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Elderly and at-risk inmates to receive COVID-19 vaccine on Friday – Global News

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Canadian inmates will be near the front of the line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Wednesday, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) announced that as part of the first phase of the vaccine rollout plan, 600 older and medically vulnerable federal inmates will receive the shot, as recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO) says the pilot project will see prisons receiving 1,200 doses of the vaccine — enough to vaccinate 600 inmates with the required two doses.

Read more:
Federal inmates to start receiving coronavirus vaccinations this week, union says

Premier Doug Ford voiced his displeasure with the vaccine plan during a COVID-19 briefing at Pearson Airport.

“When I first heard it, I didn’t believe it,” Ford said. “Let’s not give the most dangerous criminals in our country the vaccine before we give it to our long-term care patients and most vulnerable.”

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Global News spoke to a wife of an inmate in the Kingston, Ont., area on Wednesday, and she said that her husband is skeptical about the vaccine and was asked if he would accept it—he declined.






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Major COVID-19 outbreak at Joyceville Institution


Major COVID-19 outbreak at Joyceville Institution – Dec 18, 2020

“I feel like they’re taking a lot of the vulnerable population and kind of using them as guinea pigs,” said Tara Baker,  wife of a Joyceville Institution inmate.

Baker says that her husband is worried that he will face future complications from the vaccine.

She says he applied for medical temporary absence in the summer, claiming he met the criteria due to his history of pulmonary embolism, scarring on his lungs from a previous illness and chronic asthma– but he remains behind bars.

“They are putting them in the same place and just kind of hoping for the best,” said Baker.

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Baker, along with prisoner advocates, has been calling for early release for at-risk inmates since the pandemic began as they say the confined spaces within the prison puts inmates in grave danger.

Read more:
Inmates in Canadian prisons should get speedy access to coronavirus vaccine: advocates 

Criminology associate professor at the University of Ottawa, Justin Piché, says vaccinating elderly and at-risk prisoners needs to be done, not only for the inmate’s sake but also for the community.

“If they won’t let them go, if we won’t let them go as a society, we need to vaccinate them,” said Piché. “What happens behind bars in terms of COVID transmission has impacts and implications for all of us, which is why prisoners, as well as prison staff, should have priority access to the vaccine.”


Click to play video 'Canada’s inmate population decreasing amid COVID-19'



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Canada’s inmate population decreasing amid COVID-19


Canada’s inmate population decreasing amid COVID-19 – Aug 16, 2020

According to the union representing corrections officers, members will have to wait behind inmates before they are vaccinated.

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The wait has raised concerns from regional unions, as prison outbreaks don’t only affect inmates, but dozens of correctional officers and employees have tested positive as well.

“We need the vaccine for our members so we can get more people back in the workplace, but our members are very tired right now,” said Rob Finucan, Ontario regional president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers.

CSC issued a statement saying that it and the Public Health Agency of Canada are working closely with the provinces and territories to facilitate access to the COVID-19 vaccine during the first phase for staff such as health-care workers who work closely with infected inmates and other priority groups identified by NACI.

“The health and safety of our employees, inmates, and the public is a top priority for the Correctional Service of Canada. This is very welcome news, as we know vaccines are a critical way to limit the spread of COVID-19. We will continue working with our public health partners, unions and stakeholders to roll out measures that help protect everyone during this public health pandemic,” Anne Kelly, CSC Commissioner.

Read more:
More than 100 federal inmates, corrections officers test positive for COVID-19

The number of vaccines divided up between each federal prison is unclear.

On Tuesday, CSC reported that in Ontario, Joyceville Institution in Kingston has 67 active cases and a total of 151 cases. Warkworth Institution has one active case and a total of three.

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A full list can be found on the Government of Canada website. 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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BC releases vaccine rollout timelines – CKPGToday.ca

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The plan will see 7.4 million doses of vaccine administered to every British Columbian who is eligible to receive it between April and the end of September.

