Drug maker Johnson & Johnson says it will be able to provide 20 million doses of its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S. government by the end of March, assuming it gets the green light from federal regulators.
J&J disclosed the figure ahead of a Congressional hearing on Tuesday looking at the country’s vaccine supply. White House officials cautioned last week that initial supplies of J&J’s vaccine would be limited.
The company reiterated that it will have capacity to provide 100 million vaccine doses to the U.S. by the end of June. That supply will help government officials reach the goal of having enough injections to vaccinate most adult Americans later this year. On a global scale, the company aims to produce one billion doses this year.
U.S. health regulators are still reviewing the safety and effectiveness of the shot and a decision to allow its emergency use is expected later this week. J&J’s vaccine would be the first in the U.S. that requires only a single shot.
Canada has an agreement with J&J for up to 38 million doses of its vaccine, pending approval from Health Canada.
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses spaced weeks apart. Executives from both companies and two other vaccine makers will also testify at Tuesday’s hearing.
WATCH | Biden talks about lives lost as U.S. COVID-19 death toll surpasses 500,000:
The U.S. has seen more recorded cases of COVID-19 than any other country in the world, with more than 28.1 million recorded cases. President Joe Biden on Monday described the death toll, which surpassed 500,000, as a “truly grim, heartbreaking milestone.”
Biden urged Americans to resist becoming “numb to the sorrow” and “viewing each life as a statistic.” The people lost were “extraordinary,” the president said, noting that “to heal, we must remember.”
-From The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated at 7 a.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
WATCH LIVE | Ministers and public health officials address Canadians:
As of 12:40 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada had reported 851,251 cases of COVID-19, with 30,895 cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 21,747.
Speaking at a briefing on Tuesday, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said “disease activity and severe outcomes continue to decline” nationally. Tam said that as of Tuesday, Canada had reported:
- 780 cases of the B117 variant
- 39 cases of the B1351 variant
- 1 case of the P1 variant
Tam said Canada is doing well, but cautioned that things could change rapidly — citing the recent uptick in cases in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Health officials in Ontario reported 975 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 additional deaths on Tuesday. Hospitalizations stood at 718, with 283 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units across the province.
Quebec reported 739 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 additional deaths on Tuesday. Hospitalizations in the province stood at 680, with 120 COVID-19 patients in ICUs.
The growing threat from COVID-19 variants has prompted the Manitoba government to tighten some of its pandemic-control guidelines. Instead of 15 minutes, people will be considered contacts of a case — and be required to undergo testing and self-isolation — if they have been in close range of an infection for 10 minutes.
The province, which has to date identified four travel-related cases of the B117 variant, is also ending an exemption that allowed some household members of a positive case to avoid self-isolation. Going forward, everyone in the same home as a positive case will have to self-isolate and get tested.
“We need to ensure we’re aggressively managing cases and contacts,” Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Monday as the province reported 97 new COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths.
In Atlantic Canada, there were no new cases of COVID-19 reported in Prince Edward Island on Tuesday.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, an update published to a provincial dashboard said. The number of active cases in the province stood at 372, with five people in hospital.
Saskatchewan reported 177 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. In neighouring Alberta, health officials reported 273 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 additional deaths.
In British Columbia, health officials reported 1,428 new COVID-19 cases over the past three days, for a total of 77,263 since the pandemic began. There have also been eight more deaths, bringing the number of fatalities linked to the novel coronavirus to 1,335 in B.C.
Across the North, there were 12 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the Nunavut community of Arviat on Monday. There were no new cases reported in the Northwest Territories or Yukon.
WATCH | Manitoba tightens health rules to curb growth of coronavirus variants:
Here’s a look at what else is happening across Canada:
-From The Canadian Press and CBC News, last updated at 12:40 p.m. ET
What’s happening around the world
As of early Tuesday morning, more than 111.7 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 63 million of those cases listed as resolved on a tracking site maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 2.4 million — with more than 500,000 of those deaths in the U.S. alone.
In Europe, new COVID-19 regulations took effect Tuesday in Poland that lift quarantine requirements for people entering the country who have certificates of having been inoculated against the virus with a European Union-approved vaccine.
