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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Sunday – CBC.ca

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The latest:

Developers of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine expect to have a modified jab to cope with the coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa by autumn, the vaccine’s lead researcher said Sunday.

Health officials in Britain are trying to contain the spread of the variant first identified in South Africa amid concerns that it is more contagious or resistant to existing vaccines. More than 100 cases of the variant have been found in the U.K.

Sarah Gilbert, lead researcher for the Oxford team, told the BBC on Sunday that “we have a version with the South African spike sequence in the works.”

“It looks very likely that we can have a new version ready to use in the autumn,” she added.

A health worker administers the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Sunday. (Valentina Petrova/The Associated Press)

Her comments come as Oxford University said that early data from a small study suggested that the AstraZeneca vaccine offers only “minimal protection” against mild disease caused by the variant.

The study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, involved 2,000 people, most of whom were young and healthy. The volunteers’ average age was 31.

“Protection against moderate-severe disease, hospitalization or death could not be assessed in this study as the target population were at such low risk,” Oxford University said.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is currently under review by Health Canada.

Meanwhile, Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canadians can soon expect the country’s COVID-19 inoculation campaign to pick up steam after Canada’s vaccine rollout was temporarily beset by delivery delays and reduced shipments of doses. 

WATCH | Temporary Pfizer delays are ‘behind us,’ procurement minister says:

Canada’s COVID-19 inoculation campaign will soon ramp up after the country was beset by vaccine delivery delays and reduced shipments, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said on Rosemary Barton Live. Watch Rosemary Barton Live on Sundays at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT/12:30 p.m. NT on CBC News Network and CBC Gem. 10:13

“The temporary delays that we have seen are largely behind us,” Anand said Sunday on Rosemary Barton Live

“The delays that we saw from Europe, from Pfizer, for example, were very disappointing and very concerning to me and to our government. But I have received assurances from the vaccine manufacturers that those delays are temporary and that we are very much on track,” the minister added.

Pfizer scaled back its delivery schedule last month as the pharmaceutical company upgraded its manufacturing plant in Belgium to boost production of its vaccine.

It’s also unclear how many Moderna doses Canada will receive in the coming weeks, with Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin — the military commander leading Canada’s vaccine logistics — saying the government is in the dark about how many shots are coming over the next two months. The Massachusetts-based company has not provided an explanation for the reduced shipments.


What’s happening across Canada

As of 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had reported 803,909 cases of COVID-19 — with 44,751 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 20,763.

British Columbia is extending its pandemic restrictions indefinitely, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Friday. The province’s current orders were set to expire at midnight.

Recent days have seen a slow downward trend in the number of new daily cases in B.C., and the number of patients in hospital with COVID-19 is now at its lowest level since Nov. 21.

Alberta will introduce the first round of eased COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, including limited school and minor sport training.

WATCH | More than 200,000 students not in school during pandemic, experts say:

Irvin Studin, the president of the Institute for 21st Century Questions, says more than 200,000 Canadian kids are currently out of school — physically and virtually. He is urging the federal government to address this ‘time-urgent catastrophe’ before it’s too late. Watch Canada Tonight with Ginella Massa weeknights at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT/9:30 p.m. NT on CBC News Network and CBC Gem. 6:05

Saskatchewan announced 194 new COVID-19 cases and three more deaths on Sunday.

In Regina, police issued a $2,800 ticket after breaking up a private gathering. The ticket is the 19th handed out by the Regina Police Service since public health orders were put in place nearly one year ago.

Manitoba reported 80 new cases and four additional deaths. The 80 new cases is the lowest one-day case increase in the province since Oct. 19, when the same number of cases was reported.

Ontario registered 1,489 new cases of COVID-19 and 22 more deaths on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce a phased reopening of the province on Monday, sources tell The Canadian Press. 

Quebec‘s COVID-19 death toll surpassed 10,000 on Sunday, after recording 32 more fatalities and 1,081 new cases. The province has now seen 270,058 confirmed cases and 10,031 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

People are seen wearing face masks in Montreal on Sunday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

New Brunswick saw seven new cases.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new case involving a female in the Eastern Health region under 19 years of age. The source of the infection is under investigation.

