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COVID-19 in B.C.: New high with over 800 new cases; active cases in Vancouver Coastal Health decrease; and more – The Georgia Straight



B.C. has hit a new high for the new case count over recent weeks while overall active cases in B.C. remained around the same level as yesterday.

One health region that decreased in active cases was Vancouver Coastal Health.

Hospitalized cases continued to increase, and there were more new deaths.

Today, the B.C. Health Ministry is reporting 867 new COVID-19 cases (including four epi-linked cases), which surpasses the previous high of 724 new cases on August 21 that was then matched yesterday (August 26).

Currently, there are 5,657 active cases, which is an increase of only 17 cases.

An increase of 10 hospitalized cases since yesterday means 159 individuals are in hospital today, and 84 of those patients are in intensive care units (one more than yesterday).

The new and active cases include:

  • 350 new cases in Interior Health, with 2,190 total active cases (176 more cases than yesterday);
  • 228 new cases in Fraser Health, with 1,377 total active cases (58 more cases);
  • 165 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, with 1,132 total active cases (300 fewer cases since yesterday);
  • 63 new cases in Island Health, with 555 total active cases (53 more cases);
  • 61 new cases in Northern Health, with 393 total active cases (32 more cases);
  • no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada, with 10 total active cases (two fewer than yesterday).

Sadly, three new deaths (all in Interior Health) have been reported. B.C. has now recorded an overall total of 1,807 people who have died during the pandemic.

With 832 recoveries since yesterday, a total of 155,928 people who tested positive have now recovered.

B.C. has reported a cumulative total of 163,560 COVID-19 cases during the pandemic.

From August 12 to 25, people who have not been fully vaccinated accounted for 82.0 percent of cases and 85.9 percent of hospitalizations.

Out of a total number of 4,368 cases reported from August 19 to 25, there were:

  • 3,116 unvaccinated people (71.3 percent);
  • 467 partially vaccinated (10.7 percent);
  • 785 fully vaccinated (18.0 percent).

Of the total number of 213 hospitalized cases from August 12 to 25, there were:

  • 169 unvaccinated people (79.3 percent);
  • 14 partially vaccinated people (6.6 percent);
  • 30 fully vaccinated people (14.1 percent).

For cases per 100,000 population from August 19 to 25, there were:

  • 0 unvaccinated people;
  • 7 partially vaccinated people;
  • 9 fully vaccinated.

Since December, B.C. has administered 7,408,715 doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.

As of today, 83.9 percent (3,886,952) of eligible people 12 and older have received their first dose and 75.8 percent (3,514,485) received their second dose.

In addition, 84.6 percent (3,657,914) of all eligible adults have received their first dose and 76.9 percent (3,326,997) received their second dose.

Like yesterday, none of the five regional health authorities listed any new healthcare facility or community outbreaks, public exposure events, or business closures.

As of today, there are 14 active outbreaks, including:

  • longterm care: Heritage Village (Fraser Health); Brock Fahrni (Vancouver Coastal Health); Village at Mill Creek, Nelson Jubilee Manor, Kootenay Street Village, Cottonwoods Care Centre, Brookhaven Care Centre, and Spring Valley Care Centre (Interior Health);
  • acute care: Peace Arch Hospital (Fraser Health);
  • assisted or independent living: Nicola Meadows, Hawthorn Park, David Lloyd Jones, Sun Pointe Village, and Hardy View Lodge (Interior Health).

Northern Health provided updates on a cluster and an outbreak at worksites in that health region.

In the cluster among Trans Mountain employees and contractors in the Valemount area, 33 individuals have tested positive, and five cases remain active. Northern Health stated that the majority of the cases have been determined to have been acquired off the site, and there is little evidence of transmission at the site.

Meanwhile, in the outbreak at the Site C hydroelectric dam project in Northeast B.C. (declared on August 16), there have been 62 COVID-19 cases confirmed, and 19 of those cases are active.


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COVID-19 booster debate in US heads to FDA vaccine advisory committee – National | – Global News



The debate over whether Americans should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine moves to a panel of independent expert advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday.

While U.S. health officials, some other countries and vaccine makers have said boosters are needed, many scientists and vaccine experts disagree.

The FDA staff said in documents prepared for the committee this week that the vaccine Pfizer Inc developed with Germany’s BioNTech SE is still very effective at preventing severe illness and death and that the evidence is mixed on whether its efficacy declines over time.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Boris Johnson reverses course on vaccine passports for England, announces UK booster program'

COVID-19: Boris Johnson reverses course on vaccine passports for England, announces UK booster program

COVID-19: Boris Johnson reverses course on vaccine passports for England, announces UK booster program

Pfizer, which is arguing for broad use of a third shot, submitted data from an analysis of over 300 participants in its late stage clinical trial showing that the vaccine’s efficacy diminished by around 6% every two months after the second dose, and that an additional shot boosted immunity.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will also consider data from Israel, which has been administering booster doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

It began offering a COVID-19 booster to people as young as age 12 last month, expanding a campaign that began in July for people over 60.