Also, kindergarten children, elementary pupils and persons taking care of them, as well as researchers studying in Poland or in a neighbouring country, are exempt from the 10-day quarantine. The government regulations published Monday night also allow people to visit health spas if they test negative no more than six days before arrival.
The U.K. unemployment rate rose for a sixth straight month in December as renewed coronavirus restrictions shut down most businesses across the country. The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that unemployment rose to 5.1 per cent in December, up 0.1 per cent from the previous month and 1.3 per cent from a year earlier. The number of people on company payrolls has dropped by 726,000 since the pandemic began last February, with 58.5 per cent of the decline coming among people under 25.
The figures don’t show the full impact of COVID-19 restrictions on employment because some 1.9 million workers remain on furlough. A government program covers 80 per cent of their wages.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced plans to slowly end a national lockdown in England in hopes of safely reopening the economy and social life as infection rates drop and widespread vaccinations reduce the threat from COVID-19.
In the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippine president will reject recommendations to further ease coronavirus quarantine restrictions until a delayed vaccination campaign kicks off, his spokesperson said.
President Rodrigo Duterte also rejected a plan to resume face-to-face school classes in some pilot areas until vaccinations, which have been set back by delays in the arrival of initial batches of COVID-19 vaccine, have been launched, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
The scheduled delivery on Tuesday of 600,000 doses from Sinovac Biotech Ltd. was postponed anew after the China-based company failed to immediately secure an emergency-use permit from Manila’s Food and Drug Administration. Sinovac got the authorization Monday.
Top economic officials have asked Duterte to consider further easing quarantine restrictions starting in March to bolster the economy, which has suffered one of the worst recessions in the region, and stave off hunger. But Duterte rejected the recommendations.
“The chief executive recognizes the importance of re-opening the economy and its impact on people’s livelihoods,” Roque said, but noted that the president “gives higher premium to public health and safety.”
The Philippines has reported more than 563,000 confirmed cases and more than 12,000 deaths, the second-highest in Southeast Asia.
In the Americas, Mexico has received its first shipment of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
Some 200,000 doses arrived to Mexico City’s international airport late Monday night aboard a British Airways flight from Moscow. Officials plan to use the doses to begin vaccinating seniors in the capital’s most marginalized boroughs on Wednesday.
Mexico received its first shipment of vaccines from Pfizer in mid-December, but turned to Sputnik V in January when other expected vaccine shipments were delayed. Sputnik too arrives later than initially expected. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin in late January. In early February, Mexican regulators gave Sputnik V emergency approval and the government signed a contract to bring 400,000 doses to Mexico.
Brazil has fully approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, its health regulator said on Tuesday, although a dispute over a supply deal means it has none to start an immunization program with.
It is the first coronavirus shot to receive full approval in Brazil, regulator Anvisa said. Vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd., have only been approved for emergency use.
The approval is good news for a country where the immunization campaign has been plagued by delays and political squabbling. However, it is unclear whether this will pave the way for a supply deal of a highly effective shot that is being rolled out globally.
“We hope to be able to move forward in our negotiations with the Brazilian government to support the immunization of the country’s population,” Pfizer’s Brazil boss Marta Diez said in a statement, without giving further details.
Brazil’s Health Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. President Jair Bolsonaro has criticized the terms of a deal proposed by Pfizer, saying it is overly onerous as it exempts the U.S. firm from potential liability for unforeseen problems. Pfizer has said other countries, including Brazil’s neighbors in Latin America, have agreed to those terms.
In the Middle East, Oman will not allow people from 10 countries to enter the country for 15 days to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in particular certain mutated strains.
In Africa, two of South Africa’s prime commercial property owners said this week they will extend rental relief to struggling tenants this year. South Africa is the hardest-hit country on the continent, with more than 1.5 million reported cases of COVID-19 and more than 49,000 deaths.
–From The Associated Press and Reuters, last update at 9:45 a.m. ET
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Thursday – CBC.ca
Tokyo reported 5,042 new daily coronavirus cases on Thursday, hitting a record since the pandemic began as the infections surge in the Japanese capital hosting the Olympics.
