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COVID-19: MLHU adds 4 cases, says 34.8% of residents 12+ fully vaccinated – Global News



Jump to: HospitalizationsOutbreaksVaccinations and testingOntarioElgin and OxfordHuron and PerthSarnia and Lambton

The Middlesex-London Health Unit is reporting four new COVID-19 cases, though its total case count only increased by two on Tuesday, likely due to data clean-up.

The total case count stands at 12,599 with 54 active cases. The number of recoveries climbed by seven to 12,319.

Read more:
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Five more variant cases have been flagged for a total of 3,487.

The breakdown of variant cases is as follows:

  • 3,359 cases of the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), first identified in the U.K.
  • 96 cases of the Gamma (P.1) variant, first identified in Brazil
  • 20 cases of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, first identified in India
  • two cases of the Beta (B.1.351) variant, first identified in South Africa
  • one case of the Kappa (B.1.617.1) variant, first identified in India
  • one case of the Zeta (P.2) variant, first identified in Brazil

There are also two cases listed only as B.1.617 and one case listed as B.1.617.3.

A total of 11,398 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in London since the pandemic began, while 360 have been in Middlesex Centre and 335 in Strathroy-Caradoc.

Further information can be found on the health unit’s Summary of COVID-19 Cases in Middlesex-London page.

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The London Health Sciences Centre says it is caring for at 11 inpatients with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, an increase of two from Monday, with fewer than five in the ICU.

Of those, no patients in acute care are from outside of the region and fewer than five in the ICU are from outside of the region. In an effort to protect the privacy of patients, LHSC only provides specific numbers when there are more than five.

Fewer than five staff members currently have COVID-19.

At St. Joseph’s Health Care London, the organization reported no current COVID-19 cases among its patients or staff.

Institutional outbreaks

The MLHU is not reporting any institutional outbreaks, however, there is an outbreak tied to indoor gatherings at Christ Embassy Church at 1472 Dundas St. in London.

As of Monday, six cases were associated with the outbreak, though medical officer of health Dr. Chris Mackie said the health unit was awaiting “a number of tests of people who were contacts.”

Anyone who attended any indoor gatherings at the church between June 20 and June 30 is asked to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and to get tested if symptoms develop.

Vaccinations and testing

The MLHU released updated data on vaccine coverage in the region on Tuesday.

The data, which is dated to the end of the day on July 3, shows that 76.7 per cent of residents age 12 and older have had at least one dose while 34.8 per cent are fully vaccinated.

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As of the end of day July 3, 502,545 doses of COVID-19 had been administered in the region.

On Monday, Mackie noted that roughly 100,000 of those doses were administered in just the last two weeks.

Read more:
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He also stressed the importance of vaccination, stating that of the roughly 200 COVID-19 cases the health unit reported in the same time frame, 92 per cent involved people were unvaccinated while the remaining eight per cent involved people who were only partially vaccinated.

MLHU data showing COVID-19 vaccine coverage among residents as of the end of day July 3, 2021.

via Middlesex-London Health Unit

Information on second-dose re-booking eligibility and how to cancel appointments can be found on the health unit’s website.

Information on local pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccines can be found on the province’s website.

One-day pop-up community clinics at select schools in the city and county wrap up Tuesday with a clinic at Strathroy District Collegiate Institute in Strathroy.

During Monday afternoon’s scheduled media briefing, officials said a one-day walk-in clinic will be held Thursday at Citi Plaza in downtown London.

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Those looking to test to see if they have COVID-19 can find information about locations of testing sites on the health unit’s website.

The test positivity rate in the region fell to 0.7 per cent for the week of June 20, down from 1.2 per cent for the week of June 13.


Ontario reported 164 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, marking the smallest daily increase since Sept. 9, 2020.

However, 80 cases from Toronto in 2020 were added to the count which officially registered 244 cases for Tuesday. The provincial case total now stands at 546,217.

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Ontario reports 164 new COVID-19 cases with 80 older cases added due to data cleanup

According to Tuesday’s report, 112 cases were recorded in Toronto (80 were from last year), 26 in Peel Region, 25 in Waterloo Region, 13 in York Region and 10 in Grey Bruce.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 10 new cases in the provincial report.

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The death toll in the province has risen to 9,224 as nine more deaths were recorded.

Provincially, 78.4 per cent of adults (18+) have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine while 47.8 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Elgin and Oxford

Southwestern Public Health reported three new cases and two more recoveries on Tuesday, bringing the total to 3,891 with 3,791 listed as resolved.

