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COVID-19 vaccines in Waterloo Region: Here's who is eligible under Phase Two – CTV Toronto

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KITCHENER —
As Waterloo Region moves into Phase Two of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout plan, the Ministry of Health has released more details on who’s eligible for a vaccination under that phase.

People in Waterloo Region between the ages of 70 and 79 can now pre-register for a vaccine appointment.

As many as 9 million people in the province are eligible to get a shot in Phase Two, which is expected to come into full effect in April.

The province says the primary priority populations that will be offered the vaccine first are:

  • Adults aged 60-79, starting with those 75-79 and decreasing in five year increments
  • Individuals with health conditions, starting with highest risk and high-risk health conditions
  • Residents, essential caregivers and staff of high-risk congregate settings
  • Adults age 50 and older in COVID-19 hot spot communities, starting with older individuals and increasing in age

The highest risk health conditions are defined as:

  • Organ transplant recipients
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
  • Neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g., motor neurone disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
  • Haematological malignancy diagnosed <1 year
  • Kidney disease eGFR <30
  • High-risk health conditions are:
  • Obesity (BMI >40)
  • Other treatments causing immunosuppression (e.g., chemotherapy, immunity-weakening medications)
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities (e.g., Down Syndrome)

After those in the first priority groups are offered a first dose of the vaccine, clinics can then move on to vaccinate the secondary priority groups which are:

  • Remaining individuals with at-risk health conditions
  • Essential workers who cannot work from home
  • At-risk health conditions include
  • Immune deficiencies/autoimmune disorders
  • Stroke/cerebrovascular disease
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • All other cancers
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Spleen problems (e.g., asplenia)
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension with end organ damage
  • Diagnosis of mental disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Thalassemia
  • Pregnancy
  • Immunocompromising health conditions
  • Other disabilities requiring direct support care in the community

The list of essential workers who cannot work from home is further divided into two priority groups.

The first essential workers who will be offered the vaccine first are:

  • Elementary and secondary school workers (including educators, custodial, school bus drivers, administrative staff)
  • Workers responding to critical events (including police, fire, special constables, children’s aid society workers, emergency management, critical infrastructure restoration workers)
  • Enforcement, inspection and compliance roles (including by-law enforcement, building inspectors, food inspectors, animal welfare inspectors, border inspection officers, labour inspectors/WSIB field workers)
  • Individuals working in child care (including all licensees and employees who interact directly with children at licensed child care centres and authorized recreation and skill building programs, licensed home child care and in-home service providers, employees of a home child care agency and students on educational placements in child care)
  • Foster care agency workers (including customary care providers)
  • Food manufacturing and distribution workers
  • Agriculture and farm workers
  • Funeral, crematorium and cemetery workers

The second group of essential workers who cannot work from home that will receive the vaccine are:

  • Essential and critical retail workers (including grocery, food bank and non-clinical pharmacy workers, ServiceOntario workers, ServiceCanada and Passport Canada workers, wholesalers and general goods, restaurant workers, LCBO)
  • Workers in manufacturing industries directly involved in supporting the COVID-19 response, construction including infrastructure and other essential businesses and services where facilities are at heightened risk for COVID-19 outbreaks and spread
  • Social workers and other social services staff providing in-person client services (including youth justice workers, OW and ODSP case workers)
  • Courts and justice system workers (including probation and parole workers)
  • Transportation, warehousing and distribution workers (including public transit workers, truck drivers supporting essential services, marine and rail cargo and maintenance, highway maintenance)
  • Electricity (including workers employed in system operations, generation, transmission, distribution and storage)
  • Communications infrastructure workers (including cellular, satellite, landline, internet, public safety radio)
  • Water and wastewater management workers
  • Financial services workers (bank branch staff)
  • Veterinarians and veterinary teams
  • Waste management workers
  • Oil and petroleum workers (including those working in petroleum refineries; those involved in the storage, transmission and distribution of crude oil and petroleum products and those needed for the retail sale of fuel)
  • Natural gas and propane gas workers (including those working in the compression, storage, transmission and distribution of natural gas and propane)
  • Mine workers (including those needed to ensure the continued operation of active mines)
  • Uranium processing workers (those working in the refining and conversion of uranium, and fabrication of fuel for nuclear power plants)

Workers who are attending vaccine clinics in the community will be asked to make an in-person attestation that they are an essential workers who cannot work from home, which could include signing a form.

They may also need to provide a workplace ID or badge, pay stub, professional identification number, statement of professional insurance or letter of employment.

