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Different efficacy data for Chinese COVID-19 vaccine "real and valid"-media | World | News – Cape Breton Post

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BEIJING (Reuters) – Different efficacy results for a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine released separately in China and in United Arab Emirates are both real and valid, an executive at China National Biotec Group (CNBG) told state media.

China approved its first COVID-19 vaccine for general public use on Thursday, a shot developed by an affiliate to state-backed Sinopharm, after the developer said the vaccine showed 79.34% efficacy based on an interim analysis of late-stage clinical trials.

That rate is lower than the 86% rate for the same vaccine reported by the United Arab Emirates on Dec. 9.

Countries have certain differences in their standards and procedures in diagnosing patients, and the final results of COVID-19 case identification were different, Yang Xiaoming, chairman at Sinopharm unit’s CNBG, told Global Times, a tabloid published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party.

“Therefore, there were differences between the comprehensive multi-country data we reviewed and the protection rate data previously evaluated by the UAE and Bahrain,” Global Times quoted Yang as saying in a report published on Thursday.

“But these two results are both real and valid,” Yang said, without offering further details for the data.

CNBG did not participate in the analysis or review of clinical trial data released by regulators in countries where its vaccine was being trialed, Yang said.

The vaccine, developed by CNBG’s unit Beijing Biological Products Institute, along with another candidate from a Wuhan-based unit of CNBG, are being tested in Phase III clinical trials outside China.

Trials for CNBG’s candidates have recruited over 60,000 participants aged between 18-60, Yang said.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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COVID-19 variant identified at Barrie, Ont., long-term care home where 19 residents have died – CTV Toronto

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BARRIE, ONT. —
A COVID-19 variant has been identified in six swab tests done at Roberta Place in Barrie, Ont., where an outbreak has claimed at least 19 lives.

Since the health unit declared an outbreak at the long-term facility, cases have exploded, with 122 residents, 69 staff, and two visitors testing positive for COVID-19.

Nineteen residents have now died after becoming infected.

“The impact of this outbreak on the facility has been tragic, and these interim results of a variant are extremely concerning for everyone,” says Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

Gardner says the virus spread so rapidly the health unit was immediately concerned about a possible variant. It’s not known how the new strain got into the seniors’ home.

“Usually, we never do find out for sure,” Gardner says contact tracing is challenging. He says one staffer was in contact with a person who travelled out of the country and tested positive for COVID-19 but says it’s unknown if that was the source.

Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital took the lead on containing the outbreak after Gardner issued the order on Saturday.

“The health unit, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, and Roberta Place, as well as our partners including the Red Cross, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, community physicians, are all working together to contain the spread of the virus and protect residents and staff,” Gardner adds.

The health unit says it is testing to find out what strain of COVID-19 they are dealing with using a two-part test.

The first part of the test indicated “a very high probability that they are of a variant strain of concern.” The second portion of the test is a whole-genome sequencing that determines the exact strain.

Gardner says the concern goes beyond Roberta Place. “This institution, like any, is part of the community,” he says. “There is potential for it to spread to the community.”

“We know from research that it [the strain] is more communicable,” Gardner says.

Meanwhile, a mobile vaccine clinic administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents who were able and willing.

“We understand that these are very unprecedented and challenging times for the families, residents and staff of Roberta Place, and we appreciate the concern of all involved as we get more information on the variant in the coming days,” said Dr. Gardner.

The results from the genome testing are expected in three to four days.

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B.C. records 500 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 more deaths – CBC.ca

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B.C. health officials announced 500 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 more deaths on Wednesday.

In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 320 people, 66 of whom are in intensive care.

Hospitalizations are at their lowest level since Nov. 30,  though the 14 deaths represent the second highest total recorded in January. 

A total of 1,104 people in B.C. have lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

There are currently 4,345 active cases of coronavirus in the province, with public health monitoring 6,905 people across the province who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. More than 55,564 people who tested positive have recovered.  

B.C. recorded two new outbreaks in health-care facilities at Villa Cathay in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and Acropolis Manor in the Northern Health Authority. 

There is one new community outbreak at the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre.

Outbreaks at Guildford Seniors Village and Maple Ridge Seniors Village in the Fraser Health authority, as well as Mountainview Village and Village by the Station in the Interior Health authority have been declared over.

So far, 98,125 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C.

The province has had to adjust its vaccination plan in response to news that Pfizer-BioNTech isn’t sending any doses of its vaccine to Canada next week, leaving B.C. with a shortfall of 5,800 doses. 

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B.C. reports 500 new COVID-19 cases, 32 in Island Health – CHEK

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British Columbia health officials on Wednesday reported 500 new cases of COVID-19, including 32 new cases Island Health, since their last update on Jan. 19.

Officials also reported an additional 14 deaths in the past 24 hours.

The number of confirmed cases in B.C. 62,412 while the province’s death toll is now 1,104.

Of the new cases, 125 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 216 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 32 in the Island Health region, 91 in the Interior Health region, 35 in the Northern Health region. There was one new case identified in an individual who does not normally reside in Canada.

There are currently 4,345 active cases in the province, 320 people in hospital — 66 of whom are in intensive care — and 6,905 people under active public health monitoring due to possible exposure to an identified case.

A total of 55,564 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 98,125 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered province-wide.

More to come

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