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Four in five New Zealanders plan to get vaccinated, but many people want more information about vaccine safety – Medical Xpress

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New Zealanders’ intention to get a COVID-19 vaccine is at its highest since last year, at 81% of the adult population, according to our latest research.

Ministry of Health surveys, which have been tracking public acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines since last year, also confirm the potential uptake has increased to 80% in May, up from 77% in April and 69% in March this year.

Our , conducted between March and May, shows an increase by six percentage points among those who will “definitely” take the to protect themselves and their communities, to 67% in May compared to 61% in March.

The increase is visible across gender, age, education and ethnicity. Among Māori, we see a 10% increase among those “definitely” willing to be vaccinated, from 44% in March to 54% in May.

However, the number of people who say “definitely not” to vaccination remains relatively steady, dropping only slightly to 8% in May, from 9% in March.

The uptick in vaccination intentions is good news, but recent modeling suggests we will need to reach much higher vaccination rates to protect the population from the more transmissible Delta strain.

Of the survey respondents, fewer than a third (27%) have often or very often heard or read the government’s COVID-19 vaccination communication campaign on the radio, in newspapers or on social media in the last month. About four in ten people (43%) have often or very often heard about the campaign on television.

This lack of exposure is worrying. When we asked people who are hesitant or skeptical about vaccination what information they would need to change their mind, 30% said they’d want more information from the government. This is a substantial increase from 18% in March and suggests a low campaign reach.

The most frequently cited information request was for more vaccine safety data. This remained at 30% between March and May. In contrast, there was a sharp decline in the need to see other people take the vaccine first, from 21% in March to 8% in May.

Drop in COVID-19 safety behaviors

We also surveyed participants about the measures they take to protect themselves. The largest decline we observed was in mask wearing, from 64% in March who always, often or sometimes wore a mask in public to 50% in May.

More than three in four respondents continue to use the contact tracing app, down slightly from 78% in March to 76% in May, but encouraging others to use the app has declined from 73% to 66%.

The World Health Organization advises even fully vaccinated people should continue to follow COVID-19 safety behaviors, such as wearing masks in public places.

Misinformation continues to influence people’s decisions, but campaigns to correct it appear to have an impact.

Of the people who watched a misinformation correction video, featuring Auckland GP and advocate for Māori health Rawiri Jansen, 66% said they would definitely take the vaccine, compared to 62% who watched a misinformation video popular among vaccine skeptics on social media channels. The order of watching misinformation and correction does not seem to matter.

The effect of watching a misinformation correction video (just once) appears small, but it highlights the need for continued communication campaigns to address misinformation about the safety, efficacy and regulatory approval of COVID-19 vaccines.

Challenges for the vaccination program

In several countries, vaccination rates have stalled after an initial uptick.

In the UK, vaccination rates have reduced by 50% recently, primarily due to lack of enthusiasm among the young. In the US, vaccination rates fell just short of President Biden’s target of getting at least 70% of the adult population partly vaccinated before Independence Day on July 4.

Worryingly, the are uneven between US states, and nearly all Americans dying of COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

This has led President Biden to launch a “wartime effort” to vaccinate the country, including door-to-door outreach, vaccination clinics at workplaces, and urging employers to offer paid time off.

Some US states have offered scholarships, million-dollar lottery tickets, free beers and even shotguns as incentives to increase the vaccination rate.

New Zealand is likely to face similar hurdles. While it may be easier to motivate some hesitant people by improving vaccine access and providing services such as paid leave, it will be difficult to reach those with high distrust in government and health experts.

Communities that have been neglected in conversations about health policies may see the vaccination effort more as a benefit to the government rather than a concern for their own and their community’s well-being. Placing vaccination campaigns with trusted will help, as we have seen when more than a thousand Pacific people turned up to be vaccinated when the clinic was organized with help from their community and held at their church.


