Issued on: 01/08/2021 – 17:40
Germany plans to start offering Covid-19 booster shots to the elderly and at-risk from September 1, according to a draft document seen by AFP on Sunday, as concerns grow about the spread of the Delta variant.
The plan also recommends promoting vaccination for those aged 12-17, which would go further than earlier guidance issued by the country’s vaccine regulator.
Health Minister Jens Spahn and Germany’s 16 regional health ministers are expected to finalise the plans, drawn up by ministry officials, in a meeting Monday.
Mobile vaccination teams will be sent into care and nursing homes to offer Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna booster shots to residents, regardless of which vaccine they had originally, says the document.
Doctors will also be able to administer the booster jab to those who qualify, such as the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
The text justifies the initiative by citing recent studies showing that protection from infection declines with time, putting vulnerable people at risk again.
Although Germany is currently enjoying relatively low infection rates compared with neighbouring countries, case numbers have been creeping up in recent weeks mainly because of the more contagious Delta variant.
There are also concerns about a slowdown in the country’s vaccination rate, with just over 52 percent of the population fully jabbed.
– ‘Safe return’ to school –
In an effort to get more younger people vaccinated, health ministers want to widen access by opening all the country’s vaccination centres to 12- to 17-year olds.
Schools and universities should also offer the jabs, the draft resolution says.
Germany’s STIKO vaccine commission disappointed many in June when it officially recommended the vaccine only for 12-17 year olds if they had pre-existing conditions, or lived with people at high risk from Covid.
Although adolescents who don’t fall into those categories are still allowed to get vaccinated, in consultation with their parents and doctors, the cautious STIKO guidance has slowed take-up.
Within the European Union, the European Medicines Agency has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna shots for all over-12s.
Health Minister Spahn tweeted on Saturday that so far one in five of Germany’s 12-17 year olds had received their first coronavirus shot.
“There’s enough vaccine for all age groups: anyone who wants to, can get vaccinated,” he wrote.
If Spahn and his regional peers sign off on the draft text, their decision to encourage all adolescents to roll up their sleeves would essentially see them bypass STIKO, which has said it needs more data before issuing a more general recommendation.
According to the draft, getting children and teenagers vaccinated could “contribute significantly to a safe return to classrooms after the summer holidays”.
Germany’s Robert Koch health institute reported 2,097 new daily coronavirus cases on Sunday and one death.
Since the pandemic started, Germany has recorded more than 3.7 million cases and 91,659 deaths.
© 2021 AFP
88 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba Friday; more than half not vaccinated – CTV News Winnipeg
Manitoba has recorded 88 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, along with one more death added to the total.
According to the provincial COVID-19 dashboard, which was updated on Friday, of the new cases 53 were not vaccinated, 12 were partially vaccinated and 23 were fully vaccinated.
The new cases bring Manitoba’s total to 59,612, including 629 active cases and 57,779 recoveries. The five-day test positivity rate in the province is 2.6 per cent.
The number of deaths of people with COVID-19 increased by one on Friday, for a total of 1,204. The province did not release any details about this death.
As of Friday, the province said there are 72 people in hospital with COVID-19 including 37 people with active cases. Of those 37 people, 27 are not vaccinated, eight are partially vaccinated and two are fully vaccinated.
Of the seven people in ICU as of Friday with active COVID-19 cases, the province said six are unvaccinated and one is partially vaccinated.
Prepping Your Home for the Canadian Winter
The arrival of autumn is a traditional sign that it’s time to start preparing for winter. Such rituals once had a good deal to do with human survival, such as the need to gather enough food to ensure people had enough to eat during the sparse or non-existent growing season. Of course, providing adequate shelter and warmth through the coldest months was also an essential concern.
For most people today, the task of winter preparation in Canada has to do with taking care to be comfortable while also avoiding any possible emergencies that might arise due to rough weather; this means that the main areas of concern tend to have to do with either
- Warm Clothing
- Reliable Transportation
- Keeping Your Home Warm and Well-Maintained
When it comes to ensuring that your home is ready for the winter season, your top priority should be to check that your living areas can stay warm without sacrificing heating efficiency.
