“At this time, we consider all available vaccines to be effective,” said Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada’s chief medical advisor, at a press conference on Friday.
“Our advice to Canadians is to get whichever vaccine is available to you.”
Here’s a closer look at all the vaccines that Canada has approved so far:
Johnson & Johnson
Unlike Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson shot is an adenovirus-based vaccine.
It was built using a kind of virus, which causes colds in chimpanzees.
The adenovirus is altered to carry a gene for the coronavirus protein, which can then train a person’s immune system to recognize the actual coronavirus if it ever enters the body.
Coronavirus: Health officials urge people to take whichever vaccine available regardless of efficacy rate
It only requires one dose and has been approved for use in individuals aged 18 and older and is effective in older adults, Sharma said.
“Almost 20 per cent of the participants in the clinical trials were 65 years of age and older, and no differences in the safety or efficacy were seen compared to the younger groups,” she said.
The shot is significantly easier to ship and store, as it can be kept in a refrigerator (between 2 C and 8 C) for at least three months — much longer than the Moderna vaccine — rather than a freezer.
In clinical trials, it showed an overall efficacy of 66 per cent in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, Sharma said.
Canada has pre-ordered 10 million doses of the vaccine, with options to order up to 28 million more.
AstraZeneca’s two-dose shot was approved for use on Feb. 26.
Like the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, this is also an adenovirus-based vaccine and can be stored at normal fridge temperature — meaning the doses are much easier both to ship and to keep.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was found to be 62 per cent effective in a two-dose clinical trial.
The protocol for giving the booster shot set and used in the clinical trials for AstraZenenca was one month after the first dose.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that the AstraZeneca vaccine can be given with an interval of eight to 12 weeks.
AstraZeneca vaccine arrives in Canada with a shelf life of less than a month
Health Canada has approved the shot for all adults — anyone 18 years and older.
But Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is not currently recommending the AstraZeneca vaccine for people 65 or older “due to limited information on the efficacy of this vaccine in this age group at this time.”
The first two phases of AstraZeneca’s trials did not include people over the age of 65.
Canada has purchased 20 million doses — enough to vaccine 10 million Canadians.
Moderna’s mRNA vaccine was the second COVID-19 shot approved for use in Canada back on Dec. 23.
Moderna’s shot was manufactured using mRNA-based technology, a relatively new way to make vaccines.
Instead of injecting a deactivated form of the virus, the mRNA vaccine uses a component of the virus called messenger RNA that basically contains the genetic instructions for the human body to make the specific spike protein of the coronavirus.
Questions about safety of delaying second COVID-19 vaccine dose
By doing this, the immune system learns to recognize and respond to that specific protein, meaning it can more quickly mount a response if the virus enters the body.
The two doses are supposed to be given four weeks or 28 days apart, but many provinces are now extending that time to up to four months amid shortages, as recommended by NACI.
Clinical trials found Moderna’s vaccine to be 94.1 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19.
The Moderna doses can be stored in a freezer between -25 C and -15 C. The Moderna doses can be stored in a freezer between -25 C and -15 C. Territories have been guaranteed priority access to this particular vaccine, as it’s easier to safely transport and store compared to Pfizer’s — which was approved first.
Canada’s agreement with Moderna is for 40 million doses — although the feds have the option of purchasing another 16 million in addition to that. The 40 million doses are enough to inoculate 20 million Canadians, over half of the population.
On Dec. 9, Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine became the first COVID-19 shot to get approval in the country.
Canada has 40 million Pfizer doses secured in its agreement with the manufacturer.
Like Moderna’s jab, this is also an mRNA vaccine and requires two doses — which the company recommends be given three weeks or 21 days apart, as done in clinical trials.
Pfizer’s clinical trials were only conducted on those over the age of 16, which means that until further studies are completed in younger age groups, anyone under 16 years old is ineligible for the jab.
Of the four vaccines, Pfizer is the most demanding about temperature. This vaccine requires ultra-cold storage, meaning it has to be transported and stored at -70 C. This makes the vaccine tricky to ship to remote regions, where the appropriate infrastructure is far more difficult to set up.
On Feb. 25, Pfizer-BioNTech requested a change to allow its COVID-19 vaccine to be kept at between -25 C and -15 C instead of the earlier approved storage condition of between -80 C and -60 C.
While Health Canada still endorses ultra-cold storage conditions for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the department “after conducting a thorough review” said on Wednesday that the doses can now be stored and shipped “at standard freezer temperatures” for up to 14 days.
Coronavirus: Health Canada rules Pfizer vaccine can be stored at standard temperatures
In terms of effectiveness, Pfizer takes the gold. At 95 per cent, it narrowly edges Moderna for a photo-finish.
Still, at the end of the day, Canadians should feel confident that any one of the three approved vaccines will cut off COVID-19’s claws and protect them from the worst outcomes of the virus.