The number of deaths is unchanged at 83. At least 17 cases are currently active.

Per-municipality case counts can be found on the health unit’s dashboard.

Four people are hospitalized with two in the ICU. On Monday, SWPH reported three people in hospital, all in the ICU.

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One additional variant case was confirmed, bringing that total to 813. Of those, 750 involve the Alpha variant.

There are no active institutional outbreaks reported in the region.

The region’s test positivity rate fell to 1.2 per cent for the week of June 20, down from 1.5 per cent for the week of June 13 but still above the 0.9 per cent recorded the week of June 6.

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As of Monday, SWPH says 63.2 per cent of residents age 12 and older have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 27.6 per cent are fully vaccinated.

All individuals aged 12 and up are eligible to re-book their second appointment through the online booking portal or by phone at 1-800-922-0096 ext. 9, provided that second-dose appointments are booked at least 28 days after the first dose of an mRNA vaccine was administered.

The health unit is also still encouraging people to add their names to a same-day vaccination list.

Several pharmacies in the region are also continuing to offer COVID-19 vaccine.

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Huron and Perth

Global News is awaiting Tuesday’s COVID-19 case data from Huron-Perth Public Health.

On Monday, HPPH reported a total of 1,904 cases, an increase of seven from Friday.

Case counts by municipality can be found on the health unit’s dashboard.

Three more recoveries were reported, for a total of 1,833 while 14 cases are active.

Read more:
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The number of deaths is unchanged at 57, as is the number of cases involving a variant of concern, which stands at 318.

One person is currently hospitalized with COVID-19, a decrease of one from Friday.

There are no active institutional outbreaks reported in the region.

Read more:
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The region’s test positivity rate fell to 0.6 per cent for the week of June 20, down from 1.0 per cent for the week of June 13.

According to HPPH, 73.8 per cent of residents had received at least one dose of vaccine, while 39.1 per cent are fully vaccinated as of Tuesday.

Information on vaccine eligibility and booking an appointment can be found on HPPH’s website. Specific information on booking a second dose of vaccine can also be found on the health unit’s website.

Sarnia and Lambton

Lambton Public Health reported two new COVID-19 cases and eight recoveries on Tuesday.

The region’s total case count stands at 3,614 with 11 active cases, 3,541 recoveries and 62 deaths.

According to Bluewater Health, three patients in their care are confirmed to have COVID-19, an increase of one from Monday.

The region’s variant case tally is 648 as of Tuesday, an increase of one from Monday.

An outbreak declared June 25 at Afton Park Place, a long-term care home, continues. It involves fewer than five cases among residents and fewer than five cases among staff and caregivers.

The region’s test positivity rate climbed to 2.0 per cent for the week of June 20, up from 1.8 per cent for the week of June 13.

Read more:
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For the COVID-19 vaccine, residents can book and re-book using the health unit’s registration page. People can also call the vaccine call centre at 226-254-8222, however, call volume is expected to be very high.

Some pharmacies are also continuing to offer Pfizer or Moderna shots.

Lambton Public Health says 73.3 per cent of adults have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 43.6 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated.

— With files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues and Matthew Trevithick

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

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Health Minister Adrian Dix must come clean on why B.C. is restricting fourth COVID-19 vaccinations – The Georgia Straight



Former senior civil servant and diplomat Norman Spector shared a fascinating article with me this weekend from the Ottawa Citizen.

A family physician in the national capital, Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth, hoped to conduct mass vaccinations for people who want a fourth dose of COVID-19 but don’t qualify under Ontario’s rules.

She reportedly wanted to create a large outdoor “jabalooza” clinic but health officials refused to provide her with vaccines.

Ontario restricts access to fourth shots of COVID-19 vaccines to those who are 60 years of age or older.

Next door in Quebec, people can get fourth shots if they are 18 and older.

“I am receiving lots of individual requests for help,” Kaplan-Myrth tweeted on Sunday (June 26). “I can’t give you the vaccine at this time, but hands up (and DM) if you as plaintiffs want to bring this to court as a group. Would require a litigation team.”

There’s a tremendous amount of scientific data showing that COVID-19 vaccines lessen the severity of COVID-19. They reduce the likelihood of dying or being hospitalized from the disease.

However, COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness wanes over time. This is why Kaplan-Myrth is such a strong advocate for booster shots. She believes that these boosters are particularly important when so many people are not wearing masks indoors.

Keep in mind that COVID-19 initially presents as a respiratory infection.

