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COVID-19 vaccine Ottawa: Six milestones plus two things left to do one year later | CTV News – CTV Edmonton

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It has been one year since the first COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in Ottawa.

Jo-Anne Miner, a personal support worker at St. Patrick’s Home on Riverside Drive was the first person in the capital to receive a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. She was given the shot just after 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020.

Nearly 1.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered locally in the past year.

Here are some of the major milestones in the city’s largest mass inoculation effort in history.

First shots administered

One hundred people were given their first COVID-19 vaccine doses on Dec. 15, 2020 at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus. It came just over nine months after the first case of COVID-19 was announced in Ottawa.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and then-Health Minister Patty Hajdu visited the hospital that morning as the first vaccines were given out.

“It will still be a long winter, but as we start seeing the proportion of the population increase that has vaccines,we’re going to be able to start thinking about what measures we can loosen a bit,” Trudeau told health care workers. “But before we get there, we’ve got to get through the winter…we’re going to do it together.”

Long-term care residents get their first shots

The City of Ottawa moved quickly to inoculate residents of long-term care homes, who were affected most severely during the early days of the pandemic.

On Jan. 5, 2021, 93-year-old Arnold Roberts, a resident of the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre was given the first dose by a mobile vaccination team. The vaccine, which required ultra-cold storage, was previously only available at the hospital, meaning that it was largely given to health-care and personal support workers at first.

Once the vaccine became mobile, the effort to protect long-term care residents ramped up quickly. By Feb. 11, 2021, 91 per cent of all long-term care residents in Ottawa had been fully vaccinated. Efforts then moved to retirement homes, with 89 per cent of residents fully vaccinated by March 20.

Perley Rideau vaccine Arnold Roberts

Vaccination clinics open to the general public

The City of Ottawa was a step ahead of the Ontario government in launching the first community clinics for the COVID-19 vaccine as efforts began among the general public.

Three community clinics opened March 5, 2021 to serve seven neighbourhoods where the rates of infection were the highest. At first, with supplies limited, only those 80 and older were eligible to receive a vaccine.

The Ontario COVID-19 vaccine portal opened March 15, 2021. In its early days, supplies were strained and appointments were limited, but as more doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Ontario, the portal opened to more and more age groups and appointments were available in abundance.

One million doses administered

On June 28, 2021, the city officially surpassed a major milestone, having administered one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

As of June 29, 1,015,759 vaccine doses had been administered in community clinics, pharmacies, pop-up clinics and other locations, according to Ottawa Public Health. The total included 741,114 first doses and 274,645 second doses.

At the time, 79 per cent of adults had had at least one dose and the effort to get second doses into arms was ramping up, with 33 per cent of adults fully vaccinated.

The second dose effort would peak the week of July 4, when nearly 133,000 doses were administered across the city, which stands as the record for the most doses given in a single week. Of those, about half were second shots.

One million doses in Ottawa

City hits 90 per cent coverage among population 12 and older

On Oct. 18, 2021, Ottawa Public Health announced that 90 per cent of residents 12 and older in Ottawa had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

That 90 per cent figure was a major target for OPH throughout the inoculation effort. At the time, about 85 per cent of residents 12 and older were fully vaccinated.

As of Monday, 91 per cent of residents 12 and older had one dose and 89 per cent were fully vaccinated.

Children 5 to 11 start receiving vaccines

The first doses of the vaccines for children aged five to 11 started rolling out Nov. 26, 2021.

The ramp up of vaccines for children was the quickest among age groups. Within two weeks, nearly half of all children in that age category had received one dose.

Ottawa Public Health estimates there are about 77,000 children five to 11 in Ottawa.

Queensway Carleton Hospital

What’s left?

With the arrival of the Omicron variant, there is a renewed push to get booster shots to people who received their second dose at least six months prior.

More than 83,000 booster shots have been administered in Ottawa to date.

There will also be the effort to get children five to 11 back to clinics to receive their second doses. The optimal interval between first and second doses is eight weeks, meaning second doses will likely begin ramping up in the second week of January.