“All vaccines will help Canadians to fight the pandemic,” said Health Canada’s Dr. Marc Berthiaume at Friday’s press conference.
“The efficacy rates may vary depending on the design and studies, but we feel that overall these are very good vaccine choices.”
— with files from Global News’ Rachel Gilmore
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
7 Reasons Why America Loves Doing Business with Canada
Canada is one of the United States’ most important trading partners. According to the United States Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis, the US exports over $300B worth of goods and services to Canada annually. It also imports over $300B worth of goods and services from the country every year.
In fact, the trade relationship between the two North American countries is the biggest in the world. The two nations have traded for over 100 years. And a strong trade relationship is prosperous for both countries.
So, what makes Canada such an excellent trading partner for the United States? Here are a few good reasons:
1. Geographical Location
Canada shares a large border with the United States. Trading with Canada is easy by road, boat, or air. Most of the economic hotspots in Canada like Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary are just a short flight away from an American city.
2. Manufacturing Strengths
Canada has some exceptional exports thanks to its vast manufacturing strengths. Here are a few of its two products:
- Non-renewable Energy: Canada’s non-renewable energy exports like oil and gas are a significant part of its economy. Although falling gas prices have impacted this sector, Canada continues to depend on its gas and oil exports.
- Composite Manufacturing: You’ll find plenty of world-class options if you’re looking for advanced composite manufacturing in Canada regardless of your industry. The Canadian composite manufacturing industry serves many national and international clients in sectors such as defence, transportation, marine, aerospace, medical, industrial, energy, home appliances, construction, and more.
- Vehicle: Canada has a renowned automotive sector, producing light trucks, crossovers, SUVs, etc., with its technologically advanced factories. 95% of Canada’s automotive exports go to the United States.
- Aluminum: The Great White North produces some of the best quality aluminum in the world. The United States happens to be Canada’s biggest importer of aluminum.
- Meat and Dairy: Canada produces meat, beef, poultry, and dairy known for its quality. Unlike some countries, Canada doesn’t use harmful hormones in its meat industry.
3. Good Tax Treaties
Canada has many provisions that make business favourable for American companies. For example, a non-resident corporation that does not otherwise have a permanent establishment (PE) in Canada may do business without paying income tax on its profits. Canada also offers favourable corporate taxes, especially compared to the United States.
Aside from federal incentives, many provinces offer provincial incentives to do business in Canada. For example, many American films and TV shows are shot in Toronto because of lucrative tax enticements.
4. Favourable Exchange Rates
Not only is the Canadian dollar stable, but it usually hovers 20% lower than the United States. The favourable exchange rate makes it cost-effective for the United States to import goods and services from Canada.
However, the exchange rate isn’t so low that it discourages Canadians from travelling to the United States or buying American products. Many economists consider the exchange rate to be in the sweet spot.
5. Similar Culture
Canada speaks the same language, eats the same food, plays the same sports, and consumes the same entertainment. A similar coculture without language barriers makes it easier for Americans to do business with Canada.
Of course, there are some parts of Canada where French is the most popular language. Likewise, Spanish is more prevalent in certain places in the United States. However, these issues are easily overcome with business cards, translators, and technology.
6. Prominent Tech Industry
Many American technology companies are doing business with Canada because of the country’s prominence on the tech stage. For example, Toronto produces more tech occupations than the Bay Area, New York, and even Silicon Valley.
Toronto also has over 2,000 startups and over 14,000 tech companies. In the MaRS Center, Canada also has one of the world’s largest innovation hubs. Canada is also the first nation in the world to develop a national AI strategy. There are over 500 international AI firms in the country. The world’s biggest concentration of AI startups is in Canada.
Besides the national AI strategy, there is plenty of other support for tech development in the country that’s attractive to the United States. Canada invested $900m in high-tech innovation and funded startup incubators in 2015.
Additionally, Canada offers many tax breaks to companies for research and development. It also provides special visa programs for investors and entrepreneurs in the tech industry.
7. Qualified Labour Pool
Canada has the second-highest tertiary education levels worldwide for people between the ages of 25 and 34, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Canada’s highly skilled workforce stands at nearly 1.5 million people. Canada’s tech talent is also ranked highly for diversity.
These are just some of the many reasons why the United States enjoys doing business with Canada. Even with the economic climate changing, you can expect the partnership between the two countries to stand the test of time.
10 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out in 2021 – Part 2
Last week I provided 5 suggestions on how you can make your LinkedIn profile, which in 2021 is a non-negotiable must-have for job seekers, to stand out. The suggestions were:
- Add a headshot
- Create an eye-catching headline
- Craft an interesting summary
- Highlight your experience
- Use visual media
I’ll continue with my next 5 suggestions:
- Customize your URL
Your LinkedIn URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the web address for your profile. The default URL will have your name and some random numbers and letters (https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-kossovan-647e3b49). Customizing your profile URL (https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickkossovan/) makes your profile search engine friendly; therefore, you’re easier to find. As well a customized URL invites the person searching to make some positive assumptions about you:
- You’re detail oriented.