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Vaccination helps protect the unvaccinated from COVID-19


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Four in five New Zealanders plan to get vaccinated, but many people want more information about vaccine safety (2021, July 14)
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A look at COVID-19 reopening plans across the country – OrilliaMatters

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As COVID-19 vaccination rates increase and case numbers drop across the country, the provinces and territories have begun releasing the reopening plans for businesses, events and recreational facilities.

Most of the plans are based on each jurisdiction reaching vaccination targets at certain dates, while also keeping the number of cases and hospitalizations down. 

Here’s a look at what reopening plans look like across the country:

Newfoundland and Labrador:

The province’s reopening plan begins with a transition period during which some health restrictions, like limits on gatherings, will loosen. 

Requirements for testing and self-isolation lifted entirely for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers on Canada Day, while those requirements will ease over the next few months for travellers with just one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

If case counts, hospitalization and vaccination targets are met, the province expects to reopen dance floors as early as Aug. 15, and lift capacity restrictions on businesses, restaurants and lounges while maintaining physical distancing between tables.

As early as Sept. 15, mask requirements for indoor public spaces will be reviewed.

Nova Scotia:

Nova Scotia has further reduced COVID-19 public health orders after entering the fourth phase of its reopening.

Under the new rules, retail stores can operate at full capacity, churches and other venues can operate at half capacity or with a maximum of 150 people, and up to 50 people can attend outdoor family gatherings.

Capacity limits for dance classes, music lessons and indoor play spaces have also been lifted.

Organized sports practices, games, league play, competitions and recreation programs can involve up to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors without physical distancing.

Day camps can operate with 30 campers per group plus staff and volunteers, following the day camp guidelines. In addition, professional and amateur arts and culture rehearsals and performances can involve up to 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors without physical distancing.

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated residents of long-term care homes can now have visitors in their rooms and visit their family’s homes, including for overnight stays.

New Brunswick:

The province is lifting all public health orders next Friday. That means by midnight on July 30, all limits on gatherings will be lifted, including in theatres, restaurants and stores. The mask mandate will also be allowed to expire. 

New Brunswick had earlier moved into the second phase of its reopening plan, which opened travel without the need to isolate to all of Nova Scotia after earlier opening to P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Travellers from elsewhere in Canada who’ve had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can enter the province without the need to isolate, while those who haven’t had a shot must still isolate and produce a negative test before being released from quarantine.

Restaurants, gyms and salons can also operate at full capacity at the moment as long as customer contact lists are kept.

Prince Edward Island: 

Prince Edward Island has dropped its requirement that non-medical masks be worn in public indoor spaces.

Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison says masks are still encouraged to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and businesses are free to adopt stricter rules.

Officials say those who serve the public, such as in restaurants, retail stores and hair salons, should continue to wear a mask.

All health-care facilities will continue to require masks until 80 per cent of eligible P.E.I. residents are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the province has allowed personal gatherings to increase so that up to 20 people can get together indoors and outdoors. Restaurants are allowed to have tables of up to 20. Special occasion events like backyard weddings and anniversary parties of up to 50 people hosted by individuals are permitted with a reviewed operational plan.

Organized gatherings hosted by a business or other organization are permitted with groups of up to 200 people outdoors or 100 people indoors.

On Sept. 12, the province expects physical distancing measures to be eased, as well as allowing personal and organized gatherings to go ahead without limits. 

Quebec: 

Quebec’s government has removed capacity restrictions in retail stores across the province and reduced the two-metre physical distancing health order to one metre.

Quebecers from separate households are now required to keep a one-metre distance from one another indoors and outdoors instead of two metres. 

The previous two-metre distance now applies only at places characterized by physical activity or singing.

Outdoor events are limited to a maximum of 5,000 people, while Indoor events are capped at 3,500 spectators.

Fans and those attending theatres or other performance venues must keep at least one empty seat between each other, and wearing a mask in public spaces remains mandatory.

All of Quebec is now at the lowest green alert level under the province’s COVID-19 response plan as public health restrictions continue to ease.

