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COVID-19 Ontario: Nearly 1,400 new infections and 45 more deaths logged – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
Ontario health officials are recording nearly 1,400 new cases of COVID-19 as well as 45 more deaths.

The 1,388 new infections represent a decrease from the 1,670 cases reported a day earlier, although government officials said that Friday’s count was an overestimation due to a data migration in Toronto.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) migrated all of its data to the provincial data system this week. While officials say the process is now complete, it has resulted in fluctuations in case numbers over the last few days.

There were 1,563 cases of the novel coronavirus reported on Thursday, 1,172 on Wednesday and 745 on Tuesday.

The new cases reported Saturday bring the province’s seven-day average to 1,479.

According to Saturday’s epidemiology report, there are now 164 confirmed cases of the U.K. B.1.1.7. COVID-19 variant in the province, up from the 155 infections reported on Friday.

There continues to be only one case of the South African B.1.351 variant, according to the province.

The total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario now stand at 276,718, including deaths and recoveries.

Of the 6,483 deaths recorded in Ontario since the beginning of the pandemic, 4,454 were people over the age of 80. A little more than 3,700 were residents in long-term care homes, including 22 deaths logged in the last 24 hours.

There are at least 1,021 people being treated for the disease in Ontario hospitals, the Ministry of Health said. Of those patients, at least 325 are in the intensive care unit (ICU) while 228 of those in the ICU are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

Officials processed more than 62,300 COVID-19 tests in the last 24 hours, which the Ministry of Health says brings the positivity rate in Ontario to about 2.6 per cent.

As of Friday night, 96,573 people in the province have been fully vaccinated against the disease. Full immunization requires two doses of either the approved Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna vaccines.

Where are the new COVID-19 cases?

The majority of new infections were found in three of Ontario’s COVID-19 hot spots. According to provincial data, there were 455 cases in Toronto, 288 in Peel Region and 131 in York Region.

Public Health Units reporting more than 50 new COVID-19 cases include Ottawa (60), Hamilton (57), Niagara (56) and Waterloo (54).

On Friday, sources told both CTV News Toronto and the Canadian Press that the Ontario government is considering extending the stay-at-home order across most of province but could begin to gradually reopen the economy in some areas next week.

Sources told CTV News Toronto that Ford’s cabinet was urged by public health officials to extend the stay-at-home order for at least one more week – until Feb. 16 – across most of the province, while pushing it an additional two weeks – until Feb. 22 – in Toronto, Peel Region and York Region.

It is unclear if any formal decision has been made.

Backstory:

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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First AstraZeneca doses on their way, will be part of nearly 945K doses delivered this week: Anand – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
The first tranche of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines is on its way to Canada and is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, as part of the 944,600 vaccine doses arriving this week, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Tuesday.

A total of 500,000 AstraZeneca shots are in transit to Canada from the Serum Institute of India and Verity Pharmaceuticals, as part of a deal for two million doses. As well, the weekly delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine contains 444,600 doses.

“This week, we are on track to see approximately 945,000 doses of vaccines arriving in Canada,” said Anand. “Thus, almost a million doses will be delivered into this country this week alone, and next week we are set to receive more than 900,000 doses of vaccines,” she said.

With the addition of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Canada’s list of authorized vaccines, the federal government has said that shipment sizes are set to continue to increase. This aligns with the plans to begin immunizing more people, and could lead to an acceleration of the timeline of having at least 14.5 million Canadians fully vaccinated by the end of June.

“As our government ramps up the delivery of vaccines to provinces this week, we know that more Canadians will be offered the opportunity to receive their vaccine, and we encourage everyone who’s offered this opportunity to accept,” said Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, adding that all who are vaccinated will need to continue to follow their local public health guidance.

NEW DETAILS ON COMING SHIPMENTS

Next week’s shipments will come from Pfizer and Moderna, as those firms work to meet their commitment to ship a combined total of six million doses by the end of March.

“We anticipate receiving over two million doses spread over the five weeks of March, with equal amounts each week,” said Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin on Tuesday.

The balance of 1.5 million AstraZeneca doses coming to Canada through the Serum Institute will come over April and May, likely overlapping with the beginning of deliveries of the 20 million AstraZeneca doses Canada has secured through an agreement with AstraZeneca for shots developed in partnership with Oxford University and coming from the U.S. Health Canada’s approval authorized shots to come from both manufacturers.

