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Canada will get some doses of Pfizer’s vaccine earlier than scheduled: PM Trudeau

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OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada will receive some doses of Pfizer Inc‘s COVID-19 vaccine earlier than scheduled and is on track to inoculate the entire population by the end of September, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday.

He also told reporters that Canada had bought four million additional doses of Moderna Inc’s vaccine. Trudeau’s Liberal government is under fire for the slow pace of vaccination, in part caused by temporary supply delays.

Canada will now receive an additional 2.8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine between April and June and 6.2 million more than initially planned between July and September. It has ordered a total of 40 million doses from Pfizer.

“That’s part of the reason why we can say with such confidence that everyone who wants a vaccine in Canada will get one by the end of September,” Trudeau said.

Canada has recorded a total of 21,088 deaths and 817,163 cases so far. An average of 3,350 new daily cases were recorded in the past week, down from 8,000 in early January.

“We’ve made great progress,” chief medical officer Theresa Tam told reporters.

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler)

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B.C. announces vaccines sites ahead of booking COVID-19 shots appointments Monday – PrinceGeorgeMatters.com

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VICTORIA — Health authorities across British Columbia announced locations for COVID-19 vaccine centres Sunday, the day before some of the province’s oldest residents could start booking appointments to get their first shots. 

Vaccine call centres are set to open Monday morning to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments for people 90 and older, and Indigenous people 65 or older, as well as those who identify as Indigenous elders.

Island Health officials said Sunday 19 community sites across Vancouver Island have been identified to administer COVID-19 vaccines and 25 community sites in the Vancouver Coastal Health region will be used as clinic locations.

The Interior, Northern and Fraser health authorities say they will confirm vaccination sites with people when they book a COVID-19 appointment.

“We recognize that there’s lots of people that are eager to call in and get going (Monday), so just another reminder that please, unless you are in that category of over 90 or Indigenous over 65 or you identify as an elder, please don’t call next week so we can get through this important population,'” said Victoria Schmid, Island Health’s pandemic planner.

“Your turn will come,” she said at a news conference Sunday. “We just need everyone to be patient right now.”

People can contact their health authority and book appointments for themselves or their spouse, and family members or friends are permitted to schedule an appointment on someone else’s behalf, Schmid said.

People will be asked to provide the person’s first and last name, date of birth, postal code and personal health number and will be asked for an email address or text number to confirm the COVID-19 vaccine appointment, she said..

People born in 1936 or earlier can start calling for appointments on March 15 and those born in 1941 or earlier can start scheduling their shots on March 22.

Schmid said she expected the appointments to last about 30 minutes, which includes a 15-minute waiting period following the administration of the vaccine.

She suggested people wear short sleeves to make it easier to give the vaccine and not to forget a mask.

A support person to can accompany people to the vaccine clinic, she said.

Schmid said sites for the community clinics were chosen for their accessibility and comfort and familiarity for Indigenous people.

“Ease of access was really important to us,” she said. “We really tried to keep a travel time to no more than 15 minutes within urban areas. We want to make sure these sites are accessible for individuals with mobility challenges.”

Immunization clinics will also be held at Indigenous friendship centres in Victoria, Port Alberni and Port Hardy, Schmid said.

Vancouver Coastal Health said in a news release its clinics will be located cross Metro Vancouver and the Squamish and Whistler areas and the Sunshine Coast. The clinics will be held at community, friendship, senior and cultural centres and other regional sites.

The health authorities plan to have B.C.’s population of elderly people, ranging in age from 80 to more than 90 years and Indigenous people 65 and older and elders, vaccinated against COVID-19 by April 12, Schmid said.

She said a person 90 years and older who calls next week for a COVID-19 vaccination will get their appointment within one week.

“They have a week to register for the following week’s vaccination appointment,” said Schmid. “After that, we’re going to move to register those over 85 and then moving down the week after to those over 80.”

Island Health’s Dr. Mike Benusic said he’s optimistic about the vaccination rollout.

“The announcements we’re giving right now provide me with such a sense of hope,” he said. “The fact is right now we have 25 times the number of people vaccinated within Island Health than people who have had COVID-19 within Island Health, and we’re only going to see that number sky rocket in the next few weeks and months.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

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Lines open Monday in B.C. to start booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments for seniors – Burnaby Now

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VICTORIA — Health authorities across British Columbia announced locations for COVID-19 vaccine centres Sunday, the day before some of the province’s oldest residents could start booking appointments to get their first shots. 

Vaccine call centres are set to open Monday morning to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments for people 90 and older, and Indigenous people 65 or older, as well as those who identify as Indigenous elders.