The plan, which got underway in December, starts by first immunizing those who are most vulnerable to severe illness and death, including long-term care residents and the health-care workers who care for them, remote and at-risk Indigenous communities, and seniors.

Phase 1 has had more than 103,000 people in B.C. receiving their first dose of vaccine and second doses are underway. Phase 2, starting in late February, expands immunizations to additional vulnerable populations, Indigenous communities and Elders, health-care staff and all seniors over the age of 80. Together, these two phases are focused on people who are most at risk.

As age is the single greatest risk factor for severe illness and death, Phase 3, starting in April, will expand to include people between the ages of 79 to 75 and work backwards in five-year increments to include those age 60 and over. Also included in this phase are people with certain underlying health conditions that make them clinically extremely vulnerable.

The government says it is important to note that no one will lose their place in line. For example, if an elderly relative is in Phase 2 and cannot be immunized at that time, they can be immunized at any point thereafter.

As additional vaccines are approved and become available, people who are front-line essential workers or work in specific workplaces or industries may also be able to start receiving vaccines later in Phase 3.

Phase 4 is anticipated to begin in July 2021 for the rest of the eligible population, starting with people aged 59 to 55 and working backwards in five-year age groups until everyone over the age of 18 who wants a COVID-19 vaccine receives it.

Approximately four million British Columbians are eligible to receive the COVID-19 immunization. Starting in March 2021, pre-registration for the vaccine will begin to open online and by phone for the general public, starting with those aged 79 to 75. Those who are considered “clinically extremely vulnerable” will receive their immunization beginning in April. People who are pre-registered will get a reminder to book their appointment as soon as they are eligible.

Vaccination Schedule:

Age Population Doses

  • 60-64 82,000: July dose 1, August dose 2
  • 55-59 369,700 July dose 1, August dose 2
  • 50-54 342,300 July dose 1, August dose 2
  • 45-49 318,200 July dose 1, August dose 2
  • 40-44 330,200 July dose 1, August dose 2
  • 35-39 370,650 July/August dose 1, August/Sept dose 2
  • 30-34 379,450 August dose 1, September dose 2
  • 25-29 359,600 August dose 1, September dose 2
  • 18-24 460,850 August dose 1, September dose 2

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The Latest: New virus clusters hit China's north provinces – Burnaby Now

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BEIJING — A Chinese city has brought 2,600 temporary treatment rooms online as the country’s north battles new clusters of coronavirus.

The single-occupancy rooms in the city of Nangong in Hebei province just outside Beijing are each equipped with their own heaters, toilets, showers and other amenities, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Special attention has been paid to Hebei because of its proximity to the capital and the province has locked down large areas to prevent further spread of the virus. The provincial capital Shijiazhung and the city of Xingtai, which encompasses Nangong, have been largely sealed off from the rest of the country. Community isolation and large-scale testing have also been enforced.

China on Saturday marked the anniversary of the start of a 76-day lockdown in the central city of Wuhan, where the virus was first detected in late 2019. A World Health Organization inspection team is in the city to probe the virus’ origins, amid stiff efforts by China to defend its response to the outbreak and promote theories that the virus might have come from elsewhere.

The National Health Commission on Sunday reported 19 additional cases had been detected in Hebei over the previous 24 hours. The far northeastern province of Heilongjiang reported another 29 cases, linked partly to an outbreak at a meat processing plant. Beijing, where around 2 million residents have been ordered to undergo new testing, reported two new confirmed cases.

China currently has 1,800 people being treated for COVID-19, 94 of them listed in serious condition, with another 1,017 being monitored in isolation for having tested positive for the virus without displaying symptoms.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

Life in the Chinese city of Wuhan has some normalcy a year after deadly pandemic erupted there. British doctors are urging the government to review its policy of delaying 2nd virus vaccine shot for 12 weeks. Hong Kong is in lockdown to contain the coronavirus. And Mexico’s president has OK’d states acquiring vaccines. ___

Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SEATTLE — Washington and Oregon are now confirming additional cases of the more contagious variant of COVID-19 in the Pacific Northwest. The Washington Department of Health announced Saturday that the B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom last September, has been confirmed by DNA sequencing in two cases in Snohomish County. Those are the first confirmed cases in Washington. The Oregon Health Authority confirmed a second case, in someone from Yamhill County, a week after the first case was detected in Multnomah County. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no conclusive evidence that it’s more severe than other strains of the virus.

