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City marks pandemic anniversary with lowered flag, video series – CBC.ca

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Since getting COVID-19, Waterdown resident Doriana Homerski has not been the same. She suffers many lingering symptoms from the virus, such as extreme fatigue, weakness, body pain, joint pain, brain fog, memory problems, and mental health challenges that have resulted from the change to her once-active lifestyle.

“I used to be a very athletic person,” Homerski says in a video released by the City of Hamilton on Thursday. It includes pictures of her playing soccer before her illness. “I’ve kind of lost who I was and don’t feel like I am the same person.”

 

Homerski is one of 17 local residents who share their experiences of the pandemic in the first video of a series called “This is COVID-19.” The city says it will share new videos over several weeks, part of an effort to mark a year since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared and when the first case was discovered in Hamilton. The city also lowered flags at most of its buildings on Thursday to honour people who died or were “seriously affected” by the virus.

On Thursday at 7 p.m., Hamilton’s Cable 14 will air a COVID-19 retrospective show that looks at the pandemic’s most significant local impacts of the past year, hosted by the city’s Emergency Operations Centre director Paul Johnson and featuring interviews with several local officials including Mayor Fred Eisenberger and medical officer of health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson. 

“Today, we remember and honour the lives we lost due to this virus and who were seriously affected,” stated the mayor in a release. “Our hearts go out to the family, friends and loved ones who lost a family member or friend. Our fight continues, and we will overcome this virus. Until then, please continue to follow all public health and safety measures. Hamilton is resilient and will come out of this stronger than ever.” 

In the past year, 11,032 Hamiltonians have been infected by COVID-19, and 291 of those people have died. 

The city reported two new deaths on Thursday and 56 new cases. There are 454 active cases in Hamilton, an increase of 13. St. Joseph’s Healthcare is caring for 16 COVID-19 patients, while 33 are hospitalized at Hamilton Health Sciences. The HHS system is at 99 per cent capacity.

Variant cases are also rapidly increasing. On Wednesday, the city was reporting 128 cases that had screened positive and five confirmed cases. By Thursday the number of screened positive cases was up to 175.

There are currently 28 outbreaks in Hamilton, including new ones at Good Shepherd Women’s Services’ Admiral Inn, DHL Logistics in Mount Hope and St. Lawrence Catholic Elementary School in the North End.

As of the end of day Tuesday, 51,616 vaccine doses had been administered in Hamilton.

This is COVID-19: How has COVID-19 affected you?

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Brant

Brant County reported 15 new cases on Thursday, bringing its total case count to 1,562. There are 59 active cases in the county, an increase of 12 from the previous day.

There were no new deaths. The county has seen 12 deaths from COVID since the start of the pandemic. 

There have been 11 variant cases detected, although the strain is unconfirmed. 

County health officials have administered 12,953 vaccine doses, and 2,548 people have been completely vaccinated. 

Haldimand-Norfolk

The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is reporting six new cases since yesterday, to a total of 1,479. There are 41 active cases, an increase of two. 

There have been no new deaths, with the total remaining at 39. 

The counties have administered 10,555 vaccine doses and 1,581 people have been completely vaccinated. 

Niagara

Niagara Region is reporting 27 new cases on Thursday and two new deaths. That brings the region’s case count to a total of 8,837 cases and 371 deaths.

There were 231 active cases on Thursday, an increase of seven. 

The area has seen four confirmed cases of the virus’ United Kingdom variant, and 85 more that have been screened but not confirmed.

Niagara Region Public Health has issued 12,534 doses of the vaccine, while Niagara Health — the hospital system — has issued 21,872 doses. 

Six Nations

Six Nations of the Grand River was reporting 403 total cases on Thursday, an increase of two from its previous update. There were no new deaths.

The community has 36 active cases, down two from the previous day. 

Four people in the community are currently hospitalized, a decrease of one. 

Halton

Halton Region reported 31 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total cases in the region to 9,914. There are 295 active cases, a reduction of five. There were no new deaths.

The region has confirmed 21 cases of COVID-19 variants and is still investigating 161 more that have screened positive. 

The region has given out 33,255 doses of the vaccine.

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‘I was shocked’: Mother, child mistakenly given COVID-19 vaccine instead of flu shot – Comox Valley Record

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A Manitoba mother says a routine appointment for her and her three-year-old to get flu shots ended in frustration and mixed messages after they were each mistakenly given an adult dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Jenna Bardarson is calling for policy changes at the province’s vaccination centres to make sure that doesn’t happen to another family.

The shots were administered on Nov. 24 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.

Bardarson says that shortly after she and her daughter, Dali, got their shots, the health worker who had given them excused herself to speak with a supervisor. When the worker returned, she told them she had made a mistake and given them both the adult Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“I was shocked. I didn’t know what to say. My immediate concerns were, of course, would my daughter be OK and also who could I speak to about this,” Bardarson said in online social media messages Friday to The Canadian Press.

Once she got home, Bardarson made multiple calls to different departments with the regional medical authority, hoping to speak with someone about the error and her concerns, she said.

She said no one was able to provide her with the answers or information she needed. “The conversations with various Prairie Mountain Health members have been frustrating, to say the least.”

Bardarson said she already had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and was due for her booster shot next month. Her daughter is too young to be eligible.