The province’s document also provides guidance to clinics on what should be done with remaining doses at the end of the day, to ensure vaccine is not wasted.

Vaccine clinics are told to have a list of standby alternate recipients that may be called at short notice to get a shot.

The people on that list should be within the same or next priority level as those currently being vaccinated, such as people who have scheduled appointments later in the week or who are next in line for an appointment.

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Are You Looking After Your Oral Health Correctly?

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You need to make sure that you are taking good care of your mouth at all times. Click here for some tips to ensure that your oral health is the best it can be.

Your mouth is one of the most important parts of your body, but it is also one of the easiest to care for. You need to make sure that you are always looking after your oral health. Neglecting it can give you a raft of health troubles.

Why It is Important

Overall, it is thought that Canadians have very good dental care, with over 75% of Canadians attending the dentist at least once a year. This is also a vast improvement over a couple of decades ago, and we will hopefully see improvements year on year.

Pain in your jaw caused by gum disease and other factors can be incredibly difficult to live with, but it is also really easy to avoid. With proper oral care and a diligent hygiene routine, you should be able to keep your mouth in good condition for the future. There are no excuses for poor oral hygiene – it is one of those adult responsibilities that we all need to take charge of.

Make Time for the Dentist

Other Canadians can manage a regular trip to the dentist – and you cannot be an exception to this. Even if you have the busiest of lives in Toronto, there is always going to be a way for you to make time for the dentist.

Whether you are popping into the North York dental clinic around the corner from your department or making an appointment you can easily get to from a Downtown office, there are plenty of professionals waiting to help you out. Your dentist is the best person to check that you are on the right track when it comes to caring for your oral health. Regular trips to see them, plus a commitment to following their advice, is going to put you on the right path for looking after your health.

Watch Your Diet

Many people think that they can maintain good oral health by just following a healthy diet. However, the best diets for your body overall might not be right for looking after your mouth.

If you eat a lot of fruit, you need to watch the sugar content of these fruits overall, as they can have quite the impact on your mouth. Likewise, you need to think about other foods that could be less than beneficial for your mouth’s health. Taking the time to learn about the best foods to boost your oral health and adding them into your diet is going to be a great move.

The health of your mouth can be an indicator into the health of the rest of your body, so you need to make sure that you are taking the best care of it. A regular routine of brushing and taking good care of your oral hygiene should be more than sufficient. There is always going to be a way for you to ensure that you are doing the utmost to keep your mouth as healthy as can be!

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Canada will not restrict AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, says benefits outweigh risk

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OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada‘s health ministry said on Wednesday it would not restrict use of AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine after a review showed the benefits outweighed the very rare risk of blood clots.

A separate advisory council had earlier recommended Canada stop offering the vaccine to people under 55. The panel is now reviewing that advice, the health ministry said in a statement.

Denmark on Wednesday became the first country to stop using the vaccine altogether over a potential link to the rare blood clots. Other nations have imposed limits on its use.

But Health Canada, the federal health ministry, said in a statement that a review of data from Europe, Britain and AstraZeneca had not identified specific risk factors.

“Therefore, Health Canada is not restricting the use of the vaccine in any specific populations at this time … The potential risk of these events is very rare, and the benefits of the vaccine in protecting against COVID-19 outweigh its potential risks,” it said.

Canada on Tuesday said it had recorded its first case of blood clotting with low platelets after someone received the AstraZeneca shot. The patient in question, a woman from Quebec, is recovering. (Graphic on vaccines: https://tmsnrt.rs/3tUM8ta)

COVID-19 cases are surging in Canada with the country reporting a near-record number of new cases recently. (Graphic on cases: https://tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi)

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Allison Martell in Toronto; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Factbox-Some countries limit AstraZeneca vaccine use, US pauses J&J shot

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(Reuters) -Some countries are restricting use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to certain age groups or suspending use after European and British regulators confirmed possible links to rare blood clots.

Denmark became the first country to stop using the vaccine altogether, as it said results of investigations showed “real and serious side-effects”.

Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine has also been hit by concerns over blood clots, with European regulators reviewing such cases and U.S. federal health agencies recommending pausing its use for a few days. J&J noted no clear causal relationship had been established between the clots and its vaccine.

The developments pose a risk to vaccination plans in Europe.

Regulators have said the benefits of the AstraZeneca shot outweigh risks.

Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca said it was working with regulators to list the possible brain blood clots as “an extremely rare potential side effect” on the vaccines labels.