Meanwhile, the province said that risks of exposure at the Bigs Restaurant in Mount Pearl — which earlier had an exposure warning for Jan. 21 to Feb. 4 — is now deemed “very low.”

Nova Scotia logged one new infection, bringing the province’s active caseload to eight.

The announcement comes a day before the province is set to ease some restrictions, which include retail businesses and fitness facilities going to 75 per cent capacity and the ability for recognized businesses and organizations to have events, festivals, weddings and funerals with a capacity of 100 people indoors.

In the Northwest Territories, the Gahcho Kué diamond mine has suspended all operations after six workers tested positive for COVID-19 amid an ongoing outbreak at the facility.


What’s happening around the world

As of Sunday, more than 105.9 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 58.9 million of those considered recovered or resolved, according to a tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 2.3 million.

In Asia, Israel has started to ease restrictions nearly six weeks after entering its third nationwide lockdown, allowing some businesses to reopen and for people to move more than a kilometre from their homes. But schools remain shuttered and international flights are severely restricted.

Medical personnel treat COVID-19 patients in an intensive care ward in Safed, Israel, on Sunday. (Oded Balilty/The Associated Press)

In Europe, Norway says it will apply, effective Sunday, stricter coronavirus restrictions in the southwestern coastal municipality of Bergen and 12 surrounding areas due to a spread of new coronavirus variants first detected in Britain and South Africa.

In the Americas, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says a “tentative agreement” has been reached with the teachers’ union over COVID-19 safety protocols, potentially averting a strike in the third-largest school district in the U.S.   

In Africa, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi says his country needs 70 millions shots of coronavirus vaccine to inoculate between 30 million and 35 million people in the first stage of a campaign his government launched last month.

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COVID-19: Ottawa reports 62 new cases, no new deaths; Ontario sees 1,185 new cases – Ottawa Citizen

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Ontario completed 59,416 COVID-19 tests in the previous 24 hours with a 2.1 per cent positivity rate, which has been trending down in recent weeks.

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Ottawa Public Health reported 62 new cases Saturday. There were no new deaths and the city’s death toll remains 439.

There have been 14,650 cases in Ottawa and of those, 13,723 are now considered resolved.

There are now 488 active cases in the city, an indicator showing a rising trend in recent weeks after steady declines through early February.

There are 24 patients in hospital and seven in ICU.

Ottawa’s statistics remain remains at the Orange (Restrict) level in the province’s framework, though in an update to council last week, Dr. Vera Etches cautioned that the city could soon be headed into the Red (Control).

OPH is to meet with the province this week to discuss whether the city should return to the Red level of restrictions, which Etches called “a real possibility.”

Eligible vaccine recipients, mostly frontline workers, lined up outside The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, Saturday Feb. 27, 2021, in the snowstorm that hit the capital, to receive their much anticipated COVID-19 vaccine.
Eligible vaccine recipients, mostly frontline workers, lined up outside The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, Saturday Feb. 27, 2021, in the snowstorm that hit the capital, to receive their much anticipated COVID-19 vaccine. Photo by Ashley Fraser /Postmedia

Those indicators had been trending the wrong direction, but there have been some encouraging signs in data released in recent days.

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Ottawa’s daily test positivity was 1.7 per cent in the last 24 hours, and the weekly average has again declined slightly to 2.0 per cent. That weekly rate must remain below 2.4 per cent to remain in Orange.

Ottawa’s weekly average rate of infection is trending up, however, with a slight increase from 34.7 to 35.0 cases per 100,000 population over the last 24 hours. That rate must remain under 40 cases per 100,000 population to remain in Orange.

The R(t) number — another key indicator measuring the secondary cases generated by a single confirmed COVID-19 infection — must be between 1.0 and 1.1 to remain in Orange.

Ottawa’s R(t) number has remained relatively flat, hovering around 1.0 for much of February, and has now dipped below that threshold with an average 0.98 score over the past week.

Any number above 1.0 indicates the virus is spreading in the community, any score under 1.0 indicates the spread is coming under control.

On the vaccination front, Ottawa received another 4,000 Moderna doses on Thursday, and has now administered 49,125 of the 61,820 total doses the city has received.

A “minor booking issue” caused some lineups at The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus where health care workers awaited their vaccinations.

