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COVID-19 vaccine rolls out for children under 12 – Yahoo News Canada



Health Canada approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of five and 11 years old on November 19 and vaccination appointments were available by November 24. It is, so far, the only approved COVID-19 vaccine in Canada for children under 12.

While most COVID cases among children in this age group have been milder than adults, some children have experienced severe, long-lasting symptoms and complications, and the rate of new cases among children under 12 is among the highest in the country.

Tanner, 5, was among the first children in Drumheller to receive the vaccine on Friday, November 26.

Mom, Nikki, says the rate of transmission in schools was a factor in choosing to have Tanner vaccinated. The decision was especially important considering Tanner has two younger siblings who are not old enough to get the vaccine yet, including newborn sister Adelina.

Tanner was brave during his appointment, and both he and younger brother Bryson, 3, received stickers and lollipops; Tanner will receive his second dose in eight weeks.

On Monday, November 29, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Minister of Health Jason Copping, Alberta Health Services (AHS) CEO Dr. Verna Yiu, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw gave Albertans an update on the evolving COVID-19 situation in the province.

Last week, a new variant of concern known as Omicron was identified in southern Africa; cases of the new variant have been reported in over 14 countries, including two detected cases in Ottawa.

At this time, there are no known cases of the Omicron variant in Alberta, however, the provincial government is keeping an eye on the emerging situation.

As of Monday, November 29

There are 21 active cases reported in the Town of Drumheller, 17 in Kneehill County, 12 in Starland County, and six in Wheatland County.

In Starland County-Drumheller region, which includes southeast Kneehill County, 86.6 per cent of residents (8,943 people) 12 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 80.5 per cent (8,320 people) 12 and older are fully vaccinated.

A total of 33 children between five and 11 in the region have also received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail

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New Brunswick reports two additional deaths related to COVID-19 Sunday – CTV News Atlantic



Health officials in New Brunswick said Sunday that a person in their 80s in the Moncton region and a person in their 70s in the Bathurst region have died as a result of COVID-19.


In a news release Sunday, public health reported there are a total of 126 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the province. Ten people are currently in intensive care.

Of those currently hospitalized, 74 were admitted for reasons other than COVID-19.

Of those in hospital, 101 are 60 or over, and six people are on a ventilator. Public health said Sunday that three people 19 and under are currently hospitalized.

The province said the rate of people hospitalized and in ICU continues to most greatly impact people who are unvaccinated and those who are over six months from their second dose.


Officials are urging parents and guardians to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for their child’s first or second dose if they have not yet done so.

Children aged five to 11 who have already received their first dose of the vaccine are eligible to receive their second dose once eight weeks have passed since their first dose.

“Children are expected to return to in-person school by the end of the month and will benefit greatly from vaccination,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health in a news release Sunday.

“I’m calling on all parents with kids in this age group to book an appointment now for their child’s first dose if they are not yet vaccinated, or for their second dose if they are eligible.”


The New Brunswick government is encouraging those eligible for a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to book their appointment to help slow the spread of the virus.

Booster doses are available to everyone 18 and older, as long as five months have passed since their second dose.

To date, 62.3 per cent of the eligible population of people 50 and older have received their booster dose.

Appointments can be booked online at vaccination clinics offered through the Vitalité and Horizon health networks.

Many pharmacies across the province are also offering vaccine clinics. Appointments can be made by contacting a participating pharmacy directly.

Those unable to book an appointment online, or who otherwise need assistance booking through a health authority clinic or pharmacy, may call 1-833-437-1424.

Since Jan. 10, more than 44,000 appointments have been booked for booster doses of an mRNA vaccine.


New Brunswick is currently in Level 3 phase of the winter plan to manage COVID-19.

Premier Blaine Higgs said Friday that vaccinating more children against COVID-19 and ensuring more adults receive their booster dose over the next week will help New Brunswick return to Level 2 of the winter plan on Jan. 30 at 11:59 p.m.

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COVID-19: Tools to combat Omicron remain unchanged as province shifts pandemic strategy, expert says – Vancouver Sun



Wear a mask and distance in indoor public spaces, wash your hands often and stay home if you’re sick. Ventilation of indoor spaces is also important.

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B.C. has changed its strategy on how it will manage COVID-19, shortening isolation times, tightening eligibility for testing and doing away with contact tracing.


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The changes are taking place as the rapidly transmissible Omicron variant has exploded in B.C., but with evidence that it causes less severe illness in most people and a belief that the latest wave peaked earlier in January.

The changes have caused some confusion.

Dr. Brian Conway, president and medical director of the Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre, say, however, that in the face of these changes, the tools to provide protection from infection have changed little.

Wear a mask and distance in indoor public spaces, wash your hands often and stay home if you’re sick. Ventilation of indoor spaces is also important.

If you’re not vaccinated for COVID, get vaccinated.

“I think the vaccination piece is going to continue to be key,” says Conway.