As of April 4, the European Medicines Agency had received reports of 169 cases of a rare brain blood clot known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), after 34 million doses had been administered in the European Economic Area. Most cases were in women under 60 years of age.

ASTRAZENECA VACCINE BEING USED, WITH OR WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS

AUSTRALIA

Said on April 8 it recommends people under 50 should get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in preference to AstraZeneca’s shot.

AUSTRIA

Has resumed use.

BRAZIL

Authorities said they would not limit use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying benefits outweigh risks.

BRITAIN

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has said an alternative to the vaccine should be given for people under 30 where possible, but people should continue to have a second shot if they have received a first dose.

BULGARIA

Resumed inoculations from March 19.

CYPRUS

Resumed inoculations on March 19.

CANADA

Authorities said in early April they would pause offering the vaccine to people under 55 and require a new analysis of the shot’s benefits and risks based on age and gender. On April 13, the country said it had recorded its first case of blood clotting with low platelets.

ESTONIA

Suspended use of the vaccine for people under 60 on April 7.

FRANCE

Approved resumption of the vaccine on March 19 but said it should be given only to people aged 55 and over. On April 9, recommended that recipients of a first dose of the AstraZeneca shot who are under 55 should receive a second dose with a messenger RNA vaccine.

FINLAND

Resumed using the AstraZeneca vaccine from March 29, but only for people aged 65 and over.

GEORGIA

Has limited use of the vaccine following the death of a nurse from anaphylactic shock, and vaccinations will continue only in full-fledged medical centres, Russian news agency TASS reported on March 19.

GERMANY

Sticking to its guidance from March 31 to limit use of the vaccine to those aged over 60. On April 1, Germany’s vaccine commission recommended people under 60 who have had a first shot of the vaccine should receive a different product for their second dose.

HUNGARY

Continuing the vaccine’s rollout.

ICELAND

Resumed use on March 25 after suspending it on March 11.

INDONESIA

Resumed using the vaccine on March 22 but warned against its use in people with a low blood platelet count.

IRELAND

On April 12, the country said it was restricting use of the vaccine to those over 60.

ITALY

Has recommended the vaccine be used only for people over 60, the country’s top health adviser said.

LATVIA

Announced it was restarting administering the shots from March 19.

LITHUANIA

Restarted use on March 19.

MEXICO

Drug regulator Cofepris said on April 7 it did not “at this time” plan to limit the vaccine’s use but was investigating the information raised by Britain.

NETHERLANDS

Limited use of the vaccine to people over 60, the Dutch government said on April 8.

NORTH MACEDONIA

Health minister said on March 31 the vaccine would be limited to people aged over 60 as a precautionary measure.

PHILIPPINES

Suspended use of the vaccine for people under 60 on April 8.

ROMANIA

Has resumed use of the vaccine after temporarily stopping vaccinating people with one batch of the vaccine on March 11.

SOUTH KOREA

Resumed use of the shot for people aged 30 or older on April 12. On April 7, it had suspended providing the AstraZeneca shot to people under 60.

SPAIN

From April 8, it was giving the vaccine only to people over 60.

SWEDEN

Resumed use of the vaccine on March 25 for people aged 65 and older.

THAILAND

Began use on March 15 after delaying rollout the week before.

COUNTRIES WHERE ASTRAZENECA VACCINE USE SUSPENDED

CAMEROON

Suspended administration of the vaccine it was scheduled to receive on March 20 as part of the global vaccines sharing scheme COVAX, the health ministry said.

DENMARK

In a world first, Denmark decided to stop using the AstraZeneca vaccine altogether after initially suspending use of the shot.

NORWAY

Authorities said on March 26 Norway would delay a decision on use of the vaccine, with a decision expected by April 15.

J&J VACCINE DELAYS AND RESTRICTIONS

UNITED STATES

On April 13, U.S. federal health agencies recommended pausing use of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine for at least a few days after six women under the age of 50 developed rare blood clots after receiving the shot.

EUROPEAN UNION

The company said it would delay the rollout of the vaccine to Europe, after regulators said they were reviewing rare blood clots.

Widespread use in the EU had not yet started after the company began delivering the doses in the week beginning April 12. The European drug regulator recommended storing doses already received until its safety committee issues an expedited recommendation

SOUTH AFRICA

Suspended use of J&J’s vaccine on April 13.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka, Yadarisa Shabong, Manas Mishra, Vishwadha Chander, Amruta Khandekar and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; editing by Josephine Mason, Alison Williams, Timothy Heritage, Larry King, Barbara Lewis)

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