The appointments include the highest priority hospital and community-based health care workers, staff and essential caregivers from long-term care homes, and staff from high risk retirement homes, The Ottawa Hospital said in a statement.

Province

Ontario is reporting 1,185 new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases Saturday and 16 related deaths.

The Greater Toronto Area remains a provincial hotspot, with 331 new cases identified in Toronto Saturday and 220 new cases in Peel. Both regions remain under lockdown orders.

York region reported 119 new cases.

There were 67 new cases in Ottawa, according to provincial data.

There are often discrepancies between Ontario’s daily case counts and those logged by local public health units while the province is completing its data migration to a central system. Ottawa Public Health is using its own system in the meantime, which pulls local data each afternoon and reports the numbers around 12:30 p.m. the following day. OPH says its data is typically the most up-to-date.

In surrounding regions, the Eastern Ontario public health unit reported seven new cases Saturday, a day after 11 new infections were confirmed in the area on Friday.

There were five new cases in Hastings, one in Kingston and three in Renfrew County.

Renfrew saw its largest single-day spike in cases with 10 confirmed infections on Friday, prompting a stern warning from acting medical officer of health Dr. Robert Cushman.

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No new cases were found in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark.

Ontario completed 59,416 COVID-19 tests in the previous 24 hours with a 2.1 per cent positivity rate, which has been trending down in recent weeks.

There are 680 patients in Ontario hospitals, 276 in intensive care and, of those, 182 require a ventilator.

Those rates of severe cases have remained relatively constant recently after steady declines through early February.

On the vaccination front, another 24,339 vaccine doses were administered Friday, and as of 8 p.m., a total of 668,104 doses had been administered, with 260,972 Ontarians fully immunized with both doses.

Meanwhile, the province confirmed that it unknowingly distributed counterfeit N95 masks to health-care providers.

The province could not immediately say how many of the counterfeit 3M masks it had acquired for its stockpile, or how many were given to health-care workers.

The Ministry of Health sent a memo to health-care providers notifying them of the problem and asked them to seek out and “isolate” the faulty gear by product number.

The government said it is reviewing its entire stockpile to check for the counterfeit product and has also alerted Health Canada of the situation.

Quebec

Quebec reported 858 new COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths on Saturday.

There were 21 fewer patients in hospital, for a total of 599, with 112 in ICU, a drop of seven.

There were 31 new cases reported in the Outaouais region for a total of 6,280. There was one new death reported in the region for a total of 160.

A total of 287,003 infections have now been confirmed in the province since the pandemic began.

There have been 10,385 deaths and 268,645 cases are considered recovered.

-With files from The Canadian Press and Postmedia

  1. FILE: A nurse prepares Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines.

    From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

  2. Manufacturing Associate Leon Barbeau looks at a sample under the clean hood in the Bio Therapeutics lab's virus manufacturing centre at the The Ottawa Hospital.

    ‘All ready to go’: Ottawa manufacturing centre producing three COVID vaccines for human trials

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There’s no ‘best’ vaccine, expert says as Canada OKs AstraZeneca shots – Globalnews.ca

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Vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford have now been approved in Canada.  While Canadians may not get a choice about which COVID-19 vaccine to take, all three offer protection against severe illness, according to experts.

“All of these vaccines are good,” Dr. Bradly Wouters, executive vice-president of science and research at the University Health Network told Global News Friday.

Read more:
What are the differences between Canada’s approved COVID-19 vaccines? Here’s what we know

Available data shows all these three vaccines have the “ability to impact hospitalization” and offer “protection against severe illness,” he said.

Which vaccine is the best?

There’s no “best vaccine” option.

Whichever vaccine is available first, “it’s going to protect you,” Wouters said.

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Parts of the world are already facing which-is-best challenges. Astrazeneca’s vaccine for instance, was cleared for use in Britain and Europe after data suggested that it was about 70 per cent effective.

Italy’s government recently decided to reserve Pfizer and Moderna shots for the elderly and designate the Astrazeneca vaccine for younger, at-risk workers, sparking protests.

“Right now, it’s not vaccine against vaccine, it’s vaccine against virus,” Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, recently told The Associated Press.

Wouters reiterated a similar notion.

“In a pandemic, you need fast results,” he noted and the “priority is to ensure everyone gets vaccinated” and not “debate over which vaccine is better.”