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While vaccination rates are high in B.C., there are still several hundred thousand people who have chosen not get vaccinated, noted Conway.

And there are blank spots, he said.

As part of the work the infectious disease centre does, it canvassed a single room occupancy hotel in the Downtown Eastside where it found that 30 of 100 residents hadn’t been vaccinated even though health authorities believed they had very good coverage.

More than 10.3 million jabs have been delivered in the province, with 90 per cent of those 12 and older fully vaccinated with two doses.

“It’s a tremendous success but what we need is 15 million,” said Conway.

On Friday, in the province’s latest COVID briefing, provincial health officials noted that they continue to see a decrease and slowdown in coronavirus cases and “tentatively” a slowing down in hospital admissions.


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However, officials noted that cases and hospitalizations remain high relative to previous levels during the pandemic.

A similar scenario is playing out in other provinces in Canada, including Ontario, and in some countries such as South Africa and the U.K.

B.C. modelling presented earlier this month showed hospitalizations dropping off to a handful of cases a day by mid-February.

As a result of Omicron, the province has made a number of changes in how it will manage the pandemic. Those include dropping contract tracing because of the variant’s shorter incubation period, dispensing with testing to anyone with symptoms and reducing to five the number of days people who have COVID should isolate unless symptoms persist.


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Only those who are in high-risk groups — such as those 70-years-or-older or people who have compromised immune systems — are priority candidates for testing, provincial health officials have explained.

The latest data available shows Omicron  accounts for more than 96 per cent of cases, overtaking the previous Delta variant.

“I absolutely recognize this is a shift, and it means we have to change our way of thinking that we have been working on so intently together for the last two years,” says Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s health officer.

COVID will now be managed much more like other respiratory illnesses such as the flu or even the common cold, said Henry.

Conway noted COVID hasn’t yet moved from the pandemic stage to an endemic illness were transmission level is lower, predictable and doesn’t overwhelm the health-care system.


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There may be a better idea of when the endemic level might happen by the summer, said Conway.

He cautioned, however, that the worldwide vaccination rate is nowhere near where it needs to be to prevent new variants from emerging.

In Africa, most of the countries have rates of less than 20 per cent for at least one dose of vaccine. In India, for example, only about half of the population is fully vaccinated.

Conway said that this reality underscores the need for those who aren’t vaccinated in B.C. to do so.

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P.E.I. reports one additional death related to COVID-19 Sunday, nine people in hospital – CTV News Atlantic



Prince Edward Island reported an additional death related to COVID-19 Sunday. Health officials said the individual was over 80 years old.

“It saddens me to report that another person in PEI has passed away related to COVID-19,” said P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison in a news release.

“I send along my sincere sympathy to this individual’s loved ones at this difficult time.”


Public health said Sunday there are currently nine people in hospital being treated for COVID-19, including one person in the intensive care unit.

Officials said there are four others in hospital who are positive for COVID-19 but are being treated for illnesses other than COVID-19 (COVID-19 was not the reason for admission).


P.E.I. reported 209 new cases of COVID-19 and 214 recoveries Sunday.

The province said the new cases are still under investigation.

There are currently 2,484 active cases of COVID-19 and there have been 6,125 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.


Here is an update from public health officials on the locations of current outbreaks in high-risk settings:

Long Term Care Facilities (six facilities with outbreaks):

  • Andrews of Park West
  • Atlantic Baptist
  • Beach Grove Home
  • Clinton View Lodge
  • Garden Home
  • Summerset Manor (New Outbreak)

Community Care Facilities (two facilities with outbreaks):

  • Bevan Lodge
  • Miscouche Villa

Early Learning and Child Care Centres:

  • 19 centres with cases of COVID-19
  • Five centres open
  • Six centres closed
  • Eight centres operating at a reduced capacity

Other congregate settings:

Population that accesses shelter and outreach services in Charlottetown

  • Prince County Correctional Centre
  • Provincial Addictions Treatment Facility
  • Provincial Correctional Centre
  • St. Eleanor’s House


As of Wednesday, Jan. 19, 96.1 per cent of Island residents over the age of 12 years received at least one dose of vaccine and 92.9 per cent were fully vaccinated.

61 per cent of children aged 5 to 11 have had one dose and 43,863 individuals have their booster dose.

Public health said approximately 23,800 people are eligible to receive the booster dose but have not yet done so.


In order to preserve the capacity of Health PEI testing clinics, until further notice, public health said testing will continue to be limited to the following:

  • Symptomatic individuals
  • Close contacts of positive cases
  • Confirmatory tests for individuals who test preliminary positive at a point-of-entry
  • Confirmatory tests for individuals who test preliminary positive with a rapid antigen test

Officials said individuals who do not have symptoms do not require testing (unless in one of the above categories).

Those who are presenting for testing related to travel (for example: day 4 tests) will be provided with at home rapid antigen tests, two tests to be taken 48 hours apart.

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