Island Health officials said Sunday 19 community sites across Vancouver Island have been identified to administer COVID-19 vaccines and 25 community sites in the Vancouver Coastal Health region will be used as clinic locations.

The Interior, Northern and Fraser health authorities say they will confirm vaccination sites with people when they book a COVID-19 appointment.

“We recognize that there’s lots of people that are eager to call in and get going (Monday), so just another reminder that please, unless you are in that category of over 90 or Indigenous over 65 or you identify as an elder, please don’t call next week so we can get through this important population,'” said Victoria Schmid, Island Health’s pandemic planner.

“Your turn will come,” she said at a news conference Sunday. “We just need everyone to be patient right now.”

People can contact their health authority and book appointments for themselves or their spouse, and family members or friends are permitted to schedule an appointment on someone else’s behalf, Schmid said.

People will be asked to provide the person’s first and last name, date of birth, postal code and personal health number and will be asked for an email address or text number to confirm the COVID-19 vaccine appointment, she said..

People born in 1936 or earlier can start calling for appointments on March 15 and those born in 1941 or earlier can start scheduling their shots on March 22.

Schmid said she expected the appointments to last about 30 minutes, which includes a 15-minute waiting period following the administration of the vaccine.

She suggested people wear short sleeves to make it easier to give the vaccine and not to forget a mask.

A support person to can accompany people to the vaccine clinic, she said.

Schmid said sites for the community clinics were chosen for their accessibility and comfort and familiarity for Indigenous people.

“Ease of access was really important to us,” she said. “We really tried to keep a travel time to no more than 15 minutes within urban areas. We want to make sure these sites are accessible for individuals with mobility challenges.”

Immunization clinics will also be held at Indigenous friendship centres in Victoria, Port Alberni and Port Hardy, Schmid said.

Vancouver Coastal Health said in a news release its clinics will be located cross Metro Vancouver and the Squamish and Whistler areas and the Sunshine Coast. The clinics will be held at community, friendship, senior and cultural centres and other regional sites.

The health authorities plan to have B.C.’s population of elderly people, ranging in age from 80 to more than 90 years and Indigenous people 65 and older and elders, vaccinated against COVID-19 by April 12, Schmid said.

She said a person 90 years and older who calls next week for a COVID-19 vaccination will get their appointment within one week.

“They have a week to register for the following week’s vaccination appointment,” said Schmid. “After that, we’re going to move to register those over 85 and then moving down the week after to those over 80.”

Island Health’s Dr. Mike Benusic said he’s optimistic about the vaccination rollout.

“The announcements we’re giving right now provide me with such a sense of hope,” he said. “The fact is right now we have 25 times the number of people vaccinated within Island Health than people who have had COVID-19 within Island Health, and we’re only going to see that number sky rocket in the next few weeks and months.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

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Hamilton records two more COVID-19 deaths over the weekend – TheSpec.com

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Hamilton recorded two new COVID-19 deaths over the weekend as active case counts crept back above 400.

The city reported 79 new coronavirus cases and 431 active cases Sunday, up from 35 and 378 Saturday.

It marks the first time active cases have increased since Feb. 28.

One person in their 60s and one person in their 70s were reported to have died Saturday and Sunday, respectively. A total 287 people in Hamilton have died due to complications with COVID-19.

Presumed cases of fast-spreading coronavirus variants in the city crossed the 100-mark this weekend.

On Sunday, public health reported 106 presumed cases of the variants, which are more contagious and believed to cause more severe illness.

That’s up 18 from the 88 presumed cases reported Friday and nearly triple the 37 presumed cases reported Feb. 26.

All coronavirus cases in Ontario are screened for the variants that first appeared in the U.K., South Africa and Brazil. Cases that screen positive for a variant are then sent to a lab for confirmation. Nearly all of those cases end up being confirmed, according to Hamilton’s medical officer of health.

To date, Hamilton has had four confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 strain, which originated in the U.K.

The city’s active outbreak total is now at 28 after four outbreaks were declared and three were ended over the weekend.

The Meadows Long Term Care Home in Ancaster entered outbreak protocol Thursday after one staff member became infected with COVID-19.

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One teacher and one student tested positive at Orchard Park Secondary School on Friday.

Three staff members at Red Hill Toyota at 2333 Barton St. E. were reported to be infected in an outbreak declared Saturday.

Outbreaks at I.H. Mission Service and Aug. 8 on Wilson Street were ended Saturday. An outbreak at Juravinski Hospital Unit M2 — where eight people were infected and two died since it was declared Feb. 19 — ended Sunday.

The new COVID cases reported over the weekend bring Hamilton’s pandemic total to 10,801. Ninety-two per cent of those — 9,909 — have recovered.

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