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NEW YORK — New York will be sending more vaccination preparation kits to senior housing complexes and churches in an effort to ensure fairness in vaccine distributions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

The kits include syringes, vials, room dividers, privacy curtains, cleaning supplies, personal protective gear and other items. They also include instructions on how to set up a vaccination site.

New York deployed the first kits last week to five New York City Housing Authority senior citizen complexes and eight churches and cultural centres where nearly 4,200 people eligible to receive the vaccine were vaccinated, Cuomo said.

Kits are now being sent to four additional New York City senior complexes and eight other churches statewide, with plans to vaccine another 3,000 people at those locations by Tuesday. Locations in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and Buffalo will be receiving the kits.

The kits are part of an effort to ensure vaccinations in Black, Latino and other communities where COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact, the governor said.

Also Saturday, the governor’s office reported 144 more deaths statewide from the coronavirus. More than 8,800 people were hospitalized, a drop of 44 compared with Friday’s data.

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SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court has denied a Southern California church’s request to overturn the state’s coronavirus restrictions barring worship services indoors during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sacramento Bee says Friday’s ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals leaves the door open for addressing Gov. Gavin Newsom administration’s limits on church attendance if a California county is in a less-restrictive COVID-19 tier.

A three-judge panel ruled against South Bay United Pentecostal Church of Chula Vista over public health orders that restrict religious services from being held inside while virus case rates and hospitalizations remain high.

Currently in California, indoor worship services are banned in all purple-tiered counties — those deemed to be at widespread risk of coronavirus transmission. This tier accounts for the vast majority of the state. Just four counties are in less-restrictive tiers.

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SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico on Saturday reported 859 additional COVID-19 cases and 38 more deaths.

That increases the state’s pandemic totals to 168,579 cases and 3,115 deaths.

Bernalillo County had the most additional cases with 184, followed by 83 in San Juan County, 74 in Dona Ana County and 53 in McKinley County.

Most of the additional deaths involved older New Mexicans, but they also included several people in their 20s and 30s.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

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RIO DE JANEIRO — The governor of Brazil´s Amazonas state has announced tough new lockdown measures to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases that has overwhelmed local hospitals.

Gov. Wilson Lima said Saturday that as of Monday, the state’s 4 million people can only go out for essential activities such as buying food or seeking medical attention.

Hospitals in the state capital of Manaus have been strained amid reports that a new variant of the novel coronavirus is more contagious, and the state has seen a shortage of oxygen supplies. The state health secretary says 584 people are on a waiting list for hospital beds, 101 of them requiring intensive therapy.

“People need to understand that we have to take tough measures to save as many lives as possible,” Lima said in an announcement posted on social media.

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HELSINKI — Norway says its capital, Oslo, and nine municipalities have been placed under strict restrictions to contain the spread of the new variant of the coronavirus first detected in Britain.

The Norwegian government said shopping centres and other non-essential stores in those regions were closed at noon on Saturday, and would remain shut at least until Jan. 31.

In addition, organized sports activities were halted, schools were ordered to rely increasingly on remote teaching and households were requested to not invite visitors home in those specified areas.

Norwegian health officials say the Scandinavian country of 5.4 million has so far identified some 55 cases of the virus variant which has spread widely in Britain.

Neighbouring Sweden, where the overall pandemic situation is substantially worse than in Norway, said late Saturday that it was planning to launch a temporary entry ban from Norway due to the new mutated form of COVID-19.