In some cases, however, it causes serious brain injuries and cardiovascular problems. It’s especially dangerous for the immunocompromised, who are at higher risk of suffering severe COVID-19.

That’s because the virus that causes COVID-19 not only damages blood vessels and triggers blood clots, but also disrupts the immune system. Researchers have even linked immune dysfunction to serious brain injuries, which is explained in the video below.

Video of Here’s what we know about COVID-19’s impact on the brain

Video: Here’s what we know about COVID-19’s impact on the brain.

B.C. doesn’t want most under-70s to get fourth shots

In the face of all of this, B.C. continues adopting a hard line on the distribution of fourth vaccine doses.

This is the case even after Global News B.C. reporter Richard Zussman revealed that 226,000 doses intended for the vaccine-hesitant will expire at the end of July.

In B.C., you have to be 70 years of age or older and have gone six months since a previous COVID-19 vaccination to qualify for a fourth dose.

There are exceptions: Indigenous people, for example, can get a fourth dose if they’re 55 or older.

Below, you can read other exceptions listed by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control for those between the ages of 60 and 69.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control listed these exemptions, which qualify someone from 60 to 69 years old for a fourth COVID-19 vaccination.

However, when the Georgia Straight asked the Ministry of Health about who qualified for a fourth COVID-19 vaccination, it did not include what’s written after the letter “d”: “Caregiver of a frail elderly or moderately to severely immunosuppressed person”.

So it remains unclear in B.C. if a person between 60 and 69 who is a caregiver for either a frail elderly person or a moderately to severely immunosuppressed person is able to receive a fourth COVID-19 vaccination.

Yet it seems pretty clear from the exemptions above that if you are a cancer survivor or have kidney disease or have heart disease or have multiple sclerosis or have had a transplant and you’re under 70 in B.C., you will not qualify for a fourth COVID-19 vaccination under existing rules.

Why is B.C. being more restrictive with COVID-19 booster shots than Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan (where you only need to be 50-plus), as well as the entire United States?

Health Minister Adrian Dix needs to come clean on that.

What possible justification is there for withholding a fourth COVID-19 shot for British Columbians under 70, especially the immune-compromised, when 226,000 vaccine doses are set to expire next month?

Why is Dix so convinced that he knows better than the governments of Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan?

We don’t know the answer.

That’s in part because our pusillanimous B.C. Liberal MLAs refuse to hold the provincial NDP government accountable for its COVID-19 policies.

Some on social media are speculating that the booster shots are being withheld as part of a population-level experiment—conducted without the people’s consent—on the efficacy of delaying second booster shots.

Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, through their actions, are giving oxygen to this hypothesis.

Who knows? There might even be a scientific justification for withholding booster shots.

But in the absence of evidence provided by the B.C. government, the health minister must get in front of a microphone on Monday (June 27) and provide a coherent explanation.

Failure to do so will only fuel more suspicion about the motives behind the government’s policy.

Perhaps it’s worth noting that in January 2021, Science published a study involving 188 people, which offered a glimmer of hope.

It showed that more than 95 percent of those who had recovered from COVID-19 had immune systems demonstrating “durable” memories of the virus, lasting up to eight months.

This prompted speculation on the National Institutes of Health website that the immune systems of those who are vaccinated would have lasting memories of the virus.

But a study of 188 people is insufficient as the basis for an entire provincewide policy.

Some might wonder if the government isn’t making fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines available to those under 70 because of the cost of distribution or due to the labour shortage in the health-care sector.

Others might suspect it’s because the B.C. government thinks everyone is going to get COVID-19 anyway, so why bother?

If that’s the real reason, it’s a monumental disservice to those with compromised immunity. This should demand a response from Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender that goes well beyond writing a letter to Henry. Like by holding a public inquiry under section 47.15 of the B.C. Human Rights Code.

In the meantime, show us the evidence, Minister Dix, for why so many British Columbians are being denied a fourth COVID-19 vaccination.

And if you’re unwilling to do that, then please step aside so another health minister can do this in your place.


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Frank Bures: COVID shots for tots | Column | – Winona Daily News



They are finally here! Vaccinations against COVID-19 were at last approved for the youngest people ages 6 months to 5 years old. Studies in children have been done showing definite protective benefits and no major adverse reactions occurring. The first step was the FDA approval after an advisory panel deliberated the week of June 13 — only 2 days — to vote unanimously to recommend authorization, stating the benefits outweigh any risks for young kids.