OTTAWA COVID-19 VACCINE QUICK STATS

  • Ottawa residents with at least one dose: 879,835
  • Ottawa residents with two doses: 817,655
  • Percent of population 5 and older with at least one dose: 88 per cent
  • Percent of population 5 and older with two doses: 82 per cent

(Ottawa Public Health data as of Dec. 13)

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Covid-19: World health officials offer hope that Omicron wave will increase global immunity – Hindustan Times

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  • The encouraging trends after two years of coronavirus misery have brought a noticeably hopeful tone from health experts. Rosy predictions have crumbled before, but this time they are backed by what could be called Omicron’s silver lining. 

Covid-19: World health officials offer hope that Omicron wave will increase global immunity(Bhushan Koyande)
Published on Jan 25, 2022 08:59 AM IST
AP | | Posted by Krishna Priya Pallavi, Delhi

World health officials are offering hope that the ebbing of the omicron wave could give way to a new, more manageable phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, even as they warn of difficult weeks ahead and the possibility of another, more dangerous variant arising.

In the US, cases have crested and are dropping rapidly, following a pattern seen in Britain and South Africa, with researchers projecting a period of low spread in many countries by the end of March. Though US deaths — now at 2,000 each day — are still rising, new hospital admissions have started to fall, and a drop in deaths is expected to follow.

The encouraging trends after two years of coronavirus misery have brought a noticeably hopeful tone from health experts. Rosy predictions have crumbled before, but this time they are backed by what could be called Omicron’s silver lining: The highly contagious variant will leave behind extremely high levels of immunity.

On Sunday, Dr Anthony Fauci talked on ABC This Week about a “best-case scenario” where Covid-19 would fall to manageable levels so the United States could get “back to a degree of normality.”

And on Monday, the World Health Organization issued a statement anticipating an end to the “emergency phase” of the pandemic this year and saying that the omicron variant “offers plausible hope for stabilization and normalization.”

Both Fauci and the WHO’s Europe regional director, Dr Hans Kluge, cautioned that new variants are likely to emerge, but with vaccination, new drug therapies and — during surges — testing and masks, the world could reach a less disruptive level of disease in which the virus is, as Fauci put it, “essentially integrated into the general respiratory infections that we have learned to live with.”

In the US, new cases are averaging a still extraordinarily high 680,000 a day, down from an all-time peak of over 800,000 a little more than a week ago.

The places in the US where omicron struck first are seeing the sharpest declines. New cases in the Northeast are nose-diving, while other states — Arizona, Texas, Oregon, Kansas and North Dakota among them — are still waiting for relief.

Falling, too, are new US hospital admissions of patients with confirmed Covid-19. They are averaging nearly 20,000 per day, down about 7 per cent from the previous week, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those numbers include patients who went to the hospital for other reasons and tested positive. But even after accounting for these incidental infections, the trend is hopeful.

One influential model projects that nearly all nations will be past the omicron wave by mid-March, including China and other countries with “zero Covid” policies. The wave will leave behind high levels of immunity — both from infection and vaccination — that could lead to low levels of transmission for many weeks or months.

“What do we end up with at the end of this?” said Dr Christopher Murray of the University of Washington, who developed the closely watched Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model. “We end up with the highest levels of global immunity that we’ve seen in the pandemic.”

The model estimates that 57% of the world’s population already has been infected with the virus at least once.

Another research group, which combines several models and shares the projections with the White House, predicts a strong decline in US infections by April, unless a new variant emerges that can sidestep the growing levels of immunity.

“It would be dangerous to forget that possibility, as it has caught us before,” said Katriona Shea of Pennsylvania State University, a leader of the team that pulls together the models.

She noted, too, that the projections show 16,000 to 98,000 more Americans dying before the omicron wave is through. The US death toll stands at close to 870,000.

“Even if we project a more optimistic future, right now we still have a lot of Covid spreading, a lot of strain in our hospital systems, and our deaths have not yet peaked,” said Lauren Ancel Meyers, director of the University of Texas Covid-19 Modeling Consortium.

“There’s still a lot of pain before omicron has run its course,” she said, but added: “It’s very plausible that omicron will be a turning point in terms of our relationship with this virus.”

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

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Britain said on Tuesday it needed to recruit 6,000 more people onto a trial of Merck‘s COVID-19 antiviral pill molnupiravir to inform how the drug can be rolled out more widely.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.