“Each trial involves different people in different places,” he said, and while many may be making comparisons between vaccines from the results of different Phase 3 trials, “such comparisons are misleading,” he said.

After Pfizer and Moderna, AstraZeneca is the third shot officially authorized in the country.


Click to play video 'Health Canada official explains how AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine works'



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Health Canada official explains how AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine works


Health Canada official explains how AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine works

The two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna shots were found to be about 95 per cent effective against the virus as compared to the AstraZeneca shots that stand at 62 per cent in preventing symptomatic cases.

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However, Wouters said they will all work “as effectively as possible as long as combined with mask-wearing, handwashing and social distancing.”

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

“We must continue to follow public health guidelines, being cautious until positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths are significantly reduced nationwide,” he said.

Following Canada’s approval of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine Friday, Procurement Minister Anita Anand cautioned against deliberation over “the sort of good or bad” vaccines.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Canada secures 2M doses of CoviShield vaccine, to arrive in weeks'



2:08
Coronavirus: Canada secures 2M doses of CoviShield vaccine, to arrive in weeks


Coronavirus: Canada secures 2M doses of CoviShield vaccine, to arrive in weeks

“If there is a vaccine and it’s been authorized by Health Canada, it means that it’s met standards,” Anand said during a press conference Friday.

AstraZeneca shots may not seem equal to its opponents at first glance but “these vaccines do have a use,” she said.

“We have real-world evidence from Scotland and the U.K. for people that have been dosed that have been over 80, and that has shown a significant drop in hospitalizations, to the tune of 84 per cent,” she said.

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“The idea is to have a suite of vaccines that are available. I think Canada is hungry for vaccines, we’re putting more on the buffet table to be used.”

Standards of efficacy

Speaking of the “standards of effectiveness,” Anand said vaccines “should meet at least 50 per cent.”

“If we compare that to the influenza viruses that we authorize every year, if you look back, for example, just to last year, the effectiveness of the flu vaccine against the most common strain was about 64 per cent, across to the next common strain was about 54 per cent,” she said.

As more information becomes available from real-world use, “the efficacy” of the AstraZeneca vaccine might prove to “be much higher,” Anand added.

Read more:
Canada approves AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

Considering all the five vaccines that are currently under review, including the Novavax and Johnson & Johnson shots, Anand emphasized that nobody has died so far from “adverse effects” of these vaccines.

“If you look across all the clinical trials of the tens of thousands of people that were involved, the number of cases of people that died from COVID-19 that got vaccine was zero. The number of people that were hospitalized because their COVID-19 disease was so severe was zero. The number of people that died because of an adverse event or an effect of the vaccine was zero,” she said.

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The idea is “to prevent” serious illness, hospitalizations and “of course prevent death,” Anand said.

Storage and distribution

Compared to the other vaccines, the AstraZeneca shot is also easier to administer.

The vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2 to 8 C/36 to 46 F) for at least six months and administered within existing health-care settings.


Click to play video 'Cold storage of COVID-19 vaccine complicates rollout'



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Cold storage of COVID-19 vaccine complicates rollout


Cold storage of COVID-19 vaccine complicates rollout – Dec 8, 2020

The Moderna and Pfizer options, meanwhile, must be stored at subzero temperatures until they’re ready to be used, at -4 F and -94 F, respectively.

This is “something we need to take into account,” Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said during a press conference Friday.

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He said the onboarding of the AstraZeneca vaccine is “another tool in our toolbox.”

“Following the approval of Health Canada, the efficacy stands at 62 per cent, but we have to look at the entire profile of each vaccine because this vaccine is easier to administer than Pfizer and Moderna, so this is something we need to take into account,” he said.

— With files from The Associated Press

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

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Fact check: How much does Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine rollout lag other provinces? – National Post

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A province-by-province overview of Canada’s immunization rates

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Critics have been decrying the speed, or lack thereof, at which the Ontario government is vaccinating its people against the coronavirus. Well ahead of the game — according to per cent of population inoculated — are all three territories by a long chalk, as well as Quebec and P.E.I.

