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Coronavirus vaccine will need high uptake for life to shift toward normal: officials – Global News

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Canadians will need to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated in large numbers to finally corral COVID-19 before life can return to a semblance of its pre-pandemic state, Canada’s top public health officers said Tuesday.

“Widespread vaccine uptake is the best shot Canadians have in regaining some of what we’ve lost and returning to things that we cherish — things like holding family and friends closely, having community events and living our lives without the fear of contracting the disease,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s chief medical officer.

Tam and her deputy, Dr. Howard Njoo, offered that assessment one day after the Trudeau government announced the latest instalment in its plan to pre-buy tens of millions of doses of potential vaccines, signing deals with two American firms.

READ MORE: Canada secures 2 new deals for possible COVID-19 vaccines

The newest deals will allow Canada to buy as many as 76 million doses of a vaccine candidate from Maryland-based biotech company Novavax, and up to 38 million doses of the vaccine being developed by Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical company Janssen Inc.

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Last month, the government signed similar deals with U.S. companies Pfizer and Moderna that would give Canada access to up to 76 million more doses.






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Canada inks deals to secure millions of coronavirus vaccine doses


Canada inks deals to secure millions of coronavirus vaccine doses

Njoo said it is not clear what percentage of Canadians will need to get vaccinated to achieve broad immunity but “the more Canadians that take advantage, the better.”

Tam suggested that the threshold for effective immunization is a moving target because understanding the science around COVID-19 is itself a work in progress.

READ MORE: Safety of COVID-19 vaccine concerning some Canadians, StatCan survey shows

For regulatory purposes, she said, that level has to be continuously evaluated.

“The international consensus is that we should at least look at around the 50 per cent vaccine efficacy mark,” said Tam, adding that there simply isn’t a “yes or no” answer.

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More will be known when the data from ongoing Phase 3 clinical trials become available, she said.

“It’s a matter of remaining open to the evidence and being flexible.”

Right now, there appears to be low immunity to the disease around the world, “so getting a high enough vaccine uptake is going to be quite important,” said Tam.

Njoo said a vaccine could be available sometime in 2021, perhaps as early as the spring.

“We’re very optimistic here in Canada and because there are number of vaccine candidates being evaluated,” said Njoo.

“There could be an effective and safe vaccine, perhaps in 2021. We don’t know exactly when. Perhaps in the spring, maybe a little bit later. But it’s a very good thing to stay optimistic.”






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Coronavirus: FDA commissioner stresses there’s no political pressure to fast-track COVID-19 vaccine


Coronavirus: FDA commissioner stresses there’s no political pressure to fast-track COVID-19 vaccine

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Cases could spike sharply if Canadian epidemic stays on current course, Tam warns – The Globe and Mail

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Hundreds of people wait in line at a COVID-19 assessment centre at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto on Sept. 22, 2020.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Canada is on track to log 5,000 coronavirus cases a day by late October if the country’s epidemic continues on its current course, the Public Health Agency of Canada is warning.

In its first formal projection since mid-August, the agency predicted that if Canadians keep coming into close contact with as many people as they do now, the epidemic curve will rise sharply from the current average of about 1,000 new cases a day to five times that number within a month. That is more than twice the number reported at the height of the spring wave.

individual action: canada Long-range

covid-19 forecast

Reported daily cases

Epidemic trend, if we…

Increase current rate of contacts

Maintain current rate of contacts

Decrease current rate of contacts

JOHN SOPINSKI/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

SOURCE: public health agency of canada

individual action: canada Long-range

covid-19 forecast

Reported daily cases

Epidemic trend, if we…

Increase current rate of contacts

Maintain current rate of contacts

Decrease current rate of contacts

JOHN SOPINSKI/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

SOURCE: public health agency of canada

individual action: canada Long-range covid-19 forecast

Reported daily cases

Epidemic trend, if we…

Increase current rate of contacts

Maintain current rate of contacts

Decrease current rate of contacts

JOHN SOPINSKI/THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: public health agency of canada

“My message today is the time is now. We’re at a bit of a crossroads,” Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said. If Canadians retreat to small social circles and avoid large get-togethers, she said, the country “can manage this without a lockdown.”

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Dr. Tam said that although the number of COVID-19 deaths and hospital admissions in Canada remain low relative to the first wave, both figures are beginning to creep up – a signal that the virus is spreading beyond the young people driving the surge.

Still, the situation in Canada remained far less dire than in the United States, where deaths surpassed 200,000 on Tuesday, and Britain, which has imposed new COVID-19 restrictions after a quadrupling of cases over the past month.