AMERICAS

* The U.S. health regulator revised the emergency use authorisations for COVID-19 antibody treatments from Regeneron and Eli Lilly to limit their use, as the drugs are unlikely to work against the Omicron variant.

* Brazil had 83,340 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and 259 deaths from COVID-19, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

* Chile, which already boasts one of the world’s highest COVID-19 vaccination rates, has agreed to purchase 2 million vaccine doses from Moderna, Chilean interim health minister Maria Teresa Valenzuela said.

* A New York judge struck down the state’s mask mandate, one week before it was due to expire, ruling the governor overstepped her authority in imposing a rule that needed to have been passed by the state legislature.

EUROPE

* The head of the World Health Organization warned that it was dangerous to assume the Omicron variant would herald the end of COVID-19’s acutest phase, exhorting nations to stay focused to beat the pandemic.

* Germany extended its current pandemic measures as the experts panel appointed by the government has warned the Omicron variant could bring critical infrastructure in Europe’s biggest economy to a breaking point.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* South Korea’s daily count of new coronavirus cases topped 8,000 for the first time, as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly despite the recent extension of strict social-distancing rules to slow infection.

* Japan is set to more than double the number of regions under enhanced coronavirus curbs on Tuesday, even as it sought to modify strategies to contend with the infectious Omicron variant that has fuelled record numbers of cases.

* About two dozen cases of COVID-19 have been recorded among the crew of an Australian warship expected to arrive in coronavirus-free Tonga on Wednesday to deliver humanitarian aid, Australian authorities said.

AFRICA AND MIDDLE EAST

* Israel’s health minister said he did not think Israel will offer a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose to most people after the government made it available to over 60s and other high-risk groups.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Omicron can survive longer than earlier versions of the coronavirus on plastic surfaces and human skin, Japanese researchers found in laboratory tests.

* A third booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech or Johnson & Johnson increases antibody levels significantly in those who have previously received two doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac shot, a study has found.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Australia’s core inflation flew to its fastest annual pace since 2014 in the December quarter as fuel and housing costs led broad-based price pressures, a shock that will stoke market speculation of an early hike in interest rates.

* South Korea’s economy expanded at the fastest pace in 11 years in 2021, helped by a jump in exports and construction activity, tempering declines in capital investment and a slow recovery in the coronavirus-hit service sectors.

* A measure of Australian business confidence has swung into the red as a surge in coronavirus cases hit consumer spending and played havoc with staffing, though sales overall were proving resilient so far.

 

(Compiled by Sherry Jacob-Phillips; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta)

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Sinovac regimen gets strong boost from Pfizer, AstraZeneca or J&J COVID shots – study

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A third booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech or Johnson & Johnson increases antibody levels significantly in those who have previously received two doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac shot, a study has found.

The study found that CoronaVac received the strongest boost from a viral vector or RNA shot, including against the Delta and Omicron coronavirus variants, researchers from Brazil and Oxford University said on Monday.

China-based Sinovac’s vaccine uses an inactivated version of a coronavirus strain that was isolated from a patient in China. It is currently approved in more than 50 countries including Brazil, China, Argentina, South Africa, Oman, Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey.

“This study provides important options for policymakers in the many countries where inactivated vaccines … have been used,” said Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and study lead.

However, another study in December found that Sinovac’s two-dose shot followed by a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine showed a lower immune response against the Omicron variant compared with other strains.

Viral vector vaccines such as the ones developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford and J&J use a weakened version of another virus to deliver genetic instructions for making proteins from the virus against which protection is sought. Pfizer and BioNTech’s mRNA vaccines deliver a genetic transcript with instructions for making viral proteins to teach the body how to defend against infections.

A third dose of CoronaVac also increased antibodies, but the results were better when a different vaccine was used, according to the latest study that included 1,240 volunteers from the Brazilian cities of Sao Paulo and Salvador.

Antibody levels were low before the booster doses, with only 20.4% of adults aged 18-60 and 8.9% of adults aged over 60 having detectable levels of neutralising antibodies. These were seen to significantly increase across every booster vaccine regimen, according to the study, which was published in the Lancet medical journal on Friday.

 

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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