of crumbling health services to cope.

Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu said that while Indian citizens accounted for 20% of all international arrivals, they represented over 50% of the positive tests conducted by Canadian airport officials.

“By eliminating direct travel from these countries, public health experts will have the time to evaluate the ongoing epidemiology of that region and to reassess the situation,” she told a news conference.

The conservative premiers of Ontario and Quebec – the most populous of Canada‘s 10 provinces – wrote to Trudeau earlier on Thursday urging him to crack down on international travel.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said Canada would not hesitate to bar flights from other nations if needed.

Britain said earlier that India would be added to its “red-list” of locations from which most travel is banned due to a high number of COVID-19 cases.

In addition, France is imposing a 10-day quarantine for travelers from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, South Africa and India, while the United Arab Emirates has suspended all flights from India.

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Allison Lampert; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Peter Cooney)

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BC Eyeing Record Influenza Vaccine Rollout – CFNR Network

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British Columbia is looking to break records when it comes to this year’s influenza vaccine rollout, according to Minister Adrian Dix.


Dix says that the province has received 2.4 million doses of vaccines, 200 thousand more than last year.

Experts are expecting a flu season for the record books as well, after Covid lockdowns nearly killed off all spread last year.

In recent years, British Columbia has been accustomed to closer to 1.5 million doses, but the province is expecting more demand as Covid restrictions begin to loosen.

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COVID-19 drives up demand for flu shots; N.S. to launch campaign later this week – CTV News Atlantic

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HALIFAX –

With the colder winds of fall starting to blow, flu season will soon be on us again, but it seems scores of people are hoping to head off the sickness by getting a flu shot.

Unlike last year, when it was essentially pre-empted by COVID-19, experts say influenza will be back this year.

Just hours after getting a shipment and posting signage outside lineups started to form inside a north end Halifax pharmacy.

“We just got our flu shots, and people start showing up right away,” said pharmacist and store owner Ghada Gabr.

“I think this is going to be a lot of demand.”

It’s the same story a few blocks away, where pharmacist Greg Richard is expecting his first shipment of flu vaccine later this week.

With COVID-19 still around, customers like Kathy Lynch, who hasn’t had a flu shot in five years, is anxious to get one.

“I mean, I feel great. I’ve had no problem with either of the vaccinations, so, to put another layer on top is just the best thing, I think,” she said.

“People are eager to get their doses into them right off the bat,” said Richard. “They’re not looking to wait until November or December. So, I have a list of folks I’m going to reach out to as soon as they (the vaccines) arrive, and I anticipate to run through my stock pretty quickly.”

And it might very turn out to be the same thing across the country.

There’s word today Ontario has ordered an extra 1.4 million doses, with an aim to make the shots available to everyone by next month.

In Nova Scotia, the Health Minister says the official kickoff will come later this week, and supply should not be a problem,

“We do anticipate having enough vaccine for folks,” said Michelle Thompson.

“And I would really encourage people to ensure they have both their COVID-19 vaccine and the influenza vaccine this year.”

But, if early demand is any indication there might not be need for much encouragement.

A sign of the times as more and more of us take steps to avoid getting sick.

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PG woman denied high dose flu shot, although her age and health condition makes her eligible – CKPGToday.ca

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“I’m an advocate for my health and I want the best that there is–everybody should have what they need,” said Newman.

Today, the province announced it’s beginning its influenza immunization campaign.

“The influenza vaccine is for free for anybody over six months of age, for whom it’s recommended. But particularly for people who have underlying health conditions,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer

Newman’s condition requires a higher dose of the flu shot and she has been eager to get it. However, she says she’s been denied even though she’s eligible.

“I have Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which is a cancer of your lymphatic system–your germ fighting network. So as soon as the flu shots were available, I phone my pharmacy to get the high dose vaccine. I was told that the high doses were not available,” said Newman.

Because of her cancer, she’s also classified as a Clinically Extremely Vulnerable person (CEV). She has qualified for the high dose shot in the last three years. But after calling more than a dozen pharmacies and Northern Health, she was told she wasn’t eligible yet.

“It’s really hard to get answers. But when I’ve had it in the past and people in my situation have had the high dose in the past. I just don’t get why we cannot get it. Nobody can tell me. They don’t say it’s a supply issue or anything, so I just don’t understand,” said Newman.

According to ImmunizeBC’s website, First Nations communities, residents in long term care, residents in assisted living facilities, and who are 65 and older are able to receive the high dose for free.

This means Newman’s age alone qualifies her.

CKPG-TV reached out to the Ministry of Health for clarification as to why she wasn’t able to get a high dose shot. At the time that this article was written, this was the response that was given:

“As of today, the province is proud to announce the implementation of free publicly-funded influenza vaccines for those 6 months and older (those under 6 months aren’t eligible to receive this vaccine). FluZone HD, also referred to as the “high-dose influenza vaccine,” was never publicly-funded in BC until the federal government made it available in limited supply last year. With publicly funded FluZone HD, eligibility is restricted to residents of LTC/AL who are 65 or older. This year, eligibility was extended to people 65 or older residing in Indigenous communities. No pharmacy within Northern Health has a stock of publicly funded FluZone HD reserved for these eligible populations; they are administered through other means. Some pharmacies may pay for private-pay stock of FluZone HD. That is their prerogative and the Ministry is only responsible for publicly-funded stock. If those over 65 who do not live in an Indigenous community or are an LTC resident can receive a standard-dose influenza vaccine, they should accept it,” said Ministry of Health.

Newman says that she’s not undermining the importance of the other groups getting the high dose, she’s upset that the province didn’t plan for high-risk people like herself to get one.

“It just astounds me. To me, there’s no common sense. I know common sense is not so common, but what is right is right and you know I’ve already gotten my covid booster shot. I felt guilty getting that before some people in long care even got it. I just want what’s right for everybody.” said Newman.

She says she’s not going to give up on her fight and she thanks all healthcare workers for their fight against COVID-19.

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