How many coronavirus cases are there in Canada, by province, and worldwide? The latest maps and charts

COVID-19 news: Updates and essential resources about the pandemic

Is my city going back into lockdown? A guide to COVID-19 rules across Canada

When it comes to what’s in store for Canada this fall, the public-health agency’s predicative modelling is not a crystal ball, said Caroline Colijn, a professor at Simon Fraser University and Canada 150 Research Chair in mathematics for evolution, infection and public health. She and her colleagues designed the model on which the agency’s latest forecast is based.

“[The models] are tools we use to help us understand the trajectory we’re on. Then we get to choose,” she said. “It’s like having a flashlight. If you see a cliff, you don’t just necessarily walk over it because the flashlight showed you it was there. You do something. You don’t walk over the cliff.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to re-emphasize the urgency of fighting COVID-19 in a television address that follows the Throne Speech on Wednesday.

The public-health agency made its latest forecast as Ontario and Quebec continued to account for the majority of new cases nationwide, and as Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, Vera Etches, announced she would charge fines as high as $5,000 a day to anyone who breaks an order to self-isolate.

Ottawa Public Health reported a record 93 cases on Tuesday while Ontario announced 478 cases, the most since May.

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“The goals in responding to the pandemic are to keep the level of COVID-19 transmission in the community from disrupting society in a detrimental way and to limit hospitalizations and deaths,” Dr. Etches told reporters. “This level we’re seeing is too high for these purposes. We need to bend the curve down right now.”

Dr. Etches said people who are testing positive are linked to schools – 34 in Ottawa have had at least one person test positive – and long-term care homes. Eleven of the 29 long-term care homes in Ontario where a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared are in Ottawa and its surrounding suburbs, according to the Ministry of Long-Term Care.

Dr. Etches has asked the Ottawa Hospital to temporarily take over management of two homes owned by Extendicare to get major outbreaks under control. At the for-profit chain operator’s Laurier Manor, a 242-bed home in the suburb of Gloucester, 25 residents have died of the virus. At West End Villa, another 242-bed home in Ottawa, 11 residents have died since an outbreak of COVID-19 was declared on Aug. 30.

Normally, the Ministry of Long-Term Care orders hospitals to assume management of troubled homes. But Dr. Etches said her office could move more quickly than the ministry. “We all agreed using an order like this is more expedient to get the support in right away,” she said.

Quebec, meanwhile, announced 489 new cases on Tuesday, a decline from the 586 it registered on Monday, but Health and Social Services Minister Christian Dubé said it was too soon to celebrate. On Tuesday, two new regions, Outaouais and Laval, were elevated to orange status, the second-highest tier in the province’s COVID-19 alert system, after a spike in cases and outbreaks.

The current wave of the pandemic is markedly different from the first, Mr. Dubé said. This time outbreaks are spread more widely among the province’s regions, rather than concentrated in Montreal, and more likely to involve young people. Cases are also being spread in the community at large, rather than being clustered in the long-term care homes that accounted for more than 80 per cent of Quebec’s COVID-19 deaths.

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In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford announced the first pillar of a broad six-point plan to prepare for a second wave of COVID-19: a flu immunization campaign. Mr. Ford said the province has ordered 5.1 million doses and is working to order more. “Anyone who wants a flu shot can get one,” Mr. Ford said. “Please, please make sure you get yours.”

He said the other elements of the fall plan, which are set to include expanding testing and contact tracing as well as reducing surgery backlogs, will be released over the next several days – a timeline that had the opposition accusing the government of being wildly unprepared.

Mr. Ford said given “the size and scope” of the plan, his government needed more time to roll it out.

As governments in Central Canada grappled with surging case counts, the federal government announced Tuesday that it had secured an agreement in principle for a fifth experimental coronavirus vaccine, a protein-based candidate developed by the pharmaceutical giants Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline.

Anita Anand, the federal Minister of Public Services and Procurement, revealed for the first time that the government has committed about $1-billion in total to its five vaccine deals, some of it up-front. The remaining payouts will depend on whether any of the vaccines succeed in late-stage trials and win Health Canada approval.

Ms. Anand declined to provide specifics about deals with individual vaccine makers, citing confidentiality agreements and continuing negotiations with other companies.

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She also unveiled a deal with the maker of the antiviral drug remdesivir, the only medication officially approved to treat COVID-19, to bring 150,000 vials of the drug to Canada beginning next month.

With reports from Laura Stone and Eric Andrew-Gee

Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says there will be a dramatic resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Canada unless people limit contact with others in coming days. The Canadian Press

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

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Ford Canada, Unifor reach tentative deal that includes $2B in EV contracts – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd. has agreed to spend nearly $2 billion on its Canadian plants as part of tentative contract deal with Unifor announced Tuesday.