The additional cases brought the total for Tokyo to 236,138, about a quarter of the national total. Japan reported more than 14,000 cases on Wednesday for a total of 970,000.
Tokyo has been under a state of emergency since mid-July, and four other areas have since been added and extended until Aug. 31. But the measures, basically a ban on alcohol in restaurants and bars and their shorter hours, are increasingly ignored by the public, which has become tired of restrictions.
“We need to tackle the situation as we now have a stronger sense of urgency,” Prime Minister Yosihide Suga told reporters, referring to Tokyo’s new record exceeding 5,000 cases for the first time. “The infections are expanding at the pace we have never experienced before.”
Suga, who has been criticized for insisting on hosting the Olympics despite the coronavirus spreading, says there is no evidence linking the surge in cases to the July 23-Aug. 8 Games. He urged people to firmly stick to the emergency requests and stay home despite the summer vacation.
Alarmed by the pace of the spread, some experts have called for a current state of emergency in Tokyo and five other areas to be expanded nationwide.
Instead, Suga on Thursday announced a milder version of the emergency measures in eight prefectures, including Fukushima in the east and Kumamoto in the south, expanding the areas to 13 prefectures. The less-stringent measures allow prefectural heads to target specific towns but cannot order business closures.
Suga also pledged to “prevent the further spread of the virus by firmly carrying out vaccinations.”
Experts say people are not cooperating because many feel less of a sense of urgency about the pandemic while the Olympics are going ahead and Suga’s government keeps issuing the same requests for people to stay at home.
-From The Associated Press, last updated at 7:30 a.m. ET
What’s happening in Canada
What’s happening around the world
As of early Thursday morning, more than 200.3 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a case tracking tool maintained by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.2 million.
In the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines will extend tighter coronavirus restrictions to include three areas, including a province adjoining the capital region, to prevent the spread of the delta variant, the president’s office said on Thursday. The tougher restrictions, already due to take effect in metropolitan Manila from Aug. 6, will also be imposed in Laguna province and the cities of Cagayan De Oro and Iloilo, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement
In Africa, the director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says he came down with COVID-19 last week and if he had not been vaccinated earlier, “I would not be here by now.” An audibly ill John Nkengasong told reporters that despite his vaccination in April, “the severity of the attack is unbearable.” He cited his experience to push back against vaccine hesitancy.
African Union officials said on Thursday that the body had begun shipping COVID-19 vaccine doses acquired through a Johnson & Johnson deal, but they raised alarm at the pace of total deliveries to a region where only 1.5 per cent of people are vaccinated.
In the Americas, the delta variant is “highly worrisome” as the mutation has spread to nearly two dozen countries across the Americas, officials with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) told reporters.
Mexico’s Health Ministry on Wednesday reported 20,685 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest daily jump since late January, and 611 fatalities.
In the Middle East, Iran again reported a fresh single-day high on Wednesday, with 39,357 new cases of COVID-19. The country reported 409 additional deaths, bringing the reported COVID-related death toll to 92,194.
In Europe, Britain will scrap quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers returning to England and Scotland from France, rowing back on a rule that had infuriated French politicians and thrown millions of holidays into confusion.
-From Reuters, The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated at 9 a.m. ET
Here's what Canada did while you were sleeping on day 13 of Tokyo Olympics – CTV News
HALIBURTON, ONT. —
Canada added two medals to its collection overnight on day 13, bringing home silver in women’s canoe sprint and a bronze in women’s cycling.
Here’s a look at some of the 2020 Summer Olympic events you may have missed overnight.
Lauriane Genest won Canada’s first-ever medal in the keirin, capturing bronze in the event. New Zealand’s Ellesse Andrews took silver while Shanne Braspennincx of the Netherlands captured gold.
The keirin is an eight-lap race amongst six cyclists who start the race following behind a motorized pace bike, as it accelerates to top speed of 50 km/hr. The pace bike moves off the track with two laps to go before cyclists jockey for positions to finish the race.
On the water
Canada’s Laurence Vincent-Lapointe captured canoe sprint silver in the women’s C-1 200-metre race on Thursday, taking second place in 46.786 seconds. American Nevin Harrison took the gold with a time of 45.932, while Ukraine’s Liudmyla Luzan claimed bronze at Sea Forest Waterway. Canadian teammate Katie Vincent finished eighth in 47.834 seconds.