The CDC signed off on the vaccines June 18 with another unanimous vote. The two vaccines consist of the Pfizer mRNA version in adults, but a much-reduced dose of 3 micrograms instead of 30 micrograms, given in three doses to induce a high level of antibodies equivalent to young adults. The first two doses are spaced three weeks apart, and the third at least two months later. The study found only 10 COVID cases in the three-dose group and seven in the placebo group for an efficacy of 80%. The study included only a small number of patients. Most of the infectious disease and pediatrician experts cautioned not to lose sight of the fact that the vaccines were saving children’s lives.

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The Moderna mRNA vaccine is the same as the adult one but only a quarter of the dose at 25 micrograms in a two-dose series given four weeks apart. Both this and the Pfizer vaccine achieved the same levels of immunity that have protected young adults against severe disease. None of the developed COVID vaccines have achieved the ideal of elimination of the infection. But they have saved many lives.

In children, the risk from COVID is very real, even though hospitalization and deaths are lower than in adults. In children ages 1-4, COVID is the fifth leading cause of death. One source that looked at the period from January 2020 through May 2022 said 202 kids in this age group died from COVID. Another source quoted 480 kids dead from COVID. That’s more deaths per year than hepatitis, meningitis, rotavirus, and other common infectious diseases each caused before routine vaccinations for them were recommended. And the risk wasn’t limited to any particular group. More than half of the youngsters hospitalized due to COVID had no underlying conditions.

These vaccines have proven to be some of the safest of any for adults. In the preliminary studies in this age group the adverse reactions/side effects were mostly mild and short lived, much like those in adults, and similar to those from other vaccines. The main one was pain and redness or tenderness at the injection site. There might be some irritability, fatigue, or sleepiness, loss of appetite, headache, abdominal pain or discomfort, mild diarrhea, vomiting. But everyone got better quickly! Fevers were uncommon and mild in the participants. Those can be treated with acetaminophen.

A pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children’s Hospital, Denver, Colo., said it’s important to keep in mind that COVID-19 is now one of the vaccine-preventable diseases with the highest mortality rate. Hospitalization rates for children with COVID were five times higher during the recent wave than the worst previous points of the pandemic. Katherine Poehling, director of pediatric population health at Wake forest School of Medicine, said, “I am struck by these numbers. I’m also concerned there’s a real underappreciation of the potential severity.” FDA commissioner Robert Califf said, “Any death of a child is tragic, and should be prevented if possible.”

It’s a guarantee that, if a respiratory germ gets into a home, it gets into everyone living there. It may not take hold in each individual to create what we call disease for a host of reasons, but the microbe made the rounds, positive test or not. That includes every kid kissing you or sharing food with you.

The COVID variants currently crawling down our craws are killing fewer Americans daily than during any other period except the summer of 2021. But the country is now recording 10 times as many cases as it was at that time, indicating that a smaller number of cases are causing deaths. But COVID is still killing an average of 314 people a day. These darling little Petri (not “peach tree”) dishes we parents and grandparents love to hug and kiss can be vectors of so many viruses. The vaccines are a tool to help prevent that spread and contagion. It’s an incomplete tool, but it’s part of a larger effort to stop infections, along with hand washing, etc.

Maybe you could liken it to a fork among our eating utensils. We could eat most everything on the plate with that fork, but a knife and spoon sure help us to divide and down the delectables we can’t spear. The vaccines are essentially safe and a valuable tool. One preventable child’s death is one too many. Get your tot shot!

Dr. Bures, a semi-retired dermatologist, since 1978 has worked Winona, La Crosse, Viroqua and Red Wing. He also plays clarinet in the Winona Municipal Band and a couple dixieland groups. And he does enjoy a good pun.

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Moderna COVID-19 shots now an option for older kids in U.S. – CGTN



A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children six months through five years old is seen, June 21, 2022. /AP

A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children six months through five years old is seen, June 21, 2022. /AP

There is now a second COVID-19 option for kids aged six to 17 in the U.S. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday announced it is recommending Moderna shots as an option for school-age kids and teens. This group has been able to get shots made by Pfizer since last year.

CDC sets the federal government’s vaccine guidance for U.S. doctors and their patients. 

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration authorized the shots – full-strength doses for children ages 12 to 17 and half-strength for those six to 11. The doses are to be given about a month apart. An expert advisory panel this week voted unanimously to recommend that CDC endorse the Moderna shots, too. 

Moderna officials have said they expect to later offer a booster to all kids aged six to 17.

Source(s): AP

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