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LAS VEGAS — Federal prosecutors have charged a Nevada man with fraudulently obtaining about $2 million in federal coronavirus relief aid, meant for small businesses, to buy luxury vehicles and condominiums in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the U.S. attorney’s office in Nevada accused Jorge Abramovs of bank fraud after he allegedly applied for funding to at least seven banks between April and June 2020.

The complaint said a financial analysis determined Abramovs spent the money on personal luxury items, including a 2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible for more than $260,000 and a 2020 Tesla Model 3 for about $55,000.

Abramovs was ordered remanded in custody on Friday during a detention hearing.

A defence lawyer assigned to represent Abramovs didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request by The Associated Press for comment.

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CHICAGO — Restaurants and certain bars across Chicago and suburban Cook County have opened their doors to customers for the first time since late October after winning approval Saturday from Illinois health officials.

With the city and county moving up to Tier I of the state’s coronavirus mitigation plan, restaurants and bars that serve food can seat customers indoors at 25% capacity or 25 people per room, whichever is less.

Tables will be limited to no more than four people indoors or six people outdoors, and tables must be spaced 6 feet apart. Indoor service will be limited to a maximum of two hours and bars and restaurants must close by 11 p.m.

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden pledged in his inaugural address to level with the American people, and the message from his first three days in office has been nothing if not grim and grimmer.

He has painted a bleak picture of the country’s immediate future dealing with the coronavirus, warning Americans that it will take months, not weeks, to reorient a nation facing a historic convergence of crises.

The dire language is meant as a call to action, but it is also a deliberate effort to temper expectations. The U.S. is trying to roll out its vaccination program, with issues of slow production and distribution.

The U.S. leads the world with 24.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 415,000 deaths.

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MILAN — Italian premier Giuseppe Conte is pledging legal action not only against Pfizer but any pharmaceutical company that doesn’t meet its coronavirus vaccine commitments.

Conte says delays announced by a second company, AstraZeneca, were “worrying” and if confirmed would mean that Italy would receive an initial delivery of 3.4 million doses instead of the agreed 8 million.

Conte says the “the slowdown in deliveries constitute serious contractual violations that produce enormous damages to Italy and other European countries, with direct repercussions on the lives and health of citizens and on our socio-economic fabric, already badly tested by a year of the pandemic.”

He pledged Italy would take every legal recourse “as we are already doing with Pfizer-Biontech.”

Italy is under tiered restrictions and intensive care wards have surpassed the threshold for alarm in five regions.

On Saturday, 13,000 new cases and 488 deaths were recorded by the Health Ministry. Italy’s death toll of 85,000 is the second highest in Europe and sixth highest in the world.

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MADRID — Spain’s top military commander has been forced to resign after he and other high-ranking officers violated established protocols and received the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of time.

Spain’s defence ministry confirmed to The Associated Press on Saturday that Minister Margarita Robles had accepted the resignation of Chief of Staff Gen. Miguel Ángel Villarroya.

His resignation comes after online news site El Confidencial Digital reported that Villarroya and other top brass had broken national protocols for Spain’s vaccination strategy, which currently only allows nursing home residents and medical workers to receive shots. Several public officials have jumped the vaccine queue in recent weeks, including a regional health chief for southeast Murcia, who also resigned.

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska health officials say they are considering moving up teachers on the state’s vaccine list as more students have restarted in-person instruction.

A top vaccine official with the state Department of Health and Social Services made the announcement.

The state has prioritized health care workers, seniors 65 years or older and long-term care residents and staff.

Teachers 50 years or older, residents that have two or more high-risk health conditions and other essential workers will be prioritized next.

State officials say conversations about vaccinating teachers are happening both in Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office and among a scientific and medical advisory committee that helped develop the state’s vaccine policy.

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MECCA, Calif. — Advocacy groups are heading into farm fields in California to bring vaccines and information to migrant labourers in Spanish and other languages.

Some immigrants in the country illegally may fear that information taken during vaccinations could be turned over to authorities and not seek out vaccines. Those who speak little or no English may find it difficult to access shots.