Damian Warner is inching closer to the top of the podium, continuing to hold a commanding lead in the decathlon with only two events left to complete. The Canadian posted an Olympic decathlon record of 13.46 seconds in the 110-metre hurdles before going on to place third in discus. Warner also tied a personal best in pole vault after clearing 4.90 metres on Thursday.
Warner leads with just javelin and the 1,500 metre left in the competition. Australian Ashley Moloney sits in second place while fellow Canadian Pierce LePage rounds out the top three. The last two events are set for later Thursday.
Canada’s medal chances were dashed after Meaghan Benfeito failed to qualify for 10-metre platform diving final. The 32-year-old missed the 12th and final qualifying spot on her fourth dive of the day, finishing in the 13th spot, wrapping up her time at the Tokyo Olympics.
On the track
The Canadian men’s 4×100-metre relay team is off to the finals after sprinter Andre De Grasse made a late comeback for the team, crossing the finish line in second place, just hours after winning himself a gold medal in the 200-metre sprint.
Canada’s Brooke Henderson had a better day on the course, bouncing back to shoot a 3-under 68 in the second round of the women’s golf tournament. Henderson is currently tied for the 34th spot, sitting at even par.
The cost of down payments in Canadian cities skyrocketed in 2021, new data shows – CTV News
Skyrocketing housing prices in 2021 are driving up how long it would take for homebuyers to save for a down payment, new data shows.
The National Bank of Canada (NBC)’s latest report found that during the second quarter of 2021, housing affordability has worsened by the widest margin in 27 years. The report examined housing and mortgage trends in 10 cities across the country.
To save up enough for a down payment for an average home in Canada, it would take just short of six years – or 69 months – if you saved at a rate of 10 per cent of their median pre-tax household income.
This marked a notable jump compared to the 57 months of saving at that same rate this time last year.
And, if you live in Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto, it could take decades – assuming you put away 10 per cent of your before-tax household income.
Here’s a breakdown of how much time it would take to save up for a down payment for an average home or condo, if you saved a tenth of your pre-tax income:
- Standing head and shoulders above the other cities, it would take a staggering 34 years – or 411 months – of saving to be able to afford a home here.
- The average home here costs $1.47 million.
- It would take just under five years – 57 months — to save up enough for a down payment on an average condo in Vancouver.
- An estimated 28 years, or 338 months, of saving to make a down payment for a non-condo home, with the total price of a representative home set at $1.03M.
- It would take 47 months of saving to afford a condo down payment.
- To save enough for a down payment for a home here would take 26.5 years – or 318 months.
- The average home here costs approximately $1.2 million.
- To afford a condo down payment here would take just under five years, or 56 months.
- At a 10-per-cent saving rate, you’re looking at 6.5 years of saving up to afford a down payment for a home — and around four years to afford a condo in this city.
- Trying to save up a home down payment in Canada’s capital could take a little over four years.
- Saving up a tenth of your pre-tax earnings for 3.5 years would mean you could afford a down payment on a representative home in Montreal
- The total price tag of a non-condo home sits at $492,777.
- Trying to afford a condo here could take you just a little more than two and a half years of saving.
- You’d need to save up for just under three years – or 34 months – to afford a home here, or about half that time to afford a condo.
- Potential homebuyers were looking at 2.5 years – or 30 months – of saving if you’re looking to make a down payment on a non-condo home.
- The average total cost of a non-condo home was $428,600.
- Affording a down payment on a $370,000 home could take homebuyers about 2.3 years worth of saving.
- Home buyers needed 18 months to save up a down payment on a condo.
- The price of a representative home in Quebec’s capital is $330 742 and it would take the average Canadian household just over two years – or 28 months — to save up a down payment.
Researchers also found mortgage payments now make up 45 per cent of the income for a representative household, slightly above the average amount (43 per cent of income) needed in 1980.
NBC noted that during most of the past two years, income growth and lower interest rates have been conducive to improving affordability.
But 2021 has been a stark contrast, the bank said, with home price increases outpacing income growth and mortgage interest rates also rising.
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