While vaccine procurement is a federal task, deployment is up to each province and territory. In December, Quebec gave long-term care residents their jabs straight from distribution centres within the facilities themselves. Upon receipt of its vaccine doses in December, British Columbia also sent them straight to long-term care homes. But Ontario held on to its inventory for three weeks before shipping it to such facilities, doing so only after vaccine-handling criteria were changed.

Ontario began with Toronto and Ottawa test sites in late December, so it could write a “playbook” on how they administered the vaccinations, how they handled the vaccine and what they learned from it.

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But former federal health minister Jane Philpott told the CBC that “There’s no point gained for doing this in a slow and steady fashion. There are no points gained for pacing ourselves or rationing out the vaccine.”

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By Feb. 26, 1.78 million doses had been administered across the country to 3.33 per cent of the total population. (Just over 2.44 million doses had been delivered to the provinces.)

Of those 1.78 million doses, 1.27 million people received just one dose and 511,975 have received two.

But are Ontario vaccination counts so far behind the others, as critics charge?

Comparison figures (from east to west) show that the province’s rate of administering doses is 10th of 13 jurisdictions.

The number of people fully vaccinated and the per cent of the total population vaccinated (at least one dose) in each province, by end of day Feb. 26, break down thus:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 7,466; 2.460
  • Prince Edward Island: 5,165; 4.390
  • Nova Scotia: 12,105; 2.034
  • New Brunswick: 11,036; 1.956
  • Quebec: n/a; 4.671
  • Ontario: 258,014; 2.618
  • Manitoba: 28,557; 3.111
  • Saskatchewan: 22,485; 3.987
  • Alberta: 82,989; 2.807
  • British Columbia: 73,808; 3.470
  • Yukon: 4,309; 25.761
  • N.W.T.: 1,934; 32.214
  • Nunavut: 4,107; 18.521

And following is the current plan for vaccine rollout across the country. Click on the headers below to go to each province’s official vaccination plans.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The province is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Those with priority include:

  • health-care workers on the front lines
  • residents, staff and essential visitors at long-term care homes
  • people 85 years and older
  • adults in remote or isolated indigenous communities.

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(Essential visitors are those considered, by the care team, to be paramount to the resident’s physical care and mental well-being, including assistance with feeding, mobility, personal care, communication or significant behavioural symptoms.)

The province had received 26,800 doses, and by Feb. 23 had administered a total of 20,285 inoculations (60 per cent of doses administered). Total inoculations counts both the number of single-dose and two-dose vaccinations.

Prince Edward Island

The first phase of the province’s rollout is underway. This targets:

  • residents and staff of long-term and community care
  • health-care workers with direct patient contact
  • those 80 and older
  • adults in Indigenous communities
  • truck drivers and other rotational workers.

The next phase, scheduled to begin in April, will target those older than 70 and essential workers.

The province intends to make the vaccine available to everyone in late summer and fall.

P.E.I. has received 14,715 doses and has given 12,176 inoculations in total (83 per cent).

Nova Scotia

The first phase of vaccines will be given to long-term care residents, patient-facing health-care workers, those 80 and older, and at-risk groups including First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities.

Though no dates are given for moves to the next phases, the second will include:

  • anyone who works in a hospital and may come into contact with a patient
  • community health-care providers such as dental and pharmacy workers
  • correctional facilities, shelters, temporary foreign worker quarters
  • those working in food security industries
  • the general population in the 75 and older age cohort.

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The third phase will include all Nova Scotians, in five-year age ranges.

Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021.

The province has given 32,019 doses of the 61,980 received (52 per cent).

New Brunswick

The focus now is on vaccinating those in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, those 16 and older in First Nations communities and New Brunswickers aged 85 and up.

The next phase, to begin in April, includes:

  • residents and staff of communal settings
  • pharmacists and dentists
  • first responders
  • critical infrastructure employees
  • individuals aged 70 and up
  • workers who regularly cross the provincial border.

From June onward, vaccinations will go to school staff, students aged 16 to 24, health-care workers with indirect patient contact, and those with two or more chronic health conditions.

Availability of the vaccine will be limited until mid- to late summer, the government says, but once the supply is continuous, the entire population will be offered the shots.

So far, 26,317 doses have been administered of  35,105 doses received (56 per cent).

