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First shipment of Moderna vaccine arrives in New Brunswick –



Another 1,200 New Brunswickers will be vaccinated against COVID-19 beginning next week after the first shipment of Moderna vaccine arrived in the province Wednesday afternoon.

Shawn Berry, a spokesperson with the Department of Health, said 2,400 doses were expected. Since half of the shipment is going to be reserved for the second dose to be administered after 28 days, only 1,200 New Brunswickers will be getting shots this time around.

Berry said the province is collaborating with partner agencies to administer the vaccine to long-term care residents in nursing homes and adult residential facilities around the province. 

He said the “vast majority” of vaccines will go to long-term care residents, including a long-term care facility within a First Nations community. He said the priority is for residents over the age of 85.

While New  Brunswick hasn’t been specific about when other “older” populations will be eligible to receive the vaccine, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization suggested that people over 70 be in the first wave of vaccinations. The committee recommended starting with people over 80 and then decreasing by five-year increments to 70 as supply becomes available.

“As availability of the vaccine increases and eligibility is expanded, information will be provided to indicate how individuals in other eligible groups can register to receive the vaccine,” Berry said by email. 

Public Health Agency of Canada guidelines for who should get vaccinated for COVID-19 first. (CBC News)

Berry said a small number of doses may go to those who work at long-term care facilities, or to health-care workers, but only if there’s enough to go around after the priority residents are vaccinated.

He said health officials are currently contacting facilities around the province to arrange vaccinations beginning next week. 

“As availability of the vaccine increases and eligibility is expanded, information will be provided to indicate how individuals in other eligible groups can register to receive the vaccine,” said Berry. 

The province’s first vaccination clinic was held in Miramichi on Dec. 19 and 20. A second clinic was held Dec. 23, 24 and 27 in Moncton. Both of those clinics used the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. 

So far, two COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use in Canada. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved by Health Canada on Dec. 9, and the first doses arrived in New Brunswick on Dec. 15. 

Moderna’s vaccine was approved on Dec. 23 “after a thorough, independent review of the evidence” on safety, efficacy and quality requirements, officials said in a release.

The two vaccines are among several that have been pre-ordered by the Canadian government.

A nurse prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital, in Toronto. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Both require an initial dose and a followup one — Pfizer-BioNTech after 21 days and Moderna after 28. 

Pfizer-BioNTech has said its vaccine is 95 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19, while Moderna said its vaccine is more than 94 per cent effective. 

The province has said more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are on the way, with 3,900 scheduled to arrive next week, and “regular deliveries” starting the week of Jan. 11.

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Pfizer cutting back vaccine deliveries to Canada due to production issues – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News



Cassandra Szklarski , The Canadian Press

Published Friday, January 15, 2021 10:13AM EST

Last Updated Friday, January 15, 2021 2:47PM EST

OTTAWA – Only half of Canada’s promised COVID-19 vaccine doses by Pfizer-BioNTech will arrive in the next month, federal officials revealed Friday, blaming production issues in Belgium that will affect immediate vaccination plans.

Procurement minister Anita Anand said Canada faces an “unfortunate” delay that is nonetheless expected to be made up by the end of March, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted most Canadians will still be vaccinated by the fall.

News of the Pfizer delay drew immediate concern from Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe who said the province’s strategy for the two-dose regime depends on steady shipments.

“We have been planning our vaccine rollout based on this schedule, including second dosages,” said Moe, noting he expected 11,700 doses a week in February.

“If this has changed, they need to advise us immediately.”

In British Columbia, where all available doses are being deployed as they arrive, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the delay will have “some significant effect” on when priority groups get their shot.

“Obviously, when you receive fewer doses you immunize fewer people,” said Dix.

The delay could also affect the wait time between each shot of the two-dose regime, he said.

Although Pfizer-BioNTech suggests a second dose 21 days after the first, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that could be extended to 35 days.

A spokeswoman for Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said the temporary slowdown reinforced the province’s decision to wait up to 90 days to administer the vaccine’s second dose.

“The strategy remains the same: we must give a boost now and vaccinate as many vulnerable people and health workers as possible, as quickly as possible,” said Marjaurie Cote-Boileau.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the province was evaluating the impact of the delay and “will adjust as necessary.”

Maj-Gen. Dany Fortin, who is leading the national vaccine distribution, said Pfizer’s production delays would reduce deliveries by an average of 50 per cent over the coming weeks.

He said that won’t be felt until after next week because Canada’s upcoming shipment has already been prepared. But the final week of January will bring “about a quarter of what we expected.”

“The numbers will pick right back up after that to about half of what we had expected (and) progressively grow into the rest of February,” said Fortin.

