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COVID booster shots available in Sudbury area starting Thursday – The Sudbury Star

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Starting Thursday, Public Health Sudbury and District is making booster doses of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine available to those eligible to receive one.

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“A complete two-dose COVID-19 vaccine primary series provides strong protection against COVID-19 infection and severe outcomes, including against the Delta variant, in the general population,” the health unit said in a release.

“Based on emerging evidence, a booster dose can now be offered to select populations at least six months after a second dose to obtain more durable protection. Given current evidence and vaccine supply, booster doses are not considered urgent.”

Vulnerable older adults in congregate settings continue to be eligible for a third dose to boost their immune response, the health unit said. The recommendation now is the booster dose be received six months following their second dose.

“For some populations, for example, those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, a third dose may be required in the primary series as two doses may not provide sufficient protection,” it added. “These individuals continue to be eligible to receive a third dose as part of their primary series, at least eight weeks following their second dose.”

Public Health said appointments can be booked online and by phone.

“Online booking is a simple and efficient process and helps reduce call volumes,” it said. “Individuals can also help people who are eligible by booking an appointment on their behalf.”

Starting Thursday, Nov. 4, those 80 years of age and older who received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago can call the local booking centre to book an appointment for a booster dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

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Appointments will not be booked for those who do not meet the eligibility criteria, the health unit noted.

Starting Friday, Nov. 5, those 70 years of age and older who received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago can call the local booking centre to book an appointment.

In addition, these groups can call for an appointment starting Friday:

– First Nations, Inuit, and Métis adults, including non-Indigenous household members who received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago.

– Health care workers who received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago.

– Individuals who received two doses of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago.

– Individuals who received one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago.

– Call 705-674-2299 (toll-free: 1-800-708-2505). The call centre is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., and is closed on statutory holidays.

Starting Saturday, Nov. 6, meanwhile, those eligible for a booster dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine can visit covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine to book an appointment through the provincial booking portal.

In addition, many pharmacies and primary care providers are offering COVID-19 vaccination. Eligible individuals are encouraged to contact their local pharmacy or primary care provider for additional information on a booster dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

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Though booking an appointment is recommended, walk-ins for a booster dose will be accepted at Public Health pop-up and walk-in clinics. Starting Thursday, Nov. 4, those who meet eligibility criteria for a booster dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible to walk-ins to a Public Health clinic one hour after the clinic’s start time.

If you choose to attend a walk-in to receive a booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you may experience longer wait times and Public Health encourages booking an appointment.

For a schedule of clinics in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts, including clinic times and the mRNA vaccine brand that is planned, visit phsd.ca/COVID-19/vaccine-clinics.

Public Health also said it is also working with partners to offer vaccination opportunities directly in the homes of homebound individuals. Additional information will be provided to these clients directly as they become eligible for the mRNA booster dose.

Public Health said it remains focused on achieving 90 per cent coverage for anyone eligible for vaccination. Anyone born in 2009 or earlier is strongly encouraged to complete their COVID-19 vaccination series as soon as possible if they have not yet done so.

For more information about COVID-19 and vaccination, visit phsd.ca/COVID-19. Keep connected on Public Health’s Facebook and Twitter pages or call 705-522-9200 (toll-free 1-866-52209200).

dmacdonald@postmedia.com

Twitter: @SudburyStar

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CIBC hikes dividend, plans buyback despite Q4 profit miss – BNN

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Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce joined its peers on Thursday in rewarding its shareholders for their patience.

The bank said its board authorized a dividend hike that will lift the quarterly payout to $1.61 per share from $1.46, effective with the Jan. 28 distribution. It also announced plans to repurchase up to 10 million of its common shares.

Like the other lenders that have made similar moves this week, CIBC was able to share its wealth after the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions recently lifted its pandemic-era ban on dividend hikes and share buybacks. 

CIBC also said on Thursday its full-year profit climbed to $6.4 billion from $3.8 billion in 2020. For the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Oct. 31, earnings surged 42 per cent year-over-year to $1.44 billion. However, on an adjusted basis the bank fell short of expectations at $3.37 per share; the average analyst estimate was for $3.54. 

Unlike other banks this week whose profits got a boost from improved credit quality, CIBC set aside $78 million for loans that could go bad during the fourth quarter. In the prior quarter, the bank had benefitted from the release of $99 million that was previously set aside as provisions for its loan books. 

CIBC’s core Canadian personal and banking division saw profit stagnate in the final quarter of its fiscal year. Net income was $597 million, compared to $590 million a year earlier and $642 million in the prior quarter. The division’s provisions for credit losses jumped to $164 million from $67 million in the fiscal third quarter. In a release, CIBC attributed the provisioning in part due to what it calls “model parameter updates.”

The bank’s other divisions fared better in the quarter, as profit rose year-over-year in capital markets, Canadian commercial banking and wealth management, as well as in CIBC’s U.S. division where profit doubled year-over-year to US$204 million. 