Under the proposed settlement, Unifor national president Jerry Dias said $1.95 billion will be invested in Ford’s Canadian plants, including $1.8 billion toward the production of five electric vehicles in Oakville, Ont., and an engine contract that could yield new jobs in Windsor, Ont.

The 6,300 union workers at Ford will vote on the deal this weekend, Dias said.

Talks between the union and the automaker came to a head on Monday ahead of a bargaining deadline of 11:59 p.m. ET, and talks continued for much of the night before parties settled on a deal around 5 a.m.

Workers had voted to support a strike if a deal could not be reached, with the future of the Oakville plant potentially on the line amid the end of the Ford Edge production.

The plant will now be retooled for electric vehicle production starting in 2024, Dias said, with the fifth and final model of the new deal hitting the assembly line in 2028.

Of the 4,250 Unifor workers at the plant west of Toronto, 3,400 are actively working (and not laid off or on leave.) Dias said he foresees about 3,000 jobs staying in Oakville under the new contract, but said that some of the current workers would be eligible to retire soon either way.

“This is a major commitment from Ford,” Dias said. “This is going to be a key facility, not for the short-term, but for the long-term … this is a decade-long commitment.”

Dias thanked local and federal politicians for support during the negotiations. When asked about government contribution toward electric vehicle production, Dias declined to confirm earlier news reports on the topic, saying the government will have to announce how much they plan to kick in.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has said that the province is contributing a “massive amount” to “businesses like (Ford Canada) to bring battery manufacturing” to the province, but has not shared a specific amount, citing ongoing negotiations. John Power, spokesman for federal Industry Minister Navdeep Bains, also declined to say how much Ottawa could commit, saying only that electric vehicle production would help meet climate goals and create jobs.

“We have been talking for decades about having a national auto strategy in this country, and for some reason, we can never seem to get everybody in the room at the same time,” Dias said.

“Over the last several months, those walls have really been torn down … I’m really pleased to see that the federal government and provincial government are working hand in hand.”

Dias said that the provincial government’s negotiations encompass the complete, A-to-Z manufacturing of batteries – a process that still requires a major manufacturer. Unifor’s deal with Ford will encompass just the assembly stage of the manufacturing process.

Once agreed to by union members, Ford’s deal on new product lines, shifts, wages, pensions and benefits will set the tone for upcoming talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors.

Dias said Fiat Chrysler will be next in line for negotiations, as the union plans to go toe-to-toe over shift cuts in Windsor and Brampton, Ont. facilities.

Although the last formal labour negotiations took place in 2016, the union has been in active scrimmages with GM since then, after last year’s downsizing at a GM plant in Oshawa, Ont.

In the U.S., GM’s union workers went on strike last year. Going forward, Dias said the Canadian and U.S. unions will negotiate with the Detroit Three on the same schedule, as both groups try to keep jobs from moving south to Mexico.

That means the 2020 deal will be renegotiated in 2023, amid the expiration of major programs in GM’s powertrain operation in St. Catharines, Ont.

Dias said Canadian natural resources, such as lithium, aluminum and cobalt, put the members in a strong position as more companies move toward electric vehicles.

“It’s an opportunity for our young people that work in Oakville, and frankly in Windsor, as well, and throughout the other operations, to sit back and say, `With this announcement I can buy a house, I can plan my future, I can plan a family,”’ Dias said.

“It really is about young people being able to plan 20 years ahead, which will make a significant difference in their life.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2020

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Tesla Announces Plan For $25,000 Car Within 3 Years – InsideEVs

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Tesla has just announced plans to get a $25,000 electric car into production within three years. The car does not yet have a name, though previous rumors suggested it could be called the Tesla Model C, with C standing for compact. Other hints suggest maybe Tesla Model 2 will be it’s name but that doesn’t make much sense to us.

This isn’t the first time a cheaper Tesla has been mentioned by Musk, but this is the first time we’ve been provided with a timeline for its launch. In 3 years implies that this car might be available in 2023.

Musk previously stated:

‘ It is important to make the car affordable. Like the thing that bugs me the most about where we are right now is that our cars are not affordable enough. We need to fix that. ‘

Earlier in July, Musk replied to a tweet specifically asking about a ‘ smaller European style hatchback ‘ by saying it would

‘ Probably a good one to design & engineer in Germany.‘

A $25,000 electric car would be a true game-changer and would push EVs into the mainstream for sure, especially when you consider lower operating costs and reduced maintenance costs as compared to conventional vehicles.

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