Connect with us

News

Canada's chief science adviser issues warning about B.C.'s 'experiment' with vaccine timing – CBC.ca

Published

 on


British Columbia’s decision to extend to four months the interval between first and second doses of three different vaccines amounts to a “population level experiment,” said Mona Nemer, Canada’s chief science adviser.

“I think that it’s possible to do it. But it amounts right now to a basically population level experiment. And I think it needs to be done as we expect clinical trials to be carried out,” Nemer told CBC News Network’s Power & Politics today. 

Nemer told host Vassy Kapelos that the data provided so far by Moderna and Pfizer on their vaccines were gathered when the first and second doses of the vaccines were being spaced three to four weeks apart, not three to four months apart. 

“I think it’s really important that we stick with the data and with the great science that give us these fantastic vaccines, and not tinker with it,” she said. 

If provinces want to find out if the interval between the first and second doses can be extended to 16 weeks, she said, those provinces should conduct proper clinical trials by registering participants and explaining to them the possible advantages and disadvantages of taking part.

She said that while such trials might show that it’s safe to extend the interval to four months, Canada is not there yet.  

“For now, we simply don’t have enough data that tells us this is an effective strategy, particularly when we think that we have variants of the virus that are emerging that are not as well recognized by the vaccine,” Nemer said. 

“Partial immunity is something that people need to be very wary of. And it’s probably best to just vaccinate as recommended and as studied for now.”

Watch: Mona Nemer: ‘partial immunity is something that people need to be very wary of.’:

In response to B.C. extending the gap between first and second doses, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor says “partial immunity is something that people need to be very wary of. And it’s probably best to just vaccinate as recommended and as studied for now.” 2:18

B.C. extends the interval

Earlier today, B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the province would be extending the interval between doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to 16 weeks.

“From the very early days, we made sure that every single dose is recorded and we knew who got what vaccine when, and part of this feeds into our evaluation of vaccine effectiveness,” Henry said.

“We have seen that the vaccines we have here in B.C. are safe and they provide a very high level of real world protection with the initial dose.”

Henry said data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, and countries around the world, shows “miraculous” protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

NACI guidance

Henry said the B.C. CDC has been exchanging data with colleagues across the country and similar results are coming from Quebec, as well as from the U.K., Israel and other countries.

She also said the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has been looking at the issue and will be issuing a statement on the matter in the near future.

As of March 1, however, the advice NACI is providing on its website says that the interval between the first and second shots of the Moderna vaccine should be four weeks, the interval for Pfizer should be three weeks and the interval for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine should be 12 weeks. 

The head of Moderna’s Canadian operations, Patricia Gauthier, told Kapelos Monday that the company’s own trials, and the conditions under which the vaccine was approved by Health Canada, are tied to a four week interval.

“That being said, we’re in times of pandemic and we can understand that there are difficult decisions to be made,” Gauthier said. “This then becomes a government decision. We stand by the product monograph approved by Health Canada, but governments … can make their own decisions.”

Gauthier said she is not aware of any studies done or led by Moderna on what happens when the interval between the first and second doses is changed from four weeks to four months.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

Citigroup lawyer says another bank made bigger payment error than Revlon

Published

 on

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A lawyer for Citigroup Inc told a U.S. judge on Friday he was aware of another large bank that recently made a bigger payment error than Citigroup made last August when it sent $894 million of its own money to Revlon Inc lenders.

Neal Katyal, the lawyer, made the disclosure at a hearing in Manhattan federal court, where Citigroup urged U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman to extend a freeze on $504 million that it has been unable to recoup from the Revlon lenders.

Katyal did not identify the bank, the size of the payment error, or whether the error was fixed.

Citigroup is appealing Furman’s Feb. 16 decision that 10 asset managers, whose clients include Revlon lenders, could keep its mistaken payments.

Furman accepted the asset managers’ argument that Citigroup, as Revlon’s loan agent, paid what they were owed, and they had no reason to think a sophisticated bank would blunder so badly.

Citigroup has said the lenders received a “windfall,” and Furman’s decision could steer banks away from doing wire transfers in a “finders, keepers” marketplace.

Katyal is a partner at Hogan Lovells and former Acting U.S. Solicitor General. Citigroup hired him for its appeal.

 

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Diane Craft)

Continue Reading

News

Canada aims to raise safety along notorious “Highway of Tears” with cell phone service

Published

 on

By Moira Warburton

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Canadian authorities will help fund mobile phone service to increase safety along a remote stretch of highway in British Columbia known as the “Highway of Tears” for the number of women who have gone missing on the route, most of them indigenous.

Indigenous groups recommended the move in 2006 in a report on disappearances and murders of women along the highway between the cities of Prince Rupert and Prince George, roughly 800 km (500 miles) north of Vancouver.

The recommendation was endorsed by a provincial government-mandated commission several years later.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating 13 cases of murdered women and five who disappeared on or near the Highway of Tears, although no new cases have been added since 2007. Advocates believe the number of homicides and missing is significantly higher.

Lisa Beare, British Columbia’s minister of citizens’ services, called the project “a critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies along this route.”

Cell phone plans in Canada are among the most expensive in the world, according to government data, and the cost and lack of coverage in rural areas was a top issue in the last election.

The provincial and federal governments will contribute C$4.5 million towards the C$11.6 million ($9.24 million) cost for Rogers Communications to install 12 cell phone towers, the British Columbia government said on Wednesday.

Lorraine Whitman, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, applauded the plan but said it was only one step in making the area safer for indigenous women.

“This truly is a blessing for the women,” she said. “But not all women have a phone. These towers are being put up, but it makes no use to the person that has no cell phone.”

($1 = 1.2558 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

Continue Reading

News

Canadian fertilizer producer Nutrien to cut greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030

Published

 on

By Rod Nickel and Rithika Krishna

(Reuters) –Canada‘s Nutrien Ltd, the world’s largest fertilizer producer by capacity, said on Thursday it aimed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30% by 2030, in a plan costing the company up to $700 million.

Agricultural companies, including Mosaic and Corteva, have set carbon emissions targets as climate-conscious investors push firms to become more environmentally friendly.

Nutrien plans to spend $500 million to $700 million to meet the carbon emissions target, which includes cutting emissions from nitrogen production by 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually by the end of 2023.

“We’re in a really unique spot to address two big societal challenges – food security, and in a way that reduces our environmental footprint,” said Mark Thompson, Nutrien’s chief corporate development and strategy officer, in an interview.

Synthetic fertilizers account for 12% of global emissions from agriculture, according to a 2016 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report.

Nutrien’s target includes Scope 1 and 2 emissions, which reflect direct operations and electricity use. Nutrien is addressing Scope 3 emissions – those related to on-farm activity – with a program that encourages growers to adopt sustainable practices that generate monetary credits.

The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company plans to deploy wind and solar energy at four potash plants by the end of 2025, replacing electricity generated by coal and natural gas.

It also plans to expand its sequestration of carbon emissions from nitrogen fertilizer production and to invest in technology to capture nitrous oxide gas from its facilities.

Nutrien estimates that its carbon credit program could directly amount to $10 to $20 per acre for farmers, and it expects to benefit financially itself as well.

“If we can provide agronomic value and the value of the carbon credit over time, we’ll have customer loyalty – we anticipate that we’ll be a preferred supplier,” Thompson said.

(Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru and Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Steve Orlofsky)

Continue Reading

Trending