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Canada’s coronavirus vaccine rollout: Who will get it first? – Global News

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Over a span of one week, preliminary results from late-stage clinical trials of two promising coronavirus vaccines have ushered in renewed hope in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, U.S drugmaker Moderna announced that its vaccine has proven to be  94.5 per cent effective in protecting people from the COVID-19 disease, according to an interim analysis.

This followed Pfizer and BioNTech’s statement last week in which it said early data for its candidate suggested it was 90 per cent effective at preventing the virus.

Read more:
Trudeau hopeful COVID-19 vaccine on track to start rolling out early 2021

Canada has already secured up to 358 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from a wide range of different manufacturers. But how will the vaccines be distributed and with limited supplies in the initial stages, who should get them first?

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The general consensus among health experts and government agencies is that the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, who are at a greater risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, should get immunized first.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Trudeau says Canadians must ‘double down’ on public safety measures until vaccine is ready'



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Coronavirus: Trudeau says Canadians must ‘double down’ on public safety measures until vaccine is ready


Coronavirus: Trudeau says Canadians must ‘double down’ on public safety measures until vaccine is ready

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), has identified key populations that also include health care workers, caregivers in long-term care facilities and all essential front-line responders essential in managing the COVID-19 response, according to preliminary recommendations.

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People who are unable to work remotely and are at risk of exposure, like police, firefighters and grocery story staff, are also among the key groups in NACI’s recommendations.

Other essential workers will be defined by the provinces and territories with the federal government, but the final decision will depend on the data and vaccine efficacy, Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, NACI chair, told Global News.

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“If, for instance, we decided ahead of time that the elderly population should come first, but we see looking at the trials results that population does not have a great efficacy, but it could be more efficacious in another population like younger, healthy individuals, it’s very possible that at that point in time, things switch,” she said.

Read more:
‘Exceptionally low’: Canada’s flu season drops amid coronavirus restrictions

Raymond Tellier, a microbiologist and infectious diseases expert at McGill University, told Global News that people working in transportation services and the food industry should be prioritized before a mass rollout to the general population.

“You also want to vaccinate essential workers who were involved during confinement or a lockdown – people that need to continue their work in order to make sure that the basic services are maintained,” he said.

“If you want to interrupt the transmission of the virus most efficiently, you want to vaccinate people that are in contact with a lot of people.”


Click to play video 'The Travel Lady: Will proof of a COVID-19 vaccination become necessary for travel?'



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The Travel Lady: Will proof of a COVID-19 vaccination become necessary for travel?


The Travel Lady: Will proof of a COVID-19 vaccination become necessary for travel?

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government was developing a plan to make sure that vulnerable Canadians get these vaccines on a priority basis.

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“We are busy establishing different logistical approaches for the range of vaccines that will be hopefully arriving in Canada in the coming months,” he said during a press conference.

Logistical challenges

Given the “significant logistical challenge” of transportation and distribution, the government may seek assistance from the military, Trudeau said.

During the same press conference, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said provinces are currently working on their individual plans to identify where the vaccines will be deployed and sufficient freezers are being purchased to help with the storage.

Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines need to be kept in cold storage and have specific temperature requirements.

Pfizer’s vaccine must be shipped and stored at -70 C. It can be stored for up to five days at standard refrigerator temperatures, or for up to 15 days in a thermal shipping box.


Click to play video 'Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective'



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Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective


Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective

Moderna expects the vaccine to be stable at normal fridge temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 48 degrees F) for 30 days and it can be stored for up to six months at -20 C.

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If the vaccines are approved by Health Canada following the review of the clinical trials, the country is expecting to receive its first shipment early next year.

But the doses will arrive in different batches, Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said on Tuesday.

And when can the general public expect to receive the vaccine?

Njoo said: “Certainly, we’re looking at hopefully covering the vast majority of the population by the end of next year.”

— With files from Carolyn Jarvis, Global News and Reuters. 