- You’re technologically savvy.
- You understand the power of perception (Image is everything!).
James Wooden, one of the most revered coaches in the history of sports, is to have said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
To change your profile URL, go to the right side of your profile. There you’ll find an option to edit your URL. Use this option to make your URL concise and neat.
- Make connections
The more connections you have increases the likelihood of being found when hiring managers and recruiters, looking for potential candidates with your background, search on LinkedIn. Envision your number of connections as ‘the amount of gas in your tank.’
At the very least, you should aim to get over 500 connections. Anything below 500 LinkedIn will indicate your number of connections as an exact number (ex. 368). Above 500 connections, LinkedIn simply shows you have 500+ connections. Getting to 500 implies you’re a player on LinkedIn.
As much as possible, connect with individuals you know personally, have worked with, met in a professional capacity (tradeshow, conference), is in your city/region and industry/profession. If you’d like to connect with someone you haven’t met, send a note with your request explaining who you are and why you’d like to connect. (This’ll be my topic in next week’s column.)
- Ask for recommendations and skill endorsements
This is vital to making your profile stand out! Employers want to know that others think of your work.
When asking for a recommendation, or skill endorsements, think of all the people you’ve worked the past. Don’t just think of your past bosses; also think of colleagues, vendors, customers — anyone who can vouch for your work and professionalism.
Instructions on how to ask for, and give, a recommendation, can be found by going to the LinkedIn ‘Help’ field (Located by clicking on the drop-down arrow below the ‘Me’ icon in the upper right-hand corner.) and typing ‘Requesting a recommendation.’ Do the same for skill endorsements.
TIP: It’s good karma to write recommendations, and endorse skills, in return and to give unsolicited.
- Keep your profile active
LinkedIn is not simply an online resume — it’s a networking social media site. To get the most out of LinkedIn, you need to be constantly active (at least 3 times per week). Write posts and articles. Check out what is being posted, especially by your connections. Like and share posts that resonate with you. Engage with thoughtful comments that’ll put forward your expertise.
Join groups that align with your industry and professional interests. Groups are an excellent way to meet like-minded professionals with whom to network and share ideas and best practices.
- Check your LinkedIn profile strength
It’s in LinkedIn’s interest that you’re successful using their platform. Therefore, they’ve created a ‘Profile Strength Meter’ to gauge how robust your profile is. Basically, this gauge tells you completion level of your profile. Using the tips, you’ll be given, keep adding to your profile until your gauge rates you “All-Star.” For instructions on how to access your ‘Profile Strength Meter,’ use the LinkedIn’ Help’ field.
The 10 tips I offered is a starting point for building a LinkedIn profile that WOWs! Jobseekers need to make the most of their profile to stand out in a sea of candidates, sell their skills, and validate their accomplishments. Make it easy for the reader to get a feel for who you are professionally.
Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send him your questions at email@example.com.
Canadian National beats Canadian Pacific with $33.6 billion Kansas City bid
U.S. railway operator Kansas City Southern said on Thursday that it had accepted Canadian National Railway Co’s $33.6 billion acquisition offer, upending a $29 billion deal with its competitor Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.
The development, first reported by Reuters, gives Canadian Pacific five business days to make a new offer for Kansas City Southern. Were Canadian Pacific to table a new offer, a bidding war could ensue.
Canadian Pacific had previously announced a deal to buy Kansas City Southern on March 21, before Canadian National said it had submitted a higher bid on April 20. The headline price in Canadian National’s cash-and-stock bid remains $325 per share as originally announced, though the company offered more of its shares to compensate for a decline in its stock price.
Canadian National has offered to cover the $700 million break-up fee Kansas City Southern will owe Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. It will also pay Kansas City Southern $1 billion if the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) rejects a voting trust structure it has put forward to complete the deal.
“We believe that Canadian Pacific’s negotiated agreement with Kansas City is the only true end-to-end Class I combination that is in the best interests of North American shippers and communities,” a Canadian Pacific spokeswoman said.
Canadian Pacific and larger rival Canadian National are in a race to take over the U.S. railroad operator, which would create the first direct railway linking Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
Either of them acquiring Kansas City Southern would create a North American railway spanning the United States, Mexico and Canada, as supply chains recover from COVID-19 pandemic-led disruptions.
The acquisition interest in Kansas City Southern also follows the ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement last year that removed the threat of trade tensions, which had escalated under former U.S. President Donald Trump.
The STB last week approved the voting trust for Canadian Pacific’s proposed acquisition. Canadian National has offered an identical arrangement.
(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Aurora Ellis and Richard Chang)
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