Although booster shots and third doses of COVID-19 vaccines aren’t currently recommended for most Canadians, additional doses are being made available to certain populations or those who need to travel for work based on their province or territory of residence.
Health experts and federal agencies are debating the need for booster shots across the general population, saying that a primary vaccine course still provides good protection against COVID-19.
CTVNews.ca has reached out to Health Canada for an update on its position on booster shots. This story will be updated with their response.
In early September, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended third vaccine doses be administered to certain immunocompromised individuals at least 28 days after their previous dose. Each province and territory has enacted a third-dose policy for immunocompromised people.
A few weeks later, NACI recommended booster shots for all long-term care residents and seniors living in other congregate settings at least six months after the primary vaccine course.
Third doses are considered part of a primary vaccine course, while booster shots are meant to be given when vaccine effectiveness wanes and often contain a smaller dosage.
Public opinion on the matter appears to sway in favour of booster shots. The vast majority of Canadians have expressed interest in one, according to a survey commissioned by CTV News, with 69 per cent of respondents saying they were interested and 15 per cent saying they were somewhat interested.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has started giving booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to anyone aged 65 and up.
ELIGIBILITY FOR ADDITIONAL DOSES BY PROVINCE AND TERRITORY
British Columbia: People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised may be able get a third dose four weeks after their second one. Those who are eligible will be contacted by the province’s Get Vaccinated system. Residents of long-term care and assisted living centres are also being offered an additional dose six months after their second dose.
Alberta: Those who are eligible for an additional dose include Albertans aged 75 and up at least six months after receiving their second dose. First Nations, Inuit and Métis people aged 65 and up can also receive a third shot six months after their second dose. Immunocompromised individuals 12 years and older with specific conditions may be eligible for a third dose eight weeks after their second one. Residents of seniors’ supportive living facilities can get a third shot five months after their second one. Finally, travellers to places where the AstraZeneca vaccine or mixed doses aren’t recognized can get a third shot four weeks after their second dose.
Saskatchewan: Residents 80 years and older can receive an additional dose six months following their second dose. Certain immunocompromised and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals can receive a third dose 28 days after their second one. Long-term and personal care home residents are also eligible. Those who are eligible for medical reasons will receive a letter from the ministry of health or their physician. A third or even fourth dose is also available for those who may require it for international travel.
Manitoba: Additional mRNA vaccine doses are recommended for those who have only received a viral vector COVID-19 vaccine, as well as health-care workers who have direct contact with patients, personal care home residents or clients, six months after their previous dose. Third doses are also permitted for people who may be moderately to severely immunocompromised, as well as people who have received one or two doses of a vaccine not approved by Health Canada, at least four weeks after their last shot. Residents of personal care homes and residents and staff of First Nations personal care homes can also get a third shot six months after their previous one.
Ontario: A third dose is currently recommended for people who may be moderately to severely immunocompromised, eight weeks after their previous dose. Residents of long-term care homes, high-risk retirement homes, First Nations elder care lodges and elderly people living in other congregate settings may also be able to get an additional dose five months after their second one. In a similar category, individuals with proof of immunization who underwent a one- or two-dose course of a COVID-19 vaccine not approved by Health Canada may receive an additional mRNA vaccine dose at least 28 days after the preceding one.
Quebec: An additional mRNA vaccine dose is recommended for people on dialysis, certain individuals with weakened immune systems, residents of residential and long-term care centres and intermediate and family-type resources and people living in private senior residences. These doses can be administered four weeks after the second dose.
New Brunswick: Moderately to severely immunocompromised people may be eligible for an additional mRNA vaccine dose four weeks after their second dose.
Nova Scotia: Starting Oct. 19, moderately to severely immunocompromised people may be eligible for an additional mRNA vaccine dose at least 28 days after their initial vaccine course. People who require an extra dose in order to meet the vaccine requirements needed to travel for work can apply for approval of a third dose by email.
Prince Edward Island: Moderately to severely immunocompromised islanders may be able to receive a third dose 28 days after their second one.
Newfoundland and Labrador: Moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals may be eligible to receive an additional mRNA vaccine dose four weeks after the second one. Those who underwent a mixed vaccine course and need to travel for work or a medical procedure outside of Canada or attend school outside of the country are also eligible for a third dose.
Yukon: Third doses are only available to those who may be immunocompromised, 28 days after their second vaccine dose.
Northwest Territories: As of Oct. 15, residents in Yellowknife aged 60 and up have been able to receive a booster shot if their previous dose was administered at least six months prior. The following week, residents of N’Dilo, Dettah, Hay River, Inuvik and Fort Smith who are 60 and up will be able to get a booster shot, as well as residents of all other communities who are aged 50 and up, six months after their previous dose. People who are severely immunocompromised, as well as front-line health-care workers in Yellowknife and Behchoko, are eligible for an additional mRNA vaccine dose.
Nunavut: An additional mRNA vaccine dose may be given to immunocompromised individuals 12 years and over at least four weeks after their second dose.