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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These are the most-stolen vehicles in Canada in 2020 – CTV News

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TORONTO —
While Ford pickup trucks usually top the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s annual ranking of the most-stolen vehicles in Canada, this year high-end SUVs have become the most desirable targets for thieves.

According to the IBC, which works with law enforcement agencies and the Canada Border Services Agency to identify stolen vehicles, the 2018 Honda CR-V SUV is the most stolen vehicle in Canada thus far in 2020.

It was followed by the 2017 Lexus RX350, the 2017 Honda CR-V, and the 2018 Lexus RX350. Rounding out the top five was Ford’s 2018 F150 pickup truck.

Bryan Gast, the national director of investigative services at IBC, said high-end SUVs have surpassed older model Ford pickup trucks as the most targeted vehicles because thieves have developed new ways to get around their security systems and gain access to them.

“As technology advances, these vehicles, especially the SUVs, are really well sought after,” he told CTVNews.ca during a telephone interview on Tuesday. “Overseas organized crime groups are targeting these vehicles and they’re finding ways to bypass the security systems.”

For example, Gast said thieves have been able to capture radio signals from a key fob and replicate it in order to gain electronic access to a vehicle.

“There are devices that are able to trigger that device to capture the signal and clone it and start your vehicle without ever touching that original key,” he explained.

And while there are many motives for vehicle theft, Gast said the findings by the IBC show a distinct increase in thefts related to organized crime and street racing.

According to the IBC, many high-end SUVs are stolen by organized crime groups to be sold to unsuspecting consumers in Canada or abroad to be stripped down for parts.

In many of these cases, Gast said the stolen vehicle’s vehicle identification number is changed before it’s sold.

In addition to organized crime operations, the IBC said street racing also led to an increase in certain vehicle thefts.

“There’s a growing trend, especially during the pandemic, in dangerous activities such as street racing and illegal gatherings for drifting events, providing a market for stolen small, speedy vehicles,” the IBC said in a press release.

Gast said these street racing events are “very concerning” to law enforcement, the insurance industry, and for the greater population because they can put public safety at risk.

“These are staged events. They’re very serious. These vehicles are being modified in significant ways,” he said. “Our concern is that there are stolen vehicles, stolen parts contributing to these events.”

THE TOP 10 MOST STOLEN VEHICLES IN CANADA IN 2020

  • 2018 Honda CR-V 4DR AWD SUV
  • 2017 Lexus RX350/RX450H 4DR AWD SUV
  • 2017 Honda CR-V 4DR AWD SUV
  • 2018 Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450H/RX450HL 4DR AWD SUV
  • 2018 Ford F150 4WD PU
  • 2019 Honda CR-V 4DR AWD SUV
  • 2018 Toyota Highlander 4DR 4WD SUV
  • 2017 Toyota Highlander 4DR 4WD SUV
  • 2019 Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450H/RX450HL 4DR AWD SUV
  • 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 4WD PU

Although high-end SUVs were the most desirable targets for thieves overall, Gast said the IBC did take note of some regional variations across the country.

For example, pickup trucks were still the most popular type of vehicles to steal out West. In Alberta, the IBC said, Ford F-series and Dodge Ram trucks were the most stolen vehicles in the province.

“These trucks are attractive to thieves, and oil and gas companies have used them almost exclusively, which has brought a disproportionately high amount of them to the province,” the IBC said.

Gast added that pre-2008 models of these pickup trucks are particularly attractive to thieves because they aren’t equipped with ignition immobilizers, which are devices that can prevent people from hot-wiring them.

“This list is different from region to region,” he said. “Those large pickup trucks are still a very hot commodity.”

In Ontario, the IBC found that Lexus and Honda vehicles were stolen most often, with many of them headed for export by organized crime groups or used in street racing rings.

In the police operation “Project Seagull” in Hamilton, for example, the IBC said high-end vehicles were being stolen and chopped for parts that were then sold on the black market.

Finally, in Atlantic Canada, the IBC found the Chevrolet Silverado was the most stolen vehicle in the region.