Last month, the province permitted gyms and restaurant dining rooms to reopen. Supervised outdoor sports and recreation are also allowed in groups of up to 25 people.

Quebec ended its nightly curfew on May 28, and also lifted travel bans between regions.

Ontario:

Ontario has moved to the third step of its reopening plan, allowing for more indoor activities including restaurant dining and gym use, while larger crowds are permitted for outdoor activities. 

Masking and physical distancing rules, however, remain in place.

Social gatherings are limited to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. Religious services and other ceremonies are allowed indoors with larger groups of people who are physically distanced.

Nightclubs and similar establishments are open to 25 per cent capacity. Crowd limits have expanded for retail stores and salons, which can offer services that require masks to be removed.

Spectators are permitted at sporting events, concert venues, cinemas and theatres, with larger limits on crowds for outdoor events. 

Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, bingo halls and amusement parks are also open with larger crowd limits on outdoor attractions. 

Manitoba:

Manitoba is loosening restrictions and allowing extra freedoms for people who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as it moves into the second phase of its reopening plan.

Indoor gatherings are now allowed for up to five people, on top of those who live in a household, and 25 people in indoor public spaces. Outdoor gatherings are expanded to 25 people on private property and 150 in public spaces. 

Restaurants and bars are allowed up to 50 per cent capacity and opening hours are extended until midnight. Retail stores can run at 50 per cent capacity or 500 people, whichever is lower. Fitness centres can open at 50 per cent capacity, but masks are still required.

Outdoor weddings and funerals can have up to 150 people and indoor events now have a limit of 25. Faith-based gatherings can expand to half capacity or 150 people indoors.

Businesses, such as casinos, museums and movie theatres, can open at 50 per cent capacity but only fully vaccinated Manitobans can take part. An upcoming Blue Bombers CFL game will also be open fully to fans who are double-vaccinated.

Saskatchewan:

Saskatchewan has removed all public health orders — including the province-wide mandatory masking order, as well as capacity limits on events and gathering sizes.

Premier Scott Moe says the province decided to go ahead with full implementation of Step 3 of its Reopening Roadmap because more than 70 per cent of residents over the age of 18 and 69 per cent of those over 12 have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Despite the lifting of the health orders, Regina and Saskatoon say they will still keep up extra cleaning in municipal facilities.

Alberta: 

All remaining COVID-19 restrictions were lifted on July 1.

There are no longer limits on weddings, funerals or bans on indoor social gatherings. In addition, there are no more limits on gyms, sports or fitness activities, no more capacity limits at restaurants, in retail stores or in places of worship.

Anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 will still be required to self-isolate and protective measures at continuing care centres may remain.

The overall requirement for masks in public indoor spaces has ended, but masks may still be required in taxis, on public transit and on ride shares.

Some remaining COVID-19 health restrictions in continuing-care centres have also been eased.

The province says it is no longer limiting the number of visitors, since vaccination rates are rising and there have been few cases in care homes.

Visitors, however, still need to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms or known exposure, and masks are still required in common areas.

The province recommends people wear a mask at all times when visiting a care home if they have not been fully vaccinated, including children under 12.

Limits on dining and recreation activities have been eliminated, and residents are not required to be screened if they are re-entering the building or go into quarantine if they have gone off site.

British Columbia:

The province took the next step in its reopening plan on Canada Day when most COVID-19 restrictions were removed and outdoor gatherings of up to 5,000 people got the go ahead.

Restaurants and pubs no longer have limits on the number of diners, but people are still not allowed to mingle with those at other tables. Masks are no longer mandatory and recreational travel outside the province can resume.

Casinos and nightclubs are open for the first time in 16 months, but some barriers remain in place and socializing between tables is not allowed.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says some businesses may want people to continue wearing masks for now, and everyone should comply with those requirements or face the potential of fines.