The Importance of Windows in Winter
One of the most critical aspects of this preparation involves checking your windows to ensure they are ready to withstand the coldest temperatures to keep you and your family safe and warm. Like everything else on your home, your windows experience normal wear and tear as they do their job of keeping the cold out and the heat inside each year.
While it might seem evident when windows are getting old, less obvious imperfections can quickly arise that may prove a tremendous burden if only discovered during the coldest weather. That’s one of the key reasons why preparing easy on can save you many headaches later in winter.
Trusting the Experts
Rather than play a guessing game with the condition of your windows, you can get in touch with a professional company that can ensure your windows are in proper working order. For example, you can contact a company specializing in windows and doors in Toronto to see whether the time has come to replace your windows.
Check Your Heating System
Another vital aspect of preparing your home for winter is to check your heating system and perform any tests available to guarantee everything is in working order. If your house is equipped with an oil furnace or contains a heating system that uses fuel, make sure that your tank is full so that you don’t run out at the wrong time. You might also want to contact your utility company to see if they recommend any other maintenance services.
Along with heating and window condition, there are many more general ways to weatherproof your home. Some of these include:
- Replacing or installing insulation
- Weatherstripping and caulking
- Repairing any leaks
Preparing your home for winter isn’t very difficult as long as you take the time to check a few essential things if you want to be ready. As always, the best way to be sure is to talk to the experts, like a professional window supplier who can make sure you are free from drafts when the cold weather hits.
More than half of Manitoba's 64 new COVID-19 cases unvaccinated – CTV News Winnipeg
While more than half of Manitoba’s new COVID-19 cases are among the unvaccinated, the province reported 20 breakthrough infections.
On Thursday, Manitoba public health officials reported 64 new COVID-19 cases – including 36 unvaccinated cases and eight partially vaccinated cases. Twenty of the cases were among people who had been fully vaccinated.
“No vaccine is 100 per cent effective. However, people who are fully vaccinated typically have a better outcome than individuals who are not vaccinated,” a spokesperson told CTV News in an emailed statement.
“Public health continues to recommend that the best defence against COVID-19 is to get immunized.”
As of Thursday, 84 per cent of eligible Manitobans have rolled up their sleeve for at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Seventy-nine per cent of eligible Manitobans are vaccinated with two doses.
The spokesperson said while breakthrough cases can occur, the outcomes are typically not as severe as they are for non-vaccinated individuals. They said fully vaccinated people who get infected typically do not need to go to ICU.
As of Thursday, 62 people in Manitoba are in hospital with COVID-19, including 26 people who have active cases. Of those active cases, 20 are not vaccinated, four are partially vaccinated and two are fully vaccinated.
There are five people in the intensive care unit with active cases of COVID-19, all of whom are unvaccinated.
Data from the province obtained by CTV News shows there have been 728 infections and 16 deaths among the 915,200 people fully immunized in the province.
Of the 986,054 people who have been partially immunized in Manitoba, the data shows there have been 2,215 infections and 45 deaths.
The Southern Health region saw the most cases in the province on Thursday, with 23 new cases reported.
The Northern and Winnipeg health regions both reported 15 new cases. Winnipeg is sitting with a 1.2 per cent five-day test positivity rate.
The Prairie Mountain Health Region reported six new cases and the Interlake-Eastern health region reported five new cases.
The new cases bring Manitoba’s total to 59,526, including 599 active cases and 57,724 recoveries. Seven cases were removed from the total due to data corrections.
The provincial five-day test positivity rate is now 2.5 per cent.
The province also released some details of two deaths that were announced on Wednesday – both of which were linked to variants of concern. The deaths include a woman in her 70s from the Interlake-Eastern health region, linked to the Delta variant, and a man in his 80s from Winnipeg linked to an unspecified variant.
The total number of people who have died with COVID-19 sits at 1,203, including 201 deaths that have been linked to variants of concern.
In total, Manitoba has linked 18,065 cases to variants. 370 variant cases are active, and 17,494 have recovered.
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