While Pfizer’s shipments will continue to come to Canada weekly, Moderna will be moving from delivering doses every three weeks to sending new shipments every two weeks.

Fortin said that in the first two weeks of April, Pfizer is expected to send around 769,000 doses per week.

In light of the latest figures being confirmed, the federal government is in talks with the provinces and territories about the per capita allocations of these shipments.

“We will continue to lead the planning effort to ensure that the processes for delivering, storage, handling, and immunization clinics and the provinces and territories can keep pace with increasing shipment sizes of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines,” Fortin said.

More coming.

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Alberta seniors won't receive AstraZeneca vaccine following new recommendations – CTV Toronto

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CALGARY —
Albertans aged 65 or older will not receive the newly approved AstraZeneca vaccine following new advice from a national advisory committee on who should and shouldn’t get the shot.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) in Canada is not recommending the use of the vaccine in people 65 or older due to “the insufficiency of evidence of efficacy in this age group at this time.”

Health Canada approved the two-dose vaccine for anyone 18 years or older last Friday and stresses there is no safety concerns for seniors. However, it’s ultimately up to the provinces and territories to determine which vaccine is given and to whom.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro says Alberta will follow the advice from NACI, along with the government’s own vaccine advisory committee and Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

“Now how that’s going to change the administration of those who are in phase two is still to be determined. We will be making those decisions and announcing them fairly soon,” said Shandro.

Alberta is currently in phase one of its vaccine rollout and started immunizing all seniors in their 75th year or older last week.

The second phase is set to run from April to September and includes four different groups. Group A is everyone 65 to 74 years old no matter where they live, Indigenous people 50 years and older, and staff and residents of licensed supportive living that weren’t included in phase one.

Each phase is dependent on the vaccine supply and it’s yet to be seen if there will be changes to Alberta’s second phase as a result of the new advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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B.C. says all eligible adults should get first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by end of July – Global News

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Health officials are hoping to fast-track how quickly all eligible British Columbians will receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The province is expecting all adults in the province will have the option to receive their first dose before the end of July.


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Officials aim to administer first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all British Columbians by July


Officials aim to administer first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all British Columbians by July

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Monday that the gap between the first and second doses of the vaccine will be extended to 112 days.

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Pfizer, one of the manufacturers, has recommended a 21-day gap between doses and the province previously was spacing them out by 42 days.

The province is also expecting to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine as soon as next week, which will allow some essential workers to get the shot ahead of their age group.

Read more:
B.C. rolls out COVID-19 vaccination plan for those over 80 and extends time between doses

“The extension of dose two will make a big difference in our ability to vaccinate our mass population,” Dr. Penny Ballem, who is leading the province’s vaccination plan, said Monday.

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“It will likely result in mid-to-late July we will be able to give a first dose to everyone in our population, which is a significant shift in our original plan. We will come back with more details on this.”


Click to play video 'B.C. health officials roll out phase two of province’s vaccination plan'



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B.C. health officials roll out phase two of province’s vaccination plan


B.C. health officials roll out phase two of province’s vaccination plan

There is still no approved COVID-19 vaccine for children and teenagers in British Columbia.

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Dr. Danuta Skowronski, epidemiology lead for influenza and emerging respiratory pathogens at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, has convinced provincial health officials that spreading out doses will not jeopardize the vaccine’s effectiveness.

In a letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine, co-authored with Dr. Gaston De Serres of the Institut National de Sante Publique du Quebec, Skowronski argues the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — initially said to be just 52.4 per cent effective with one dose — could provide more than 90 per cent protection with a single shot.

According to Skowronski and De Serres, Pfizer’s own research started measuring the vaccine’s efficacy immediately after a dose was administered, not after a two-week grace period, which is typical in vaccinology.

READ MORE: Canada prepares for single biggest Pfizer vaccine shipment to date

Using documents submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the doctors say they determined Pfizer’s vaccine is actually up to 92.6 per cent effective with a single dose.

“These are decisions that have gone through our immunization committee, our public health team,” Henry said.

“We have such good protection from these vaccines after the first dose. We will be focusing on second doses in the summer.”

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The province originally estimated all eligible British Columbians would receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September.

–with files from Aaron McArthur, Simon Little and The Canadian Press

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

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