TIPS TO PREVENT VEHICLE THEFT

While Canadians who own one of the vehicles on the IBC’s annual list should take extra care to protect it from being stolen, Gast said all owners should be aware of the precautions they can take to avoid being the victims of theft.

“I think it’s really important to understand the different ways to protect the consumer,” he said. “Some of those can be as simple as just common sense.”

Here are some tips from the IBC to protect your vehicle.

  • Don’t leave a keyless entry fob inside of a vehicle or unprotected at the front entrance of your home.
  • Put a keyless fob in a protective box or bag that will block the radio frequency identification signal.
  • Never leave a vehicle running while it’s unattended.
  • Park your vehicle in well-lit areas.
  • Lock all of the doors and windows when it’s parked.
  • Use a visible or audible device to alert thieves that the vehicle is protected.
  • Install a tracking device that emits a signal to police or a monitoring station if it’s stolen.
  • If it doesn’t have one already, install an immobilizing device in your vehicle to prevent thieves from hot-wiring it. These can include devices that require wireless ignition authentication or starter, ignition, and fuel pump disablers.
  • Consider using a steering-wheel or brake-pedal lock to ward off would-be thieves.
  • Don’t leave personal information, such as insurance or ownership details, in the glove box when the vehicle is parked.

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The latest on the coronavirus outbreak for Dec. 1 – CBC.ca

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People shop in Milan after the region of Lombardy was downgraded from a red to an orange zone, which have loosened COVID-19 restrictions to allow non-essential shops to open again ahead of Christmas in Italy. (Flavio Lo Scalzo/Reuters)

Trudeau touts stimulus, but ‘long winter’ looms

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that supports for individual Canadians and businesses will continue to flow into 2021 as things gradually return to normal in the second year of the pandemic, but told CBC’s The Current that there are tough times immediately ahead.

“Even as vaccines begin to arrive, we know that we have to reach a significant percentage of the population before we can start releasing and reducing measures across the country, so it’s going to be a long winter,” he told The Current host Matt Galloway. “We’re going to have to continue to do the things that will keep us safe, but that’s why the economic anxiety that people are feeling is something that we’re there to counter.”

During a news conference outside his residence at Rideau Cottage later in the day, Trudeau called the Liberal government’s recently announced $100 billion stimulus, which represents three to four per cent of GDP, “historic and appropriate.”

“This will be a significant investment to get our economy back on track. And it’s an investment that will make sure no one gets left behind,” he said.

Trudeau touted supports such as rent and wage subsidies, which will continue to “make it a little bit easier.”

Difficult conversations are likely to come next week as Trudeau is set to meet with premiers to discuss health-care transfers and the vaccine rollout. Premiers have been calling for a $28-billion top-up to federal health transfers, but Trudeau was noncommittal on Tuesday as to any specific increases.

Click below to watch more from The National

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks with Rosemary Barton, CBC’s chief political correspondent, about the federal fiscal update and how the government will continue to provide financial support through the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. 3:30

IN BRIEF

Manitoba sees its highest single-day death toll

Manitoba released its latest COVID-19 figures on Tuesday, which included 16 new deaths due to the coronavirus, the single-highest total in a daily report during the pandemic.

November was by far the worst month of the pandemic so far in Manitoba, with record numbers of deaths, hospitalizations and new cases. However, the province saw fewer than 300 new cases in a single day for the first time since Nov. 22, at 283.

The death toll announced Tuesday, which brings the total in the province to 328 in total, included casualties from at least six long-term care facilities, with three residents from one care home in Winnipeg.

An earlier outbreak at a Winnipeg facility that claimed the lives of eight people in under 48 hours will not result in a criminal inquiry, police said on Tuesday.

Winnipeg police officers in personal protective suits were seen entering the Maples Long Term Care Home run by Revera on Nov. 7, the day after multiple paramedics were called to the home to assess a dozen patients in a single night.

Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen had previously called an independent investigation into Maples Long Term Care Home and Parkview Place, another Winnipeg care home run by Revera, a for-profit company.

Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba

Ontario school program seeking out asymptomatic cases using PCR tests

Testing of asymptomatic students and staff is occurring at designated schools in Toronto, Peel and York regions and Ottawa — four Ontario regions with a high number of active COVID-19 cases.

The goal of the pilot project is to improve tracking of the coronavirus and prevent transmission within schools, as well as to inform future public health decisions, writes CBC’s Jessica Wong.

A testing blitz in recent days at one Toronto District School Board (TDSB) location in the eastern part of the city saw 14 classes sent home for two weeks. However, the rest of the school will remain open, according to direction from Toronto Public Health.

“What can we do? This is going on everywhere in the world,” said Yaser Nadaf, whose children attend the school. “They try their best, but at the same time they cannot prevent it completely.”

TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird said the results weren’t a shock.

“While this information is concerning, it really is the information that our public health officials need to know, because it gives them a better snapshot of how many of those asymptomatic people are positive cases of COVID,” said Bird.

Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious diseases physician and assistant professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, said a targeted program is a useful tool in the fight against the virus, but added that it’s possible there will be more heightened concern for families and schools.

That’s because Ontario is using PCR testing for the program, which detects the genetic material of a virus. Although considered the gold standard in terms of accuracy, the PCR tests are also so sensitive it would “pick up kids who are infectious, as well as kids who were infectious two, four, six weeks ago,” Chagla says.

Read more about the pilot program 

Alberta government tweet reveals that COVID-19 ethnicity data is being collected, though not disseminated

A tweet from Premier Jason Kenney’s issues manager appears to have to put Alberta Health on the defensive over the collection of COVID-19 data based on racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Human rights advocates, anti-racism groups, researchers and social agencies have called for such data to be collected and shared publicly during the pandemic in a number of provinces, including Alberta. But the Opposition took Matt Wolf to task for releasing a snippet of such data in service of what appeared to be a partisan point.

Wolf, Kenney’s aide, tweeted: “Albertans of South & East Asian descent account for just under 20 per cent of COVID-19 cases, but represent only 11 per cent of the population.” Wolf was responding to comments Kenney took some criticism for regarding high caseloads in northeast Calgary, where many immigrants live.

CBC News asked the province last week for specific data after Kenney said on Red FM radio that “we are seeing a very high level of spread in the South Asian community.” Alberta Health provided a written statement saying the information is being collected but is not yet being published, but that the agency “may revisit this in the future when it’s feasible.”

Asked Monday about Wolf’s tweet, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the numbers he cited were “preliminary.”

While Wolf allowed in the same tweet that many factors were likely at play for the high case rates, including type of employment or living in a multigenerational household, Dr. Hakique Virani, a clinical associate professor of public health with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta, said he believes that kind of data should be shared with the public in its entirety.

“We need less confusion and more transparency. And this doesn’t serve either of those purposes,” said Virani.

Read more about the situation in Alberta

Stay informed with the latest COVID-19 data.

THE SCIENCE

Janssen seeks Health Canada approval for its COVID-19 vaccine

Janssen Inc., a pharmaceutical subsidiary of U.S.-based multinational Johnson & Johnson, has put forward its vaccine for approval in what Health Minister Patty Hajdu called “a promising development for Canadians.”

It means Health Canada will now have four vaccine candidates overall to evaluate as part of a “rolling review process” that allows companies to submit data from clinical trials even as those trials are still underway. The regulator must approve a vaccine as safe and effective before it can be administered to Canadians.

At a technical briefing with reporters last week, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser said approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine in Canada could come within weeks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and The European Medicines Agency have scheduled meetings this month that could lead to authorization, and Canadian officials have promised that decisions on approval won’t lag greatly compared to other Western nations.