“Against the backdrop of the ongoing global pandemic, our bank continued to invest for the future, including expanding our platform and capabilities in the U.S., accelerating the growth of our Canadian consumer franchise, and making foundational investments in cloud technology and other capabilities that will enable us to do more for clients in 2022 and beyond,” said CIBC President and Chief Executive Victor Dodig in a release.

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TD raising dividend, plans to buy back up to 50 million shares – BNN

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TD Bank Group kept pace with its peers in dishing out rewards to its shareholders on Thursday.

The bank announced it will raise its quarterly dividend 13 per cent to $0.89 per share, effective Jan. 31. It also said it’s seeking regulatory approval to repurchase up to 50 million of its shares. 

All five of the big Canadian lenders that have reported this week announced similar moves after the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions recently ended its ban on buybacks and dividend hikes. Bank of Montreal, the last of the Big Six banks to report earnings, will announce its results on Friday. 

TD’s full-year profit climbed to $14.3 billion compared to $11.9 billion in 2020, the bank also announced on Thursday. In the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Oct. 31, net income fell to $3.8 billion from $5.1 billion a year earlier when it got a $1.4-billion lift from the sale of its stake in TD Ameritrade. 

On an adjusted basis, TD earned $2.09 per share in the most recent quarter. Analysts, on average, were expecting $1.96.

TD’s American unit was the primary driver in the fiscal fourth quarter, as the division’s net income surged 66 per cent year-over-year to US$1.09 billion. Stripping out an investment in Charles Schwab, profit for the core U.S. retail banking operations soared 123 per cent to US$897 million as revenue climbed and US$62 million was freed up after previously being set aside for loans that could go bad. 

In Canada, TD’s retail banking division saw profit rise 19 per cent year-over-year to $2.14 billion. Similar to the U.S., revenue rose year-over-year and credit quality improved. However, those factors were partially offset by an eight per cent rise in expenses — which TD said was due to higher variable compensation and investments in technology. 

Meanwhile, the bank’s wholesale division — which comprises activities like capital markets and investment banking — was a drag on profit as net income from that unit slid 14 per cent to $420 million. TD said its trading revenue in the quarter fell to $510 million from $761 million a year earlier. 

“We  ended the  year  in  a  position  of  strength,  with a  growing  base of  customers  across  highly  competitive  and  diversified  businesses  and  a  robust capital  position, enabling  us  to increase  our  dividend  and providing us  with a strong  foundation  upon which to  continue  building  our  business  in  2022,” said TD President and Chief Executive Bharat Masrani in a release.

Editor’s note: The original version of this story incorrectly presented the dividend increase as being 11 per cent. We regret the error.

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Tentative deal between union workers and beef producer Cargill struck | CTV News – CTV News Calgary

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With less than a week to go before workers were set to go on strike at Cargill’s High River, Alta. beef processing plant, the company says a tentative deal has been reached.

The company announced the development on Wednesday and says it is “encouraged by the outcome” of recent talks.

“After a long day of collaborative discussion, we reached an agreement on an offer that the bargaining committee will recommend to its members. The offer is comprehensive and fair and includes retroactive pay, signing bonuses, a 21 per cent wage increase over the life of the contract and improved health benefits,” Cargill wrote in a statement to CTV News via email.

The company adds it also “remains optimistic” a deal can be finalized before the strike deadline.

“(We) encourage employees to vote on this offer which recognizes the important role they play in Cargill’s work to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. While we navigate this negotiation, we continue to focus on fulfilling food manufacturer, retail and food service customer orders while keeping markets moving for farmers and ranchers,” it wrote.

The United Food and Commercial Workers’ Union (UFCW) Local 401 was expected to go on strike on Dec. 6.

It rejected the most recent attempt at a deal on Nov. 25 by a 98 per cent margin.

‘FAIR OFFER’

According to a statement from UFCW Local 401, the negotiating team engaged in “a marathon day” of talks with the company on Tuesday.

“Late in the evening, our bargaining committee concluded that they were in receipt of a fair offer and that they were prepared to present that offer to their coworkers with a recommendation of acceptance,” it wrote in a statement.

The union says the tentative deal will “significantly improve” the lives of Cargill workers and will be the ‘best food processing contract in Canada.”

Highlights from the deal include:

  • $4,200 in retroactive pay for many employees;
  • $1,000 signing bonus;
  • $1,000 COVID-19 bonus;
  • More than $6,000 total bonuses for workers three weeks before Christmas;
  • $5 wage increase for many employees;
  • Improved health benefits; and
  • Provisions to facilitate a new culture of health, safety, dignity and respect in the workplace

While UFCW Local 401 president Thomas Hesse calls the deal “fair,” he will support workers on the picket line if they decide to reject the proposal.

“If they do accept it, I’ll work with them every day to make Cargill a better workplace,” Hesse said in a statement. “I will do as our members ask me to do.

“I respect all of the emotions that they feel and the suffering that they have experienced.”

Employees are expected the vote on the new deal between Dec. 2 and 4.

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