An analysis by Israeli scientists published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine found that among 1.1 million people age 60 or older who had been fully vaccinated at least 5 months earlier, those who received a booster were less likely to be infected or become severely ill than those who did not get the third shot.

Read more:
Unclear whether U.K.’s booster plan will mean new doses every 6 months, chief says

The Israeli Health Ministry said in documents on Friday that immunity against infection declined during July among all age groups, but particularly among people aged 60 and over who had been vaccinated in January.

Immunity against severe disease dropped in that older group, and such a decline may occur in younger groups aged 50 to 59 as well as 40 to 49, it said. The ministry also said the booster dose did not raise new safety issues.

The booster debate gained urgency as U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths surged due to the highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus, mostly among the unvaccinated. But infections among fully vaccinated people have risen and they can spread the virus on occasion, mostly to unvaccinated people.


Wall Street analysts see the additional shots ultimately getting approved for a broad population.

“We expect a potential positive FDA support for boosters for elderly ahead of Biden’s rollout, but larger populations may take longer for broad support and approval,” Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said in an email.

Scientists say the strongest evidence for boosters is for older adults and other high risk populations.

“My guess is we are going to end up with a recommendation for booster doses for a certain subpopulation, such as adults older than 65,” said Bill Moss, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Click to play video: 'Immunocompromised offered vaccine booster shot. Who is eligible?'

Immunocompromised offered vaccine booster shot. Who is eligible?

Immunocompromised offered vaccine booster shot. Who is eligible?

More than 1.9 million Americans have already gotten a booster dose after the government authorized them for people with compromised immune systems, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The panel will vote on if safety and effectiveness data support approval of a booster at least 6 months after the second dose for people aged 16 and older. The vote is scheduled for between 2:25 pm ET and 4:45 pm ET.

Eight top health officials in the Biden Administration – including the heads of the FDA and the CDC – said in August they believe booster shots will be needed because emerging data shows that protection against COVID-19 decreases over time.

Read more:
Moderna to take on COVID-19, flu with single booster vaccine

The U.S. is planning a booster campaign for the week of Sept. 20, contingent on backing by the FDA and CDC.

Moderna Inc has also asked for approval of a booster and released data on Wednesday showing that protection from its vaccine also wanes over time. That is not expected to be discussed at Friday’s meeting.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla and Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Caroline Humer and Bill Berkrot)

© 2021 Reuters

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'Absolutely gut-wrenching:' Waterloo Region child under the age of 10 dies after contracting COVID-19 – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News



A Waterloo Region child under the age of 10 has died after contracting COVID-19.

Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, who serves as the medical officer of health for Waterloo Region, shared the news during a briefing on Friday.

She said that the child had underlying health conditions but did not provide any further information, other than to say that there were no “school-related or childcare-related exposures.”

“This is a heartbreaking loss and I wish to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and loved ones,” she said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic there have only been five deaths reported in individuals under the age of 19 and Wang said that she was “not aware” of any other fatalities involving younger individuals in Ontario.

In a message posted to Twitter, Premier Doug Ford called the loss of someone so young “absolutely gut-wrenching.”

“My prayers are with the family at this excruciatingly difficult time,” he said. “This virus knows no bounds. It’s why we need every eligible Ontarian to get vaccinated — to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and those who can’t yet get vaccinated against COVID-19.”

With files from CTV News Kitchener

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88 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba Friday; more than half not vaccinated – CTV News Winnipeg




Manitoba has recorded 88 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, along with one more death added to the total.

According to the provincial COVID-19 dashboard, which was updated on Friday, of the new cases 53 were not vaccinated, 12 were partially vaccinated and 23 were fully vaccinated.

The new cases bring Manitoba’s total to 59,612, including 629 active cases and 57,779 recoveries. The five-day test positivity rate in the province is 2.6 per cent.

The number of deaths of people with COVID-19 increased by one on Friday, for a total of 1,204. The province did not release any details about this death.

As of Friday, the province said there are 72 people in hospital with COVID-19 including 37 people with active cases. Of those 37 people, 27 are not vaccinated, eight are partially vaccinated and two are fully vaccinated.

Of the seven people in ICU as of Friday with active COVID-19 cases, the province said six are unvaccinated and one is partially vaccinated.

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