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List of priority populations for Phase 1 of Ontario's vaccine distribution plan – Squamish Chief

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The Ontario government has issued a memo to the province’s regional medical officers of health spelling out who’s next in line to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The province offered new guidance to regional medical officers of health as supply of the COVID-19 vaccines starts to gradually increase.

The province says all residents of long-term care homes have had an opportunity to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Those remaining in the immediate priority groups for the first dose are set to receive their vaccine dose next.

Those include:

Staff and essential caregivers in long-term care homes, high-risk retirement homes and First Nations elder care homes. 

Patients in hospitals who have a confirmed admission to a long-term care home, retirement home or other congregate care home for seniors.

Highest-priority health-care workers — such as paramedics and staff in critical care units, emergency departments and COVID-19 medical units — followed by very high priority health-care workers — such as those in surgical care, obstetrics, assisted living facilities and palliative care settings. These categories are laid out in the Ministry of Health’s guidance on health care worker prioritization.

Indigenous adults in northern, remote and higher-risk communities, including on-reserve and urban communities.

The government says the next groups in line for a vaccine will receive their shots “when all reasonable steps have been taken to complete first-dose vaccinations” for the first priority group. They include:

Adults 80 years of age and older.

Staff, residents and caregivers in retirement homes and other congregate care settings for seniors.

Health-care workers who the Ministry of Health as categorized as “high priority,” such as staff in mental health and addictions services, and sexual health clinics. 

All Indigenous adults.

Adult recipients of chronic home care.

The province also laid out intervals for when to administer the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Those who live in long-term care, high-risk retirement and First Nations elder care homes should get the second dose 21 to 27 days after receiving the first, as should residents of other types of congregate care homes for seniors and people 80 years and older. 

Everyone else should receive the second dose between 35 and 42 days after getting the first shot. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 14, 2021. 

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Fauci warns of COVID-19 spike in coming weeks, even though more vaccines are being administered | TheHill – The Hill

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Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is warning about another possible spike in COVID-19 infections in the U.S. as the number of new cases has plateaued at a rate health officials say is still too high. 

Cases in the U.S. continue to fluctuate around 60,000 to 70,000 per day after a steep decline of cases over the past several weeks following the record-high holiday surge. Daily coronavirus deaths are hovering around the 2,000 mark. 


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Public health officials are concerned the stall in the decline plus the spread of new variants and easing of restrictions by states could bring on another surge. 

Fauci pointed out that after the first surge in the spring, cases spiked then leveled out around 20,000 before a second wave hit in July, peaking around the 70,000 mark. Cases then plateaued around 40,000 before the U.S. began recording hundreds of thousands of new cases per day through the winter. 

“The issue is that we are starting to plateau. That plateau is about 60,000 to 70,000 cases a day. When you have that much viral activity in a plateau, it almost invariably means that you are at risk of another spike,” Fauci said during a White House COVID-19 briefing Friday. 

“Many countries in Europe have seen just that. They had a decrease in cases over a six-week period. They plateaued. And now, over the past week, they saw an increase in cases by 9 percent, something we desperately want to avoid,” he said. 

Fauci’s warning comes as multiple states have started rolling back restrictions to curb the spread of the virus despite recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) not to do so. Both Texas and Mississippi this week announced they were doing away with mask mandates and are allowing businesses to reopen to 100 percent capacity. 

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Friday said the number of cases and deaths in the U.S. are still too high and urged Americans to double down on prevention measures. 

“I know the idea of relaxing mask wearing and getting back to everyday activities is appealing, but we’re not there yet. And we have been — we have seen this movie before: When prevention measures like mask mandates are rolled back, cases go up,” Walenksy said Friday

The warnings come as the U.S. has had some promising news on the vaccine front. The Biden administration this week announced it will have enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all American adults for the coronavirus by May, sooner than the administration’s previous estimate of securing the doses by July. 

Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine has also received emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration. 

According to the CDC, more than 82 million doses have been administered across the country so far. 


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Gorillas are the first non-humans to be vaccinated against COVID-19 – Maple Ridge News – Maple Ridge News

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The San Diego Zoo has vaccinated nine great apes for the coronavirus after a troop of gorillas in its Safari Park became infected.

Officials say four orangutans and five bonobos received COVID-19 injections in January and February.

Three bonobos and a gorilla also are expected to receive the vaccine, which is experimental and not built nor suitable for human use.

The vaccinations followed a January outbreak of COVID-19 at the zoo’s Safari Park. Eight western lowland gorillas got the virus, probably by exposure to a zookeeper who tested positive for COVID-19.

The gorillas had symptoms ranging from runny noses to coughing and lethargy. But they are recovering.

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Quebec reports 749 new COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths as province expands vaccine access – Toronto Star

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Quebec continued to escalate its vaccination drive over the weekend, reporting Saturday that the past 24 hours had seen it deliver a single-day high of nearly 20,000 shots to its growing list of eligible residents.

The 19,865 jabs administered on Friday mark the most the province has reported in a single day and come as vaccine shipments ramp up across Canada following numerous international shipment delays.

To date, provincial figures show 532,012 doses of vaccine have been administered out of a total of 638,445 received from the federal government.

Provincial health minister Christian Dube highlighted the upward trend in a tweet on Saturday.

“Vaccinations have [increased] over the last few days and will continue to [increase], with other regions in addition to Montreal beginning mass vaccination next week,” Dube wrote.

Until recently, Quebec has concentrated its vaccination effort on particular groups such as health-care workers, people living in remote regions and seniors in long-term care facilities.

The government began allowing members of the general public to schedule appointments to receive their vaccines recently, with eligibility varying by region. In Montreal and Laval, for example, people over the age of 70 can book appointments, while slots are restricted to people over 80 in other regions.

More regions are scheduled to expand vaccine access to those in different age groups starting next week.

In addition to the vaccine numbers, Quebec reported 749 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday along with 10 new deaths linked to the virus.

Hospitalizations across the province declined by 16 to 601 over the past 24 hours, while the number of patients in intensive care declined by two to 109.

Quebec’s case numbers have stabilized in recent weeks, prompting officials to relax restrictions in some regions.

Starting on March 8, areas such as Estrie and Capitale-Nationale will be designated as “orange zones,” meaning the provincewide curfew will be extended until 9:30 p.m. rather than 8 p.m. More businesses, including restaurants, will also be allowed to open at limited capacity.

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Quebec premier Francois Legault has said that Montreal and the surrounding areas will not see any imminent changes in public health restrictions, warning that more contagious variants of the virus could prompt a sharp uptick in the number of cases in the region.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021.

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