Ottawa announced a deal with Janssen on Aug. 31 to secure up to 38 million doses of the vaccine — which requires only one dose to provide immunity instead of the two that would be necessary for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

AND FINALLY…

The home arena of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is seen on Oct. 7. After a number of fits and starts due to the pandemic, the league is on pause until at least Jan. 3. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League postpones games until 2021

The only one of the three Canadian major junior leagues to open play so far in the 2020-21 campaign is shutting down, at least for a few weeks. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League says it will not hold any games until Jan. 3 because of COVID-19 issues.

The 18-team league has been forced to postpone games regularly in Quebec and the Maritimes since starting the season in early October because of COVID-19 restrictions in the four provinces where it operates.

“The current situation with the pandemic in the regions in which we operate makes it extremely difficult to play games,” QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau said in a statement on Monday. “With the holidays just around the corner, the provinces in the Maritimes have restricted access and travel, while red zone restrictions in Quebec do not permit us to play.”

Several teams in Quebec relocated to Quebec City for multiple games because of restrictions earlier in November, while the temporary disruption to the Atlantic Canada travel bubble announced last week also prevented games from being played in the six-team Maritimes Division. In addition, teams from Sherbrooke and Blainville-Boisbriand dealt with virus outbreaks internally.

Elsewhere in Canada, the Western Hockey League has said it plans to start the season in January, while the Ontario Hockey League has targeted a February opener.

Read the latest sports-related pandemic news here

Find out more about COVID-19

Still looking for more information on the pandemic? Read more about COVID-19’s impact on life in Canada, or reach out to us at covid@cbc.ca if you have any questions.

If you have symptoms of the illness caused by the coronavirus, here’s what to do in your part of the country.

For full coverage of how your province or territory is responding to COVID-19, visit your local CBC News site.

To get this newsletter daily as an email, subscribe here

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Retailers call on Ontario to open non-essential stores, say restrictions aren't working – CBC.ca

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A group of about 50 retailers called on the Ontario government on Tuesday to open all stores across the province — including those in lockdown regions, where they suggest imposing a 25 per cent capacity limit on “non-essential” stores.

“We respect the extraordinary efforts you and your administration are making to safeguard the public interest during this extremely challenging time,” the retailers said in a letter to Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott. “The problem is that Ontario’s policy of segregating ‘non-essential’ retailers from those deemed essential might actually be making things worse.”

The letter was signed by executives from several major retailers, including Hudson’s Bay Company, Canadian Tire, Ikea Canada, Roots and Staples Canada. It argues that the lockdowns in Toronto and Peel Region haven’t reduced the number of people shopping.

“Instead, it has funnelled those shoppers and the corresponding health risk into fewer, increasingly crowded stores within Toronto and Peel, as well as adjacent communities, such as we saw in Vaughan and Markham over the weekend,” the letter stated.

“At the same time, as the current policy pushes more Canadian consumers to a handful of big box retailers and discount stores, thousands of small, independent and local stores sit shuttered, with their hands tied, even though many sell the very same goods.”

According to the retailers, limited capacity in some cases — in combination with safety measures such as mandatory masks, physical distancing and hand sanitization — “can further reduce the potential for community spread while enabling more businesses to stay open across all regions during a make-or-break season for retail businesses.”

The letter notes that other provinces have taken similar steps in conjunction with public health officials and that these steps “will put fewer people in more stores, increasing safety for all. The current policy does the opposite.”

‘Difficult but necessary’ 

The province responded by noting the restrictions are aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians.

Alexandra Hilkene, a spokesperson for Elliott, said the government must limit opportunities for individuals to have close contact with others to help stop the spread of the virus. This includes allowing box stores to operate at half capacity.

“These necessary measures are being taken to limit community transmission of COVID-19 in order to keep schools open, safeguard health system capacity, and protect the province’s most vulnerable populations,” Hilkene wrote in an email to The Canadian Press.

“To be clear, moving regions into a lockdown is not a measure this government takes lightly. However, as we have seen around the world, lockdowns are a difficult but necessary step to stop the spread, safeguard the key services we rely on and protect our health system capacity.”

She noted that the Ontario government is providing $600 million in relief to support eligible businesses required to close or significantly restrict services due to enhanced public health measures.

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