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Christmas comes early as first Moderna vaccines arrive in Canada – Global News

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It may be only Christmas Eve, but Canadians are getting an early present with the arrival of the first doses of the highly-awaited Moderna coronavirus vaccine in the country.

One day after Health Canada authorized the new vaccine as safe for use in Canadians over the age of 18, the first precious doses of the vaccine began arriving on Canadian soil.

Read more:
Canada approves Moderna coronavirus vaccine, 1st doses to arrive in ‘coming days’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Procurement Minister Anita Anand shared photos on Twitter.

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The Moderna vaccine is the second to be approved for use against the novel coronavirus.

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But it will be the first deployed to the Canadian territories, because unlike the Pfizer vaccine already being rolled out in specific locations, the Moderna vaccine does not require ultra-code storage.

That means it can be transported and stored in regular freezers rather than the special ones needed to keep the Pfizer vaccine at -70 C.

Officials had said on Wednesday that they expected to see the first doses of the Moderna vaccine begin arriving within 48 hours of approval, and have hailed it as “critical” towards ensuring vaccines can be distributed fairly to those most in need.

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Canada is set to receive 168,000 doses by the end of December, with 40 million doses in total expected  throughout the New Year.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Moderna’s vaccine approval ‘critical’ for equitable access, Health Canada officials say'



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Coronavirus: Moderna’s vaccine approval ‘critical’ for equitable access, Health Canada officials say


Coronavirus: Moderna’s vaccine approval ‘critical’ for equitable access, Health Canada officials say

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

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WestJet Boeing 737 MAX Grounded After “Potential Fault” – Simple Flying

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A WestJet Boeing 737 MAX was heading out of Calgary yesterday when it returned to its gate after push back due to a potential fault. The aircraft had 35 passengers on board, who then had to transfer to another flight to head to their destination of Toronto.

WestJet 737 MAX
WestJet’s Boeing 737 MAX aircraft have only been back in commercial action since Thursday. Photo: WestJet

Verification was needed

The crew members on the 737 MAX were planning to fly out from Calgary International Airport to travel to Toronto Pearson International Airport. They were ready to perform flight WS658, which had a local departure time of 08:00. However, this service had to be canceled during the push back process.

Simple Flying reached out to WestJet for comment on what occurred in Calgary on January 21st. A WestJet representative confirmed that a potential fault needed to be looked at. Altogether, the airline could not make these checks while customers were on board the plane.

“After a normal engine start, a standard function of the health monitoring system indicated a potential fault that needed to be verified and reset. This process takes time and requires a subsequent engine run, which we do not perform with guests on board,” the spokesperson for the airline told Simple Flying.

“In the interest of our guests’ time, we cancelled flight 658 and its return 665 (Toronto/Calgary) and we rebooked them on the next available flight to ensure a timely arrival in Toronto. The aircraft was cleared by maintenance yesterday morning and will return to service tomorrow Sunday, January 24 as planned.”

Switching flights

All of the passengers that were on board the 737 MAX instead departed for Toronto on WestJet’s Boeing 787 that was planned to perform flight WS662. Ultimately, the carrier apologizes for the inconvenience and appreciates the patience of its customers.

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WestJet 787
WestJet’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner service to Toronto left Calgary at 09:53 local time. Photo: WestJet

Back in action

This event occurred just a day after WestJet flew its first commercial flight with the MAX after nearly two years. The Canadian outfit was also only the fifth airline around the world to resume operations with the type. Therefore, there was already plenty of attention on the return of the previously grounded aircraft.

Nonetheless, The WestJet spokesperson emphasizes that yesterday’s flight was canceled only because the airline moved its passengers to the Dreamliner flight instead of having to wait for the maintenance team to clear the initial plane. The company would have operated the flight yesterday. However, the customers were already on their way to their destination.

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WestJet 737 MAX 8
In total, WestJet holds 13 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

Altogether, WestJet took the most efficient approach following the initial concerns that were raised. The plane is ready to fly out from Calgary again tomorrow at 08:00. So, the potential issues raised have been addressed by those on the ground at the airport.

What are your thoughts about this WestJet Boeing 737 returning to its gate at Calgary Airport? Were you on board this aircraft yesterday? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.

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Canada reports 146 more COVID-19 deaths as feds approve rapid PCR test – Global News

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Another 5,124 cases of COVID-19 were identified in Canada Saturday as the federal government approved its first domestically produced rapid PCR coronavirus test.

Saturday’s data pushed the national caseload to 742,531, of which over 658,000 patients have since recovered. Another 146 deaths were reported by provincial health jurisdictions as well, with the country’s death toll standing at 18,974.

The new cases paint a limited snapshot of the virus’ spread across the country however, as provinces like B.C. and P.E.I., as well as all the territories do not report new COVID-19 data on the weekend.

Read more:
Health Canada approves 1st rapid PCR coronavirus test, Spartan Bioscience says

The rapid test, according to its developer Spartan Bioscience, is an on-site “point-of-care” kit made to be administered by health-care professionals.

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A press release Saturday from the company said that it was the first “truly mobile, rapid PCR test for COVID-19 for the Canadian market.”

Health Canada’s approval of the test also comes amid further warnings from the country’s top doctor, who said that the virus continued to strain health-care systems despite a decline in average daily case counts from several hard-hit areas.

“As severe outcomes lag behind increased disease activity, we can expect to see ongoing heavy impacts on our healthcare system and health workforce for weeks to come,” said Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam in her Saturday statement.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“This situation continues to burden local healthcare resources, particularly in areas where infection rates are highest.”

