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Fact of use of AstraZeneca, J&J COVID vaccines

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(Reuters) -Following is an outline of countries that have restricted or suspended use of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, after Europe confirmed possible links to rare blood clots.

J&J and AstraZeneca have stated that no clear causal relationship has been established between the clots and their vaccines. The European Medicines Agency has so far maintained that the benefits of both the shots outweigh any risks.

COUNTRIES USING THE ASTRAZENECA VACCINE WITH RESTRICTIONS

AUSTRALIA

Recommended on April 8 that people under 50 should get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in preference to AstraZeneca’s.

BRITAIN

Vaccination committee has said an alternative should be given for people under 30 where possible, but that people who have received a first dose of the vaccine should get a second shot.

BULGARIA

Suspended use of vaccine on April 19 for women below 60 years who are at increased risk of thrombosis.

CANADA

Said in early April it would pause offering the vaccine to people under 55 and require a new analysis of the shot.

ESTONIA

Suspended use for people under 60 on April 7.

FRANCE

Is using vaccine only for people aged 55 and over. On April 9, recommended that people under 55 who have had a first dose of the AstraZeneca shot should receive a messenger RNA vaccine for their second dose.

FINLAND

Is using only for people aged 65 and over.

GEORGIA

Is using only in medical centres Russian news agency TASS reported on March 19.

GERMANY

Restricts use to those aged over 60. Recommended on April 1 that people under 60 who have had a first dose of AstraZeneca should receive a different second shot.

INDONESIA

Is using the vaccine but has warned against giving it to people with a low blood platelet count.

IRELAND

Said on April 12 it was restricting use of the vaccine to those over 60.

ITALY

Recommends use only for people over 60.

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

Said on April 8 it would limit use of the vaccine to people over 60.

NORTH MACEDONIA

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

PHILIPPINES

Said on April 19 it would resume administering the vaccine to under-60s after having temporarily suspended use on April 8.

SOUTH KOREA

Resumed use of the shot for people aged 30 or older on April 12 after suspending use in under-60s on April 7.

SPAIN

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

SWEDEN

Using for people aged 65 and older.

COUNTRIES WHERE ASTRAZENECA VACCINE USE IS SUSPENDED

CAMEROON

Said on March 18 it was suspending administration of shots the country was due to receive.

DENMARK

Said on April 14 it would stop using the AstraZeneca vaccine, the first country to do so. On April 19, Ritzau news agency reported that authorities may permit people to choose to have the vaccine.

NORWAY

The government suspended administration of the shot on March 11 and is assessing whether to follow an Institute of Public Health recommendation to end its use.

J&J VACCINE – REVIEWS, DELAYS AND USE

EUROPEAN UNION

J&J said on April 20 it would resume rollout of the vaccine in Europe with a safety warning after regulators said they found a possible link to rare blood clotting issues but backed its overall benefits against any risks.

Use in the EU was not yet widespread as the company began deliveries only in the week of April 12. At least seven EU countries resumed use of the vaccine following the regulator’s decision.

COUNTRIES THAT HAVE RESUMED USE OF J&J VACCINE

UNITED STATES

Health regulators said on April 23 the country can immediately resume use of the J&J vaccine, ending a 10-day pause.

FRANCE

Government said on April 21 that it plans to start using the vaccine the following week.

GERMANY

The health ministry said on April 21 it will soon start delivering the vaccine to federal states for use in vaccination centres. On April 23, the country decided not to impose limits on use.

GREECE

Plans to start rollout on May 5 after suspending vaccinations on April 19.

ITALY

Health ministry on April 20 recommended the vaccine be used for people over the age of 60.

NETHERLANDS

Resumed use of the vaccine from April 21.

POLAND

Started administering the J&J shot on April 15, saying benefits outweigh potential risks

SOUTH AFRICA

Researchers hope to resume a study using the vaccine in the week of April 26, to immunise healthcare workers.

SPAIN

Spanish regions began using the vaccine to inoculate 70-79 year olds on April 22.

COUNTRIES WHERE RESTRICTIONS CONTINUE ON J&J VACCINE

BELGIUM

Delayed J&J rollout at the company’s request on April 14.

DENMARK

The health authority said on April 21 it expects to announce its decision the following week.

SWEDEN

The Public Health Agency said on April 19 it was extending its recommendation against starting vaccinations.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka, Vishwadha Chander, Yadarisa Shabong, Manas Mishra, Amruta Khandekar and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; editing by Catherine Evans and Frances Kerry)

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Man assaulted nurse over vaccinating his wife: Quebec cops – Toronto Sun

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The man accused the nurse of having “vaccinated his wife without his consent” before repeatedly punching the woman in the face, police said.

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Sherbrooke police have turned to the public to help track down a man who assaulted a nurse Monday at a local pharmacy.

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Police say a man showed up at the office of a nurse assigned to give vaccinations at a pharmacy on 12th Ave. N.

“He was angry and aggressive,” said police spokesperson Martin Carrier.

The man accused the nurse of having “vaccinated his wife without his consent” before repeatedly punching the woman in the face and leaving, police said, adding that the nurse was taken to hospital to treat “serious” injuries to her face.

