The first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in New Brunswick was administered to a long-term care home resident at the Miramichi Regional Hospital Saturday morning.
Pauline Gauvin, an 84-year-old Miramichi resident, received one of 1,950 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses expected to be distributed to people in the province.
Gauvin said getting the shot was a piece of cake.
“I’m used to getting needles,” said Gauvin after getting the first shot.
Everyone getting this first shipment of the vaccine is from a high-priority group, which includes long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers and seniors 85 or older.
Nurses, doctors line up for shot
Nurse Nicolette Noel became the second person in New Brunswick to receive the shot. Noel is an RN at the Miramichi Regional Hospital ICU.
The jab was more personal for Noel as her mother, a public health nurse in Miramichi, gave her the shot.
“She told me to say … she gives a fabulous needle,” said Noel.
“It’s pretty special.”
After Noel came Dr. Carl Boucher, a family and emergency room doctor from Caraquet. Following Boucher was paramedic Joel LeFort of Moncton and extra-mural nurse Mandy Whalen of Dieppe.
More needles coming
On Friday, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said a lot of planning has gone into this weekend’s clinics.
“We’re fully booked, everything’s in place,” said Shephard.
“So we’re looking forward to a smooth weekend, and we’ll get those reports when it’s all done.”
The decision to hold the first clinics in Miramichi was announced last week.
The province’s fifth largest city was chosen because of its central location, both geographically and between the provinces two health authorities.
Here are the first five New Brunswickers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. <a href=”https://t.co/UDRZujAz0R”>pic.twitter.com/UDRZujAz0R</a>
The province says more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are on the way, with 3,900 scheduled to arrive next week, 3,900 on the week of Jan. 4 and “regular deliveries” starting during the week of Jan. 11.
B.C. faces tough choices as near-term Pfizer vaccine shipments cut in half – Global News
British Columbia health officials are working to determine how to prioritize who gets a COVID-19 immunization, amid a reduction in shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine they admit will have a significant effect.
Pfizer has announced a temporary delay in shipments of the vaccine as it scales up its European production centre.
That means that the 50,000-dose shipment British Columbia was expecting in February will be slashed in half.
Ottawa reassures Canadians after announcement of COVID-19 vaccine delay
“In some sectors the delivery will be delayed and that is just the reality we face,” Dix told Global News on Friday.
“What it will really affect is the February and March period … it obviously impacts the priority groups and second doses as well.”
Dix added that there was no interruption in the supply of the Moderna vaccine, and that the delay would have little effect on Pfizer shipments next week.
Focus BC: Vaccine rollout, long term care strategy during the pandemic
In an interview with Global’s Focus BC, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said her team was working to determine who will and won’t get their shot in that time period.
Officials must weigh whether to skip some front-line workers who are still waiting for their shot, or to extend the time period between when each person receives their first and second dose.
Pfizer guidelines call for the doses to be administered 21 days apart, while Canada’s vaccine advisory committee has recommended vaccines be given a maximum of 42 days after the first.
“People need to be reassured that even after 48 days and longer, it does not just drop off dramatically,” Henry said.
“We will look at how much vaccine is coming in, how many people are due to get their vaccine in that week (when) we will have less, and then we will have to make decisions on we have to optimize who gets vaccine at that time.”
How will I know it’s my turn to get the vaccine? Your COVID-19 questions answered
Henry said the silver lining of the temporary delay in doses was that the work Pfizer is doing at its plant will allow it to produce more vaccine down the road, some of which will come to British Columbia.
As of Friday, B.C. had given at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to nearly 76,000 people.
The province has concentrated distribution of its first doses of vaccine to front-line health-care workers, those working and living in long-term care facilities and First Nations communities.
Federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Friday the issues at Pfizer’s Belgium plant would result in an be an “unfortunate” situation where Canada would see its expected shipment of vaccine in February cut in half.
