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'Hands up, I'm ready': Ottawa primary care providers to receive AstraZeneca doses for their patients – Ottawa Citizen

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On Thursday, a City of Ottawa official said more information, including locations, would be available shortly.

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More than 11,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine are slated to arrive in Ottawa next week, destined for the hands of health-care providers and the arms of patients at select community health centres and family health teams.

The news, shared Thursday by the City of Ottawa’s Emergency and Protective Services general manager, Anthony Di Monte, has Ottawa’s Dr. Elizabeth Muggah “absolutely delighted” and comes on the heels of a primary care pilot program she says helped get vaccines to patients facing barriers or hesitancy around getting shots.

Muggah is president of the Ontario College of Family Physicians, which has advocated for its members to have more involvement in vaccination efforts in the province.

“We definitely have been hearing from family doctors across the province who are saying, ‘You know … hands up, I’m ready,’” she said.

On Thursday, Ontario announced the province-wide expansion of an initiative offering COVID-19 vaccination through primary care providers. Previously, Muggah said, AstraZeneca doses went to select practices in six public health unit regions. The practices were identified by their local public health units and, in turn, reached out to patients in their practices and brought them in for vaccination based on provincial guidance regarding vaccine prioritization.

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“It was great,” Muggah said. “I would say, from the family doctor point of view, there was tremendous satisfaction with being able to provide vaccines to patients. From the patient point of view, there was huge appreciation of being able to have the option to get the vaccine … with the health care providers who they know and they trust in a setting that they know and they trust.”

Muggah, a family doctor with the Bruyère Family Health Team, said theirs is among the sites selected to receive a portion of next week’s AstraZeneca shipment to Ottawa. She said she didn’t yet know how many doses they would be receiving, nor what the other selected sites were or how Ottawa Public Health decided which practices would be involved.

This newspaper reached out to OPH for information about the local primary care vaccination rollout, but was told a response would not be possible by Friday.

On Thursday, Di Monte said more information, including locations, would be available shortly. Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vera Etches, said at the time that she believed they would take the same approach as has been done with pharmacies, where AstraZeneca doses are available to people aged 55 and older, but she needed to confirm details.

What they saw with the pilots, and what Muggah expects will happen in Ottawa, is that family doctors took a variety of approaches to offering vaccination. Some set up drive-thrus, some offered weekend or evening clinics, and others integrated it into regular office hours. And, with many family doctors already doing home visits, there’s opportunity to vaccinate through that avenue as well.

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Muggah said she hoped the province-wide rollout produced the same conclusions the initial primary care program did in Hamilton, Toronto, Guelph, Peterborough, Simcoe-Muskoka, and Peel — “Family doctors absolutely can do this, and specifically we can move the dial on patients who are hesitant and vulnerable” — and grow from there.

“Because I think that every family doctor who wants to be able to offer this to their patients in office should have that opportunity.”

By the numbers

Ontario

(as of Friday afternoon)

6,098: New confirmed cases (3,009 on Friday, 3,089 on Thursday)

39: Deaths over the previous 48 hours.

358,558: Total cases

7,428: Total deaths

2,042: Total B.1.1.7 (UK) variant cases confirmed

70: Total B.1.351 (South African) variant cases confirmed

102: Total P.1 (Brazilian) variant cases confirmed

796: New hospital (two days)

451: In ICU

261: On ventilator

121,400: Tests administered (Thursday and Friday)

2,424,063: doses of the vaccine administered

2,192,253: Total doses administered

315,820: People fully vaccinated

52,532: Tests conducted in previous 24 hours

12,551,173: Total tests conducted

Ottawa

(as of Friday at 3 p.m.)

240: New confirmed cases

17,825: Total cases

1: New death

467: Total deaths

44: In hospital

14: In ICU

104.3: Seven-day COVID incidence rate, per 100,000 population

6.5: Per cent positivity rate

1.16: Seven-day R(t) number

26: Total B.1.1.7 (UK) variant cases confirmed

6: Total B.1.351 (South African) variant cases confirmed

0: Total P.1 (Brazilian) variant cases confirmed

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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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