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Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Toronto police make arrest at ‘large gathering’ downtown despite COVID-19 measures'



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Coronavirus: Toronto police make arrest at ‘large gathering’ downtown despite COVID-19 measures


Coronavirus: Toronto police make arrest at ‘large gathering’ downtown despite COVID-19 measures

Tam also made a plea to Canadians to continue to follow more stringent and consistent efforts to “sustain a downward trend” in new case counts, as well as to potentially prevent the creation of new virus variants.

“Unless we continue the hard work to suppress COVID-19 activity across Canada, there is a risk that more transmissible virus variants could take hold or even replace less transmissible variants, which could result in a significant and difficult to control acceleration of spread,” wrote Tam.


Click to play video 'Canadian couple accused of vaccine queue jumping in Yukon'



2:21
Canadian couple accused of vaccine queue jumping in Yukon


Canadian couple accused of vaccine queue jumping in Yukon

Tam’s warning comes as health officials in Ontario confirmed Saturday that the new U.K. coronavirus variant, which is believed to be more contagious, was found at an outbreak in a long-term care home in Barrie.

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Ontario registered another 2,359 coronavirus infections on Saturday, as well as 52 more deaths. The province has now overtaken Quebec with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with a total caseload of 252,585.

Quebec reported another 1,685 cases on Saturday, raising its total caseload to 252,176. The province, which announced another 76 fatalities, still maintains the highest number of COVID-19-related deaths with a total of 9,437.

Read more:
COMMENTARY: Should Olympic athletes get vaccinated ahead of the public?

Alberta added another 573 cases on Saturday, pushing its total infections to 120,330. Another 13 deaths were recorded in the province.

Saskatchewan added another 274 cases and three more deaths, while Manitoba recorded 216 more cases and three deaths as well.

In Atlantic Canada, only New Brunswick reported new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, with an additional 17.

Worldwide, cases of the novel coronavirus continue to rise with a total of 98,529,000 infections so far, according to Johns Hopkins University. A total of 2,115,124 people have since died after contracting the virus, with the U.S., Brazil and India continuing to lead in both cases and deaths.

— With files from Global News’ Hannah Jackson

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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Canada reports 146 more COVID-19 deaths as feds approve rapid PCR test – Global News

Published

 on


Another 5,124 cases of COVID-19 were identified in Canada Saturday as the federal government approved its first domestically produced rapid PCR coronavirus test.

Saturday’s data pushed the national caseload to 742,531, of which over 658,000 patients have since recovered. Another 146 deaths were reported by provincial health jurisdictions as well, with the country’s death toll standing at 18,974.

The new cases paint a limited snapshot of the virus’ spread across the country however, as provinces like B.C. and P.E.I., as well as all the territories do not report new COVID-19 data on the weekend.

Read more:
Health Canada approves 1st rapid PCR coronavirus test, Spartan Bioscience says

The rapid test, according to its developer Spartan Bioscience, is an on-site “point-of-care” kit made to be administered by health-care professionals.

Story continues below advertisement

A press release Saturday from the company said that it was the first “truly mobile, rapid PCR test for COVID-19 for the Canadian market.”

Health Canada’s approval of the test also comes amid further warnings from the country’s top doctor, who said that the virus continued to strain health-care systems despite a decline in average daily case counts from several hard-hit areas.

“As severe outcomes lag behind increased disease activity, we can expect to see ongoing heavy impacts on our healthcare system and health workforce for weeks to come,” said Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam in her Saturday statement.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“This situation continues to burden local healthcare resources, particularly in areas where infection rates are highest.”

Story continues below advertisement


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Toronto police make arrest at ‘large gathering’ downtown despite COVID-19 measures'



0:52
Coronavirus: Toronto police make arrest at ‘large gathering’ downtown despite COVID-19 measures


Coronavirus: Toronto police make arrest at ‘large gathering’ downtown despite COVID-19 measures

Tam also made a plea to Canadians to continue to follow more stringent and consistent efforts to “sustain a downward trend” in new case counts, as well as to potentially prevent the creation of new virus variants.

“Unless we continue the hard work to suppress COVID-19 activity across Canada, there is a risk that more transmissible virus variants could take hold or even replace less transmissible variants, which could result in a significant and difficult to control acceleration of spread,” wrote Tam.


Click to play video 'Canadian couple accused of vaccine queue jumping in Yukon'



2:21
Canadian couple accused of vaccine queue jumping in Yukon


Canadian couple accused of vaccine queue jumping in Yukon

Tam’s warning comes as health officials in Ontario confirmed Saturday that the new U.K. coronavirus variant, which is believed to be more contagious, was found at an outbreak in a long-term care home in Barrie.

Story continues below advertisement

Ontario registered another 2,359 coronavirus infections on Saturday, as well as 52 more deaths. The province has now overtaken Quebec with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with a total caseload of 252,585.

Quebec reported another 1,685 cases on Saturday, raising its total caseload to 252,176. The province, which announced another 76 fatalities, still maintains the highest number of COVID-19-related deaths with a total of 9,437.

Read more:
COMMENTARY: Should Olympic athletes get vaccinated ahead of the public?

Alberta added another 573 cases on Saturday, pushing its total infections to 120,330. Another 13 deaths were recorded in the province.

Saskatchewan added another 274 cases and three more deaths, while Manitoba recorded 216 more cases and three deaths as well.

In Atlantic Canada, only New Brunswick reported new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, with an additional 17.

Worldwide, cases of the novel coronavirus continue to rise with a total of 98,529,000 infections so far, according to Johns Hopkins University. A total of 2,115,124 people have since died after contracting the virus, with the U.S., Brazil and India continuing to lead in both cases and deaths.

— With files from Global News’ Hannah Jackson

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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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