Health Canada last month approved a pediatric version of the Pfizer shot for children ages five to 11, but it has not yet approved a vaccine for those under five.

Bardarson said she and her daughter had headaches and sore arms the following day. Her daughter had no appetite and was throwing up.

Manitoba Health confirmed the mistake in a statement and said staff from Prairie Mountain have reached out to the mother to discuss what happened as well as to provide an update on an investigation.

“Patient safety is a critical aspect of all health-care services in Manitoba. We are constantly reviewing our processes to ensure that our systems support our staff in preventing errors,” it said.

“In this case … our team reviewed the existing processes to make adjustments that would help avoid a similar error from occurring in the future.”

Bardarson said the health region has not provided her with updated information on the investigation and would not discuss any consequences the health worker may have faced.

Manitoba Health said no further action would be taken against the worker, because she immediately recognized the error and told a supervisor.

For Bardarson, that’s not enough.

“I by no means want her fired; however, there should be some sort of measures in place for harm reduction.”

Bardarson suggested taking away the worker’s injection privileges or enhanced supervision during vaccinations.

She said she would also like to see areas at vaccination centres separated by vaccine types, instead of having different vaccines offered in the same booth.

Manitoba Health could not say if others have been given a COVID-19 vaccine by mistake, but acknowledged that medication errors, although rare, do occur. It added that Bardarson was provided with information about the risks of the COVID-19 vaccine, which in this case it says are low.

Health Canada said it is not in charge of immunization monitoring and could not comment on whether similar mistakes have occurred in other parts of the country.

– Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press

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Two hippos in Belgian zoo test positive for COVID-19

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Two hippos have tested positive for COVID-19 at Antwerp Zoo in Belgium in what could be the first reported cases in the species, zoo staff said.

Hippos Imani, aged 14, and 41-year-old Hermien have no symptoms apart from a runny nose, but the zoo said the pair had been put into quarantine as a precaution.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time in this species. Worldwide, this virus has been reported mainly in great apes and felines,” said the zoo’s vet, Francis Vercammen.

The coronavirus is thought to have jumped from an animal to a human, and it is proved to have passed from humans to animals.

Pets including cats, dogs and ferrets have become infected following contact with their owners, while in zoos, cases have been reported in animals such as big cats, otters, primates and hyenas.

The disease has also spread in mink farms and to wild animals, such as deer.

Antwerp Zoo is investigating the causes of the contagion. None of the zookeepers had recently shown COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for the virus, the zoo said.

 

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Helen Popper)

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'I was shocked': Mother, child mistakenly given COVID-19 vaccine instead of flu shot – Squamish Chief

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WINNIPEG — A Manitoba mother says a routine appointment for her and her three-year-old to get flu shots ended in frustration and mixed messages after they were each mistakenly given an adult dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Jenna Bardarson is calling for policy changes at the province’s vaccination centres to make sure that doesn’t happen to another family. 

The shots were administered on Nov. 24 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.

Bardarson says that shortly after she and her daughter, Dali, got their shots, the health worker who had given them excused herself to speak with a supervisor. When the worker returned, she told them she had made a mistake and given them both the adult Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. 

“I was shocked. I didn’t know what to say. My immediate concerns were, of course, would my daughter be OK and also who could I speak to about this,” Bardarson said in online social media messages Friday to The Canadian Press.

Once she got home, Bardarson made multiple calls to different departments with the regional medical authority, hoping to speak with someone about the error and her concerns, she said.

She said no one was able to provide her with the answers or information she needed. “The conversations with various Prairie Mountain Health members have been frustrating, to say the least.”

Bardarson said she already had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and was due for her booster shot next month. Her daughter is too young to be eligible.

Health Canada last month approved a pediatric version of the Pfizer shot for children ages five to 11, but it has not yet approved a vaccine for those under five. 

Bardarson said she and her daughter had headaches and sore arms the following day. Her daughter had no appetite and was throwing up.

Manitoba Health confirmed the mistake in a statement and said staff from Prairie Mountain have reached out to the mother to discuss what happened as well as to provide an update on an investigation.

“Patient safety is a critical aspect of all health-care services in Manitoba. We are constantly reviewing our processes to ensure that our systems support our staff in preventing errors,” it said.

“In this case … our team reviewed the existing processes to make adjustments that would help avoid a similar error from occurring in the future.”

Bardarson said the health region has not provided her with updated information on the investigation and would not discuss any consequences the health worker may have faced. 

Manitoba Health said no further action would be taken against the worker, because she immediately recognized the error and told a supervisor. 

For Bardarson, that’s not enough.

“I by no means want her fired; however, there should be some sort of measures in place for harm reduction.”

Bardarson suggested taking away the worker’s injection privileges or enhanced supervision during vaccinations. 

She said she would also like to see areas at vaccination centres separated by vaccine types, instead of having different vaccines offered in the same booth.

Manitoba Health could not say if others have been given a COVID-19 vaccine by mistake, but acknowledged that medication errors, although rare, do occur. It added that Bardarson was provided with information about the risks of the COVID-19 vaccine, which in this case it says are low.

Health Canada said it is not in charge of immunization monitoring and could not comment on whether similar mistakes have occurred in other parts of the country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2021.

___

The story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. 

Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press


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