The man being sought is 30 to 45 years old, of medium build and has a dark complexion. He has short dark hair, dark eyes and “big eyebrows.”

The man spoke French and was wearing a dark sweater and jeans. He wore earrings and had a hand tattooed with what resembled the image of a cross.

Police are urging anyone with any information on the case to call them at 1-800-771-1800.

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B.C. reports 759 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths, 1 death in Island Health – CHEK

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British Columbia health officials on Wednesday reported 759 new COVID-19 cases — including 79 in Island Health — and 10 new deaths since their last update on Sept. 21.

One of the deaths was in Island Health, the province says.

The number of confirmed cases in B.C. is now at 180,937 while the death toll climbs to 1,910.

There are currently 5,458 active cases in the province, 324 people in hospital — 157 of whom are in intensive care. The provincial government says there are 636 active cases in the Island Health region.

Of the new cases identified, 79 were in Island Health, 233 were in Interior Health, 214 were in Fraser Health, 129 were in Northern Health, 101 were in Vancouver Coastal Health and three were people who normally reside outside of the country.

A total of 173,215 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 7,739,828 doses of vaccine have been administered province-wide.

Today’s data was released as a statement to the media.

Island Health

According to the latest update on Island Health’s dashboard shows that there are 563 active cases — 44 in North Island, 180 in Central Island, and 339 in South Island — on Vancouver Island.

Thirty-five people in the region are currently in hospital with COVID-19, 20 of whom are in critical care.

Over the past 24 hours, there were 188 recoveries, 1,358 new tests for COVID-19 performed, and 2,370 doses of vaccine administered in the region. Of those doses, 37 were AstraZeneca, 1,409 were Moderna and 924 doses were Pfizer.

A total of 1,289,871 vaccine doses — 619,306 of those are second doses — have now been administered on Vancouver Island. This includes 33,465 doses of AstraZeneca, 345,767 doses of Moderna and 910,639 doses of Pfizer.

Since the onset of the pandemic, there have been 8,020 cases reported, 59 deaths, 355 total hospitalizations, and 7,254 recoveries recorded on Vancouver Island.

Cases and deaths continue to climb this month

With Wednesday’s announcement of 79 new cases and yet another death in Island Health, the region has now recorded 11 deaths and seen a 22 per cent increase in new cases since the beginning of September.

Since Sept. 1, total hospitalizations on the Island have risen 23 per cent while the total number of recoveries has increased by 22 per cent.

When it comes to active cases, the data isn’t as clear due to major discrepancies between the two main reporting agencies, Island Health and the BCCDC.

Island Health’s data shows that active cases in the region have increased by 31 per cent since the beginning of the month, while the BCCDC’s data shows that active cases have only increased by 18 per cent during the same period.

However, Island Health is the only agency to provide daily updates on active cases with a breakdown by region and based on their latest data update, active cases in the South Island are the highest they have ever been.

More concerning, perhaps, is that active cases on the South Island have increased 113 per cent since Sept. 8. Active cases in Central Island have only managed to climb by 10 per cent since Sept. 8 and on the brighter side, active cases in the North Island have decreased by 37 per cent during the same period.

The vaccine card effect on Vancouver Island

Time — and likely one’s perspective — will only tell whether the B.C. vaccine card system proves to be effective here on the Island. But if the provincial government’s goal was strictly to get more shots in people’s arms for the first time, then it appears to be working to a degree.

On Aug. 23, which was the day Premier John Horgan announced the vaccine card system, a total of 640,426 first doses had been administered on Vancouver Island.

That number had climbed to 649,293 — slightly more than 1 per cent — by Sept. 1, less than two weeks before the B.C. vaccine card system was to come into effect.

But by Sept. 22, more than a week after the B.C. vaccine card system was implemented, that figure had increased to 670,565 first doses, a five per cent increase since Aug. 23.

That may not seem like a lot, but that does mean 30,139 people in the region opted to get the first dose of vaccine in less than a month.

However, it is worth pointing out that the total number of vaccine doses — first and second doses combined — administered on Vancouver Island has risen by 3.3 per cent since Sept. 1 and just 1.5 per cent since Sept. 13, the day the B.C. vaccine card coming into force.

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New Zealand’s Ardern says lockdowns can end with high vaccine uptake

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday the country should aim for a 90%-plus rate of inoculation, and could drop strict coronavirus lockdown measures once enough people were vaccinated.

New Zealand eliminated COVID-19 last year and remained largely virus-free until an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant in August led to a nationwide lockdown.

With its biggest city Auckland still in lockdown and new cases being reported every day, Ardern said vaccinations will replace lockdowns as the main tool against the virus, allowing authorities to isolate only those who are infected.

“If that rate (of vaccinations) is high enough then we will be able to move away from lockdowns as a tool,” she said.

The highest possible vaccine rates will give the most freedoms, Ardern said, adding that the country should be aiming for a 90% plus rate of vaccination.

After a sluggish start to its vaccination campaign, some 40% of adult New Zealanders are fully vaccinated and about 75% have had at least one dose.

Authorities reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, all in Auckland, taking the total number of cases in the current outbreak to 1,123.

The Director General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield warned earlier this week that New Zealand may not get to zero COVID cases again.

 

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; editing by Richard Pullin)

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