Meanwhile, visitors to long-term care homes will soon be allowed to see loved ones without COVID-19 restrictions. Unscheduled visits resumed July 19, but staff will be required to report whether they have been immunized.

All COVID-19 restrictions are expected to be removed on Labour Day. 

Nunavut:

Public health orders affecting what is allowed to open vary by community.

Restrictions in Iqaluit were eased on July 2. Travel restrictions in and out of Iqaluit have been lifted. A household can now have up to 10 people in their home and up to 50 people can gather outdoors.

Theatres and restaurants can also open at 25 per cent capacity or 25 people, whichever is less.

Meanwhile in Kinngait and Rankin Inlet, outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people and those indoors are restricted to a household plus 15 people. Restaurants and bars are allowed to open for regular business at 50 per cent capacity, and there must be a two metre distance between tables, with no more than six people seated or around each table.

Northwest Territories:

Up to 25 people are allowed in a business that is following an approved COVID-19 plan. Households can have up to 10 people with a maximum of five guests from another household.

Non-essential travel outside the territory is not recommended, and leisure travel into the territory is not permitted.

The territory is no longer requiring masks to be worn in public places in Yellowknife and three other communities.

Chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola says it’s still a good idea to wear a mask indoors when there is a crowd, poor ventilation, or shouting or singing.

Yukon:

Yukon has expanded the rules for gatherings, allowing up to 200 people to get together, as long as masks are worn indoors and other health protocols are followed. 

Fully vaccinated people can have personal gatherings of up to 20 people indoors and 50 outdoors, but the unvaccinated are encouraged to stick with their “safe six” because they are at significantly higher risk. 

Bars and restaurants are allowed to operate at full capacity with restrictions.  

The government says starting Aug. 4, people returning to the territory will not be required to self-isolate and masks in indoor public places will not be required.

Bars and restaurants will also be allowed to return to full capacity without the need for physical distancing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 24, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Delta variant of COVID-19 now makes up nearly 4 in 10 cases in B.C., data shows – Global News

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New data from the BC Centre for Disease control shows that the highly-transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 has grown to nearly four in 10 cases in the province, up from fewer than one in 10 just two weeks before.

The data comes as the province reported more than 100 new cases in a 24-hour period for the first time in five weeks.

The BCCDC released the data Friday, which covers the week of July 11 to July 15.

Read more:
B.C. reports over 100 new COVID-19 cases for first time in five weeks


BC Centre for Disease Control.

Read more:
96% of COVID-19 cases are among those not fully vaccinated, B.C. health officials say


Click to play video: 'B.C. reports 112 new COVID-19 cases, four new deaths'



4:45
B.C. reports 112 new COVID-19 cases, four new deaths


B.C. reports 112 new COVID-19 cases, four new deaths

Out of 376 cases recorded that week, the Delta variant, first identified in India, made up 39 per cent of cases, while the Gamma variant, first identified in Brazil, made up 40 per cent. The Alpha variant, first identified in the U.K., made up 17 per cent of cases.

Last week, the BCCDC reported the Delta variant made up 33 per cent of cases, while the week before it was just eight per cent.

Research has found that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against the Delta variant, but only when people receive both doses.

Read more:
Delta COVID-19 variant now behind more than 80% of new U.S. cases 

Partially vaccinated people remain at a much greater risk of contracting it or becoming seriously ill.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Friday that 96 per cent of new cases reported in B.C. between June15 and July 15 were among people who weren’t fully vaccinated.

As of Friday, more than 2.68 million people — 58.1 per cent of those eligible and 52.2 per cent of the population — have been fully vaccinated.


Click to play video: 'Could Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination drive slowdown fuel another surge?'



2:19
Could Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination drive slowdown fuel another surge?


Could Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination drive slowdown fuel another surge?

There were strong regional variances in the prevalence of Delta.

In the Vancouver Island Health Region, all of the 14 cases reported over the week in question were found to be the Delta variant.

In the Interior Health Region, which has seen growing case numbers and lagging vaccination rates, Delta made up a whopping 74 per cent of the 122 cases over the week reported.