These challenges are particularly worrying for Latino immigrants, who make a large portion of the workforce in industries where they have a significant risk of exposure.

In California’s sprawling Riverside County, home to a $1.3 billion agriculture industry, a health care non-profit went to a grape farm to register workers for vaccine appointments. The Desert Healthcare District and Foundation also shares information about the virus and how to get tested on WhatsApp in Spanish.

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network has used a Spanish-language radio show on social media to share information.

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PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. — A multipurpose arena in Prescott Valley will be the latest large venue in Arizona to become a COVID-19 vaccination site.

Cottonwood-based Spectrum Healthcare on Monday will open an appointment-only site called “Vaccination Station” inside Findlay Toyota Center, a 5,100-seat facility that has hosted events including basketball games, rodeos, concerts and ice shows. The Daily Courier reports that Spectrum plans to administer shots to as many as 1,000 people daily.

Pima County already opened a drive-through vaccination site in Tucson at Kino Sports Complex. The state plans to open a site at the Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Feb. 1.

Arizona has the worst infection rate in the country with 1 in every 141 residents diagnosed with the coronavirus in the past week.

The Department of Health Services on Friday reported 8,099 new cases and 229 more deaths. That increased the state’s confirmed pandemic totals to 708,041 cases and 12,001 deaths.

___

MEXICO CITY — Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has given state governors permission to acquire coronavirus vaccines on their own.

With coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths at record highs in recent days, the federal government hasn’t received enough vaccine for the country’s 750,000 front-line medical workers.

So state governors have been calling for permission to obtain vaccines on their own, and the president said Friday they can do so as long as they inform federal officials and use only approved vaccines.

Also, López Obrador announced Mexico plans to start vaccinating teachers and other school personnel in one of the country’s 32 states this weekend with an eye toward resuming in-person classes there in late February.

Officials reported more than 21,000 confirmed infections Friday, a day after the country listed a record 22,339 cases. Deaths related to the virus in the previous 24 hours reached 1,440.

Mexico ranks No. 4 in deaths with more than 147,000, behind the U.S., Brazil and India.

The Associated Press
































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Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine – Kamloops This Week

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WHITEHORSE — A cabinet minister says a couple from outside Yukon travelled to a remote community in the territory this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Community Services Minister John Streiker says he’s outraged the man and woman allegedly chartered a flight to Beaver Creek, the most westerly community in Canada near the border with Alaska, to get the shots.

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Streiker says he heard Thursday night that the Canadian couple arrived in Yukon on Tuesdayand declared they would follow the territory’s mandatory two-week self-isolation protocol, but instead travelled to Beaver Creek.

He says the two people have been charged under Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for failure to self-isolate and failure to behave in a manner consistent with their declaration upon arrival.

Streiker says the couple allegedly presented themselves as visiting workers, misleading staff at the mobile vaccination clinic in Beaver Creek.

He says territorial enforcement officers received a call about the couple, who were later intercepted at the Whitehorse airport trying to leave Yukon.

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail.

The RCMP have been notified, he said in an interview on Friday.

Streiker hadn’t confirmed where the couple are from, but he said they didn’t show Yukon health cards at the vaccination clinic.

Yukon has two vaccination teams that are visiting communities throughout the territory with priority going to residents and staff of group-living settings, health-care workers, people over 80 who aren’t living in long-term care, and Yukoners living in rural, remote and First Nation communities.

Beaver Creek was chosen as a priority community to receive doses of COVID-19 vaccine because it’s a remote border community, he said.

Yukon’s chief medical officer of health has indicated he believes the risk to the community as a result of the couple’s visit is low, Streiker added.

Streiker said there may be more scrutiny at vaccine clinics when people show up from outside Yukon, but officials are still working through options to prevent such a situation from happening again.

“I find it frustrating because what that does is it makes more barriers,” he said. “We’ve been trying to remove all barriers to get the vaccine for our citizens and so if there’s another sort of layer of check, I just don’t want it to make it harder for Yukoners to get their vaccines.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021.

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