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Quebec

Throughout the province, those aged 85 and older can make an appointment to get vaccinated. Anyone accompanying such a person can also book a vaccination for that same time, if they are over 70 and care for the person three or more days a week.

The province plans to vaccinate those in:

  • residential and long-term care centres
  • health- and social services workers
  • isolated and remote communities
  • people 80 years or older.

Access for other ages will roll out in 10-year age increments.

Quebec has administered 400,540 injections of 537,825 doses received (75 per cent).

Ontario

Phase 1 of three phases reserves inoculations for those in long-term care, high-risk retirement-home residents, certain classes of health-care workers, and people who live in congregate care settings.

Currently, the start dates for vaccinations in Ontario are as follows:

  • 80 and older, and adults receiving chronic home care: starting March 15
  • 75 and older: April 15
  • 70 and older: May 1
  • 65 and older: June 1
  • 60 and older: July 1
  • anyone who wants to be immunized: Aug. 1.

To date, 643,765 doses have been administered of 903,285 received (71 per cent).

Manitoba

Most people aged 95 and up, or 75 and up for First Nations people, health-care workers, laboratory workers handling COVID specimens, people working at testing sites or outpatient care are being vaccinated in Phase 1. All personal-care-home residents should have received their two doses by the end of February.

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In early March, eligibility expands to:

  • most people over 80
  • First Nations individuals over 60
  • eligible age ranges will be lowered over the coming months
  • at this time, the plan does not include a separate category for essential workers but will be considered as vaccine supplies increase.

The province has received 102,360 doses and has administered 71,469 (66 per cent).

Saskatchewan

Long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area are in the current Phase 1 category. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. Eligible residents will be contacted by phone or letter.

Mass vaccinations by age group should begin by April, depending on supply. It will roll out into the general population:

  • in 10-year increments
  • starting with those aged 60 to 69
  • for those living in emergency shelters
  • for individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes
  • for people who are medically vulnerable.

Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce.

Saskatchewan has administered 69,451 doses of 74,605 received (93 per cent).

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Alberta

People born in 1946 or earlier are now being immunized. First shots are expected to have been given by the end of March for:

  • all eligible First Nations and Metis seniors and others 65 and older living in a First Nations community
  • those aged 75 and older can get inoculations as of the first week of March at select pharmacies in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer. Pharmacies will contact eligible people.
  • second shots will be administered within 42 days after initial doses.

The province is working on categorizing target populations for future phases.

Alberta has received 274,965 doses and has administered 207,300 (75 per cent).

British Columbia

The province’s first phase launched in December, targeting health-care workers in hospitals, paramedics, residents and staff at long-term care homes, and remote indigenous communities. Some mobile clinics are being offered.

The second phase, running February and March, includes:

  • people aged 80 and more
  • indigenous elders 65 and up
  • indigenous communities that didn’t receive vaccine in the first phase
  • health-care workers and vulnerable populations in certain congregate settings.

The third phase, to start in April and last until June, will reach people aged 60 to 79, and those 16 and older who are clinically vulnerable, such as cancer patients.

B.C. has given 252,373 injections of 323,340 doses received (78 per cent).

Northwest Territories

N.W.T. has vaccinated 42 per cent of its adult population, and expects enough vaccine to offer inoculations to 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March.

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  • clinics are underway or completed in all 33 of the territory’s communities
  • Yellowknife is prioritizing residents and staff in long-term care homes
  • vaccination of the general population will begin in late March.

N.W.T. has given 16,454 injections of 19,100 doses received (86 per cent).

Yukon

The government has vaccinated:

  • high-risk health-care workers
  • adults 70 and older
  • people who are marginalized
  • people living in group settings.

Uncertainty about supply has delayed immunization for the general public in Whitehorse.

Yukon has administered 15,174 doses of 18,900 received (80 per cent).

Nunavut

Vaccine clinics for the general population have been scheduled for all communities, dependent on vaccine supply. The territory expects to immunize 75 per cent of its residents over the age of 18 by early April.

Currently, in Iqaluit, Nunavut’s capital first-dose immunization is going on for:

  • staff and residents of shelters
  • people aged 45 years and up
  • staff and inmates in correctional facilities
  • first responders and frontline health-care staff.

Nunavut has administered 11,383 doses of 23,900 received (48 per cent).

— with files from The Canadian Press

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