“Pfizer is telling us it will impact us for four weeks.”

According to the government’s website, more than 200,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were expected in each of the next two weeks and 1.4 million doses were expected in February.

Trudeau said Ottawa was “working day in and day out to get vaccines delivered as quickly as possible” but acknowledged that Pfizer-BioNTech doses have been derailed in the short-term.

Trudeau said this is why Canada has one of the most diverse vaccine portfolios in the world, pointing to seven bilateral agreements he says ensure “flexibility when it comes to supply chains.”

“I want to be very clear: this does not impact our goal to have enough vaccines available by September for every Canadian who wants one,” Trudeau said from outside Rideau Cottage.

Anand said all countries that receive vaccines from Pfizer’s European facility have been affected but that Canada has been assured it will receive four million doses by the end of March.

“This is unfortunate. However such delays and issues are to be expected when global supply chains are stretched well beyond their limits,” Anand said at a news conference.

“It’s not a stoppage.”

Pfizer Canada spokeswoman Christina Antoniou said the production facility in Puurs, Belgium is undergoing modifications in the coming weeks to increase the number of doses it can pump out.

Pfizer hopes to double its 2021 production to two billion doses.

“Pfizer Canada will continue to pursue its efforts in anticipation that by the end of March, we will be able to catch up to be on track for the total committed doses for Q1,” Antoniou said.

The news came as Ottawa released federal projections that suggested the pandemic may soon exceed levels seen in the first wave, rising to 19,630 cumulative deaths and 10,000 daily infections in a little over a week.

The modelling shows total cases could grow to nearly 796,630 from about 694,000, and that another 2,000 people could die by Jan. 24.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam urged sustained vigilance as a long-range forecast suggested rapid growth would continue without “quick, strong and sustained” measures.

Tam said that’s especially so in national hot spots of Quebec and Ontario, where a steady increase in hospitalizations has strained the health system’s ability to keep up with critical care demands. The post-holiday projections do not take into account Quebec’s recently implemented four-week curfew or Ontario’s new stay-at-home orders.

Tam emphasized the need to reduce community spread to help relieve some of the pressure on hospitals and long-term care homes.

“The vaccine alone is not going to make a dent in some of that,” she said.

Ontario reported 100 deaths linked to COVID-19, although that took into account a difference in database reporting between one of its health units and the province.

The province’s newly resolved tally added 46 deaths from Middlesex-London that occurred earlier in the pandemic.

Ontario also reported 2,998 new cases of COVID-19 with 800 of those new cases in Toronto, 618 in Peel Region and 250 in York Region.

Quebec reported 1,918 new COVID-19 cases and 62 more deaths, including nine that occurred in the past 24 hours.

Concern also remained in Atlantic Canada’s hot spot of New Brunswick, which reported 25 new cases and remains at the province’s second-highest pandemic alert level.

with files from Catherine Levesque and Mia Rabson in Ottawa, Shawn Jeffords in Toronto, Stephanie Taylor in Regina, and Hina Alam in Vancouver.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021.

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Coronavirus: Toronto ICU patients being flown to other hospitals as facilities overloaded – Global News



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  1. Coronavirus: Toronto ICU patients being flown to other hospitals as facilities overloaded  Global News
  2. Active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations climb as Ottawa reports 136 new cases Saturday  CTV Edmonton
  3. A run with friends? A distanced drink? Let’s dig into Ontario’s opaque gathering rules
  4. Ontario reports 3056 new COVID-19 infections, 51 more deaths  CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News
  5. Today’s letters: On travelling – and staying home – during COVID lockdown  Ottawa Citizen
  6. View Full coverage on Google News

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Key COVID-19 numbers in the Ottawa area today –



  • Ottawa is reporting 136 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.
  • Western Quebec has confirmed 43 new infections today.

Today’s Ottawa update

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recorded 136 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. OPH also declared 111 more cases resolved and reported no new deaths.

The infection rate in Ottawa has risen to record levels since around Christmas, prompting OPH to declare the city is once again in a COVID-19 crisis.

The current lockdown in eastern Ontario went into effect Dec. 26, and is now scheduled to last until Feb. 11.

A provincial stay-at-home order is also in effect. 

Numbers to watch

88.9: The number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Ottawa residents, down from Friday.

1.01: The average number of people infected by a single COVID-19 case, or R(t), has been in gradual decline this month but remains unchanged since Friday. OPH aims to keep the number below one.

4.1%: Ottawa’s average test positivity percentage, down from 4.5 per cent.

Across the region

Health authorities in western Quebec are reporting 43 new cases of COVID-19 but no more deaths.

Quebec’s lockdown lasts until Feb. 8. It includes an 8 p.m. curfew that went into effect last weekend.

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