— With files from Richard Zussman and the Canadian Press
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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Couche-Tard seeks to rescue Carrefour bid as objections rise – BNN
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.’s top executives are in Paris seeking to salvage a US$20 billion bid for Carrefour SA as officials from Canada press the French government to relax its objections to the deal.
Pierre Fitzgibbon, the economy minister in Couche-Tard’s home province of Quebec, said he would speak with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire Friday to apply “positive pressure” in favor of the transaction. Fitzgibbon said he would stress the close-knit relationship between the province and France that has facilitated previous deals, including Alstom SA’s purchase of Bombardier Inc.’s rail unit, announced last year.
Couche-Tard “could be a very strategic shareholder that would benefit Carrefour’s operations in France,” Fitzgibbon said to reporters.
The Canadian convenience-store operator plans to pump 3 billion euros (US$3.6 billion) into the French supermarket operator over five years, according to a person familiar with the situation, as part of a set of assurances to the government of President Emmanuel Macron.
Other pledges include preserving jobs for two years, keeping Carrefour’s headquarters in France and maintaining stock listings in France as well as Canada, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.
Carrefour shares gave up some of this week’s gains after Le Maire said he was prepared to give a “clear and definitive no” to a deal, falling 2.9 per cent to 16.61 euros in Paris. Couche-Tard’s offer is for 20 euros per share; both sides see room for negotiation on the final price, according to people familiar with the situation.
A Carrefour representative didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Le Maire previously cited concerns about a French supermarket chain falling into foreign hands, saying the country needs to maintain domestic control over its food supply. France recently beefed up its authority to block foreign takeovers.
“We have the legal instrument available to us,” Le Maire said Friday. “I’d rather not have to use it, but will if needed.”
The finance ministry is ready to study the proposal once the Canadian side officially presents it, people familiar with the matter said earlier this week. They said Macron’s administration plans to take as long as needed to assess its impact on jobs and the sector.
Despite Le Maire’s strident comments, Couche-Tard Chief Executive Officer Brian Hannasch and other managers are in Paris negotiating with Carrefour’s leadership in an effort to come up with a package that’s palatable to the French company’s shareholders and the government, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Couche-Tard shares were up 5.1 per cent to $38.10 as of 12:47 p.m. Toronto time. Prior to Friday’s gains, they had fallen for eight consecutive days.
In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted that his government is prepared to throw its weight behind the company’s effort. “Our role as a government is always to be there to support Canadian companies including as they look to expand around the world. I know that discussions continue to be ongoing and I won’t make any further comments on that,” he told reporters Friday in Ottawa.
Carrefour employs around 100,000 people in France and is the country’s largest private employer, with stores ranging from convenience outlets to giant hypermarkets dotting the landscape.
The company has been implementing a turnaround plan under Chief Executive Officer Alexandre Bompard that involves investments in online shopping and organic food. Analysts point to the absence of geographical overlap between the companies.
The investment plan was reported first by Les Echos, which is owned by Bernard Arnault’s LVMH. Arnault also controls a 5.5 per cent stake in Carrefour.
If Couche-Tard goes ahead with its bid, it would need to submit its plans for screening by the Finance Ministry, which has 30 days to respond to such requests, to which it can add 45 days for a deeper examination. No reply from the government amounts to a refusal. In parallel, or before that, Couche-Tard could start informal negotiations on the commitments it’d be ready to make.
“If Carrefour’s board of directors and reference shareholders see a real strategic interest in the deal and manage to convince the Finance Ministry, the door could open,” said Pascal Bine, Paris-based partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
But that’s not a given in a country where riots over the availability of bread set in motion a process that toppled the monarchy in 1789, Bine added.
“Since the COVID crisis, a new paradigm has emerged, aimed at preserving the economic sovereignty of the country, including the supply of essential goods and services,” he said. “If people are not fed, it’s the Revolution.”
–With assistance from Kait Bolongaro and Derek Decloet.
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