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COVID-19 booster shots a ‘mockery’ of vaccine equity, head of WHO Africa says – Global News

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Rich countries’ decisions to roll out COVID-19 booster shots while so many people across Africa remain unvaccinated “threaten the promise of a brighter tomorrow” for the continent, the Africa director for the World Health Organization said Thursday, warning that “as some richer countries hoard vaccines, they make a mockery of vaccine equity.”

Matshidiso Moeti and other African health officials, including the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had warned against booster shots in recent weeks as less than two per cent of the population on the continent of 1.3 billion people is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Moeti noted that the latest resurgence in cases across Africa is leveling off and more vaccine doses are finally arriving on the continent, but “Africa is encountering headwinds” as rich countries like the United States decide to roll out booster shots.


Click to play video: 'Ontario to offer 3rd COVID-19 shot to ‘vulnerable’ populations, 1st shot to ages 12+'



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Ontario to offer 3rd COVID-19 shot to ‘vulnerable’ populations, 1st shot to ages 12+


Ontario to offer 3rd COVID-19 shot to ‘vulnerable’ populations, 1st shot to ages 12+

The situation in Africa remains “very fragile” as the more infectious Delta variant is now dominant in most of the continent’s 54 countries, she said. More than 7.3 million cases, including more than 186,000 deaths, have been confirmed across the continent and health systems are straining to provide medical oxygen and other care.

U.S. health officials on Wednesday announced plans to dispense COVID-19 booster shots to all Americans amid the surging delta variant and signs that vaccines’ effectiveness is slipping.

Moeti told reporters she couldn’t say with any accuracy whether the doses the U.S. plans to use for booster shots will come from stocks that had been planned for Africa, but “hopefully not.”

Read more:
U.S. will give COVID-19 vaccine boosters to all Americans amid Delta surge

She noted the “already highly inequitable situation” globally in vaccine supply and urged that the emphasis instead be placed on making progress in vaccinating people in Africa, whose countries lag far behind much of the world in access and coverage.

Moeti pointed out that rich countries have on average administered more than 103 vaccine doses per 100 people, while in Africa it’s just six.

Earlier this week the WHO director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called it “unconscionable” that some countries are now offering booster shots “while so many people remain unprotected.”

Moeti on Thursday said that “we are urging wealthier countries that have supplies that are sometimes even more than their population numbers to increase their donations to African counties that have been so disadvantaged.”

She added, after the revelation this week that some COVID-19 vaccine doses now being manufactured in Africa are being shipped to Europe, “I think no better example can follow this than vaccines that are actually being produced on the African continent.” She called on those countries to consider donating some of the South Africa-produced vaccines to African nations “as well as serving their needs.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Ontario reports 653 new COVID-19 cases, 6 more virus-related deaths – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Ontario is reporting another week-over-week decline in its daily COVID-19 case count with fewer than 700 new infections confirmed over the past 24 hours.

Provincial health officials logged 653 new COVID-19 cases today, up slightly from 640 on Saturday but down from 715 one week ago.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases continues to drop, hitting 620 today, down from 709 last Sunday.

Of the new cases confirmed today, 499 are in individuals who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 154 are in those who are fully immunized.

With 31,063 tests processed over the past 24 hours, officials are reporting a provincewide positivity rate of two per cent, compared to 2.3 per cent seven days ago.

The province says there are now 177 people with COVID-19 receiving treatment in Ontario intensive care units, declining by five since last Sunday.

Six more virus-related deaths were reported over the past 24 hours but the province says three of those fatalities occurred last month.

Ontario’s active COVID-19 caseload now sits at 5,591, down from 6,396 last Sunday.

More than 80 per cent of eligible Ontarians have now received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In an effort to boost vaccination rates, the city is holding vaccination clinics in a variety of locations with high foot traffic, including malls across Toronto this weekend.

Dr. Omar Khan, an assistant professor with the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, said Ontario’s high vaccination rate will help keep ICUs from filling up.

“By having people vaccinated, that keeps them out of the hospital, keeps them out of the ICUs, and then lets the medical system catch up with everything that’s been piling up,” he told CP24 on Sunday morning. 

The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.

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COVID-19: N.B. reports person in 40s has died, as province adds 82 new cases – Globalnews.ca

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A person in their 40s is New Brunswick’s 54th COVID-related death.

The province said in a news release Sunday that the person was from Zone 1 (Moncton region).

The news marked six COVID-related deaths in the province since last Wednesday, under a week ago.

“Each life taken in New Brunswick by COVID-19 is more than a number,” said Premier Blaine Higgs in a news release.

“These are people’s parents, children, friends, neighbours and coworkers.”

The death was announced on the same day the province reported 82 new cases — 64 of which involve people who are not fully vaccinated.

Read more:
Lifting COVID-19 restrictions in New Brunswick was ‘not the right decision’: doctor

There are now 33 people in New Brunswick hospitalized due to the virus, 15 of whom are in the ICU.

With 33 recoveries reported, the number of active cases is now 628.

Public Health data shows 79.2 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 88 per cent have received their first dose of vaccine.

New cases breakdown

The new cases are:

Zone 1 (Moncton region) – 27 cases

  • 12 people 19 and under
  • one person 20-29
  • three people 30-39
  • two people 40-49
  • two people 50-59
  • two people 70-79
  • three people 80-89
  • two people 90 and over

Eighteen cases are under investigation and nine are contacts of a previously-confirmed case.

Zone 2 (Saint John region) – four cases

  • a person 20-29
  • a person 40-49
  • a person 60-69
  • a person 70-79

Three cases are contacts of previously-confirmed cases and one is under investigation.


Click to play video: 'COVID-19: the upward trend in cases among children'



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COVID-19: the upward trend in cases among children


COVID-19: the upward trend in cases among children

Zone 3 (Fredericton region) – 30 cases

  • 16 people 19 and under
  • six people 20-29
  • one person 40-49
  • three people 50-59
  • four people 60-69

Twenty-two cases are under investigation and eight are contacts of previously-confirmed cases.

Zone 4 (Edmundston region) – 14 cases

  • four people 19 and under
  • two people 20-29
  • six people 30-39
  • two people 80-89

Thirteen cases are under investigation and one is a contact of a previously-confirmed case.

Zone 5 (Campbellton region) – two cases

  • a person 30-39
  • a person 70-79

Both cases are contacts of previously-confirmed cases.

Zone 6 (Bathurst region) – four cases

  • three people 30-39
  • one person 40-49

Three cases are under investigation and one is a contact of a previously-confirmed case.

Zone 7 (Miramichi region) – one case

  • a person 30-39

This case is under investigation.

State of emergency reinstated

On Friday, the province reinstated a state of emergency due to the current level of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Physical distancing, indoor masking and a proof of vaccination policy for certain services and businesses are now in effect.

Anyone entering New Brunswick must also pre-register through the New Brunswick Travel Registration Program.


Click to play video: 'New Brunswickers react to reinstated state of emergency'



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New Brunswickers react to reinstated state of emergency


New Brunswickers react to reinstated state of emergency

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

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Outbreak declared at Prince George's University Hospital of Northern BC – BC News – Castanet.net

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A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Prince George’s University Hospital of Northern BC Sunday.

Northern Health says nine patients and one staff member on the hospital’s Primary Care Medical Unit have tested positive for the virus, and more testing is currently underway.

As a result, the hospital has restricted the unit to essential visitors only.

The condition of the infected people was not disclosed.

An outbreak at the same hospital last December through January left eight people dead, after 33 people tested positive.

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