With files from CTVNewsVancouver.ca reporter Alyse Kotyk
U.S. condemns militant attack in Mali that killed 31
The United States “strongly condemns” a militant attack on a bus in central Mali that killed at least 31 people and wounded 17, the State Department said on Sunday.
Unidentified gunmen on Friday opened fire on the bus as it traveled from the village of Songho to a market in Bandiagara, 6 miles (10 km) away.
The villages sit in the heart of the Mopti region, an epicenter of violence in Mali fueled by insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.
“The United States strongly condemns the attack on civilians on Saturday near Bandiagara, Mali, which left 31 dead and 17 injured,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a written statement.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the Malian people and will continue to partner with them in their pursuit of a safe, prosperous, and democratic future,” Price said.
Jihadist attacks have surged across Africa’s Sahel region, killing thousands and displacing millions across Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Peter Cooney)
Tearful reunions, music comebacks and pop freedom: 2021 showbiz stories
From the return of cinema’s favourite spy to “Friends” reuniting, an array of stories dominated entertainment news headlines this year. Below are some of the biggest stories.
* After several delays, the release of James Bond movie “No Time To Die” gave pandemic-hit cinemas a much-needed boost.
Studios shuffled schedules and in some cases, films were released simultaneously in cinemas and on streaming platforms.
New York’s Broadway and London’s West End re-opened, albeit with COVID safety measures in place. Live music also returned.
* Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish took the top prizes at the Grammy Awards while Beyonce became the most awarded female artist in Grammy history, with a total 28 wins.
The Oscars saw “Nomadland” scoop best picture and best director for Chinese-born Chloe Zhao, making her the first Asian woman and only the second woman ever to win the prize.
* U.S. television network NBC dropped its broadcast of the 2022 Golden Globes after a backlash over the ethics of the HFPA group which hands out the annual film and television awards and its lack of diversity. The group has said it has made sweeping changes and will hold its ceremony in January.
* Now living in California, Prince Harry and wife Meghan sent shock waves when, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan accused Britain’s royal family of raising concerns about how dark the skin of the couple’s first child would be.
She said the stress of life as a royal newlywed had pushed her to the brink of suicide.
* Pop star Britney Spears regained control of her personal life and money when a judge ended a 13-year conservatorship after a long legal battle.
* Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed when a gun held by actor Alec Baldwin fired off a live bullet on the set of Western “Rust”. Baldwin said the revolver went off when he was cocking the gun. The incident is being investigated.
* Ten people died in a stampede at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston. Lawsuits were filed against the rapper and promoters.
* On television, the cast of “Friends” reunited for a tearful TV special. South Korean Netflix series “Squid Game” became a global sensation.
* In music, ABBA released their first album in 40 years. Adele stormed the charts with comeback record “30”. Swift released re-recorded albums to take back control of her early catalogue.
* Billionaire Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, now known as Ye, announced their divorce. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck rekindled their romance after nearly 20 years.
* Criminal cases during the #MeToo era saw former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein extradited from New York to Los Angeles to face trial on rape and sexual assault charges.
Singer R. Kelly was convicted by a federal jury of sex trafficking.
* The world said goodbye to Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, actors Christopher Plummer, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Cicely Tyson, Helen McCrory and Olympia Dukakis, comedian Jackie Mason, rapper DMX, The Supremes co-founder Mary Wilson, TV interviewer Larry King, Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, fashion designers Alber Elbaz and Virgil Abloh and composers Stephen Sondheim and Mikis Theodorakis. Record producer Phil Spector died in prison.
(Compiled by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Gareth Jones)
China says market views of monetary policy moves too ‘simplistic’
A Chinese newspaper run by the State Council, or cabinet, warned the market against “simplistic” interpretations of monetary policy moves as easing expectations gathered steam, suggesting China is not about to unleash a huge wave of credit in panic.
Expectations the central bank will ease policy have sharply risen after Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday that the amount of cash that banks must keep as reserves will be reduced “in a timely way”, amid growing economic headwinds whipped up by an increasingly troubled property sector.
“This is a rather simplistic interpretation of macro policy, which could easily lead to misunderstandings,” the Economics Daily said in a commentary on Monday.
China’s monetary policy will be more focused on its continuity and stability while taking into account the government’s short-term and long-term goals, according to the commentary.
Severely indebted property behemoth China Evergrande Group cautioned on Friday that there was no guarantee it would have enough funds to meet debt repayments.
The yield on China’s 10-year treasury bonds – the most actively traded in the interbank market – fell almost 5 basis points in early trade on Monday on the easing expectations.
Nomura analysts said in a note on Monday that they expect the economy and the property sector in particular to worsen further, and Beijing may have to significantly step up policy easing measures in the spring of 2022 to avert a hard landing.
But the financial daily ruled out the possibility of a flood of stimulus to prop up the economy, saying China would make its policies more targeted to cope with any downward pressure.
It added that coordination between monetary policy, fiscal policy and industrial policies will be stepped up.
After a broad-based cut to the amount of cash banks must hold as reserve in July, the Chinese central bank has since defied market expectations for further policy easing.
Advisers to the government will recommend that authorities set a 2022 economic growth target below the “above 6%” target set for 2021, some of the advisers told Reuters previously.
(Reporting by Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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