Read more:
COVID-19: Interior Health trending upwards, leading B.C. in new daily cases

More than half of the new cases reported on Friday were in the Interior Health region.

Vancouver Coastal Health had the second highest prevalence of Delta, at 33 per cent, followed by the Fraser Health region at 15 per cent.

Officials said 97 per cent of all samples tested were at least one of the known variants of concern.

The BCCDC cautions that the data reported on Friday is subject to change due to a lag in sequencing some samples.

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

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COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for July 24, 2021 – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.

Fast Facts:

  • The number of active COVID-19 cases in Ottawa continues to creep up as vaccination slows
  • A new outbreak in Barry’s Bay has led to nearly two-dozen close contacts and forced businesses to close
  • Ontario reported 192 new cases on Friday as the seven-day average jumped slightly

COVID-19 by the numbers in Ottawa (Ottawa Public Health data):

  • New COVID-19 cases: Seven new cases on Friday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 27,768
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 3.9
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 0.5 per cent (seven day average)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.28 (seven day average)

Testing:

Who should get a test?

Ottawa Public Health says you can get a COVID-19 test at an assessment centre, care clinic, or community testing site if any of the following apply to you:

  • You are showing COVID-19 symptoms;
  • You have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by Ottawa Public Health or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app;
  • You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health;
  • You are a resident, a worker or a visitor to long-term care, retirement homes, homeless shelters or other congregate settings (for example: group homes, community supported living, disability-specific communities or congregate settings, short-term rehab, hospices and other shelters);
  • You are a person who identifies as First Nations, Inuit or Métis;
  • You are a person travelling to work in a remote First Nations, Inuit or Métis community;
  • You received a preliminary positive result through rapid testing;
  • You require testing 72 hours before a scheduled (non-urgent or emergent) surgery (as recommended by your health care provider);
  • You are a patient and/or their 1 accompanying escort tra­velling out of country for medical treatment;
  • You are an international student that has passed their 14-day quarantine period;
  • You are a farm worker;
  • You are an educator who cannot access pharmacy-testing; or
  • You are in a targeted testing group as outlined in guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa:

There are several sites for COVID-19 testing in Ottawa. To book an appointment, visit https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/shared-content/assessment-centres.aspx

  • The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre: Open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • COVID-19 Drive-Thru Assessment Centre at 300 Coventry Road: Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
  • The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Centre (Kemptville) – 15 Campus Drive: Open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Centretown Community Health Centre: Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sandy Hill Community Health Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 pm.
  • Somerset West Community Health Centre: Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday

COVID-19 screening tool:

The COVID-19 screening tool for summer camp children and staff. All campers and staff must complete the COVID-19 School and Childcare screening tool daily.

Symptoms:

Classic Symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath

Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallowing, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, pneumonia, new or unexplained runny nose or nasal congestion

Less common symptoms: unexplained fatigue, muscle aches, headache, delirium, chills, red/inflamed eyes, croup

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Ottawa is back above 40 for the first time in two weeks, as the city’s vaccine administration pace slows down.

Ottawa Public Health reported seven new cases of the virus in Ottawa on Friday. There were no new resolved cases for the second straight day, so the number of active cases has climbed to 41.

It’s the most since July 9, when there were 43 active cases in the city.

A new outbreak of COVID-19 in Barry’s Bay, Ont. has resulted in two closed businesses and nearly two-dozen high-risk contacts.

The Renfrew County health unit is reporting three new confirmed cases that started with a visit from southern Ontario.

Twenty-one high-risk contacts now have to isolate, a fresh example that Canada is not yet out of the pandemic.

Ontario is reporting another jump in the number of new COVID-19 cases as health officials log just over 190 new infections and the seven-day average rises.

The province confirmed 192 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, which comes after officials logged 185 new infections on Thursday.

Before that, the province reported case numbers below the 150 mark for three days.

Testing

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