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Lonza seeks workers to lift Moderna vaccine output




By John Miller

ZURICH (Reuters) -Three Lonza manufacturing lines for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine are due to reach production capacity by late June, Chief Executive Pierre-Alain Ruffieux said on Thursday, though he still needs about 100 more workers to staff them.

Ruffieux’s June projection for the existing lines in Visp, Switzerland, came as Lonza announced a new pact with Moderna to double its Swiss vaccine ingredient production by adding three new lines by 2022.

Concerns over Lonza’s ability to deliver on schedule emerged last week, when Moderna flagged second-quarter shortfalls in shots for Britain and Canada, citing an uneven production ramp-up, just as COVID-19 variants rage and infections hit record peaks.

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Ruffieux, with Lonza Chairman Albert Baehny, said they were working with the Swiss government to streamline work permits for foreign specialists while contacting Swiss companies who could loan specialists to step in temporarily.

“Whatever we do, we need to do more,” Ruffieux said in an interview. “With our partner Moderna, we just try to continually optimise these kinds of processes.”

Moderna now aims to produce at least 800 million mRNA shots this year and up to 3 billion in 2022. Lonza also makes Moderna ingredients at a New Hampshire plant for U.S. delivery.

Original Lonza estimates for staffing the Swiss production lines called for 70 employees each. As the facilities took shape, Ruffieux said, he realised more were necessary.

“By putting more people in some places, you can further accelerate your production and make it more efficient,” he said, adding that experience gained now will help to boost efficiency of new Moderna production lines due in 2022.


Asked about concerns that Lonza could miss quarterly delivery targets, Baehny described such comments as “speculation”.

“We are just at the beginning of the second quarter,” he said. “We’ll do everything we can to produce as much as we can.”

Dan Staner, Moderna’s European head, separately told Swiss state radio that the new pact with Lonza to double Swiss production was a vote of confidence.

“It demonstrates that we think we have taken the right decision by coming to produce in Switzerland and, above all, to link up with Lonza,” Staner said.

Lonza did not give a value for new Moderna deal, but the production lines it built last year each cost 70 million Swiss francs ($77 million).

($1 = 0.9093 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by John Miller and Stephanie NebehayEditing by David Clarke and David Goodman)

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What ever happened to a healthy debate?



Professional Misconduct
Ideological discrimination
Institutional Intolerance
Cultural & Gender Wars
Dictatorial Pronouncements by Professional Associations
Struggles of New Canadians within a Closed-Minded society.
Educational Institutions that teach intolerance

Folks does anything catches your attention, specific to your world experiences? The above-mentioned issues cause concern, fear, confusion, and sometimes hate within our democratic society.

There was a well-known writer named J.K. Rowlings, and a professional nurse named Amy H. who have run into conflict with these above-mentioned issues. A writer whose very open to all forms of equality yet showed concern for the young and how they are experiencing gender issues, while gender activists purporting to support them, appear to be indoctrinating them instead. She was attacked for showing concern for the young. Nurse Amy H showed her respect for this writer by making a sign that said, “we love J.K. Rowling”. The nurse was involved in the gender wars also, fighting to have equality above all else established and learned. Both of these individuals were and are under attack by the forces of gender orthodox., a powerful and influential group within the educational, institutional, and media sectors of our societies. These people and others who simply express their thoughts and beliefs come up against an unyielding wall of closed-mindedness, one that purports to be democratic yet proves itself to be undemocratic. Those who opposed them simply complained to their professional associations and councils decided against the nurse. Debate, the very essence of higher education and democratic thought is being silenced by groups and individuals who have learned that simply saying it is not so, and this is the only truly acceptable will prevail against any foe. The opposing opinion is considered the enemy.

My son David went to York University, experiencing the dictatorship of the minority fully. Having an opposing opinion resulted in verbal conflict, and accusations and that did not come just from his fellow students but also from many of his instructors. Ideology in whatever form is king at York and many of our centers of higher learning. Many of our professional Associations have been occupied by similar-minded ideologs. Debate, discussion, and differing thoughts are viewed as unessential and dangerous. These actions were taken from the playbooks of the Jewish Defense League and LGBTQ Community activists of the 1960-the 80s’ and beyond. If you refuse to listen, will not discuss, but simply act as though the opposing opinion does not exist or is a horrid thing, your opinion will eventually be victorious.

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Our society’s intelligence, those who in the past forged get ideas and cultural achievements are now the bull work of bombastic anti-thought. They are now the keepers of ancient ideals that have no functional place in a working society. Equality means something totally different to them, an ideal that ensures their goals at the cost of others. Tolerance has no meaning to them, and words mean less than actions. All they want is to get what they perceive to be right. Democratically inspired citizens need to stand against these “useful fools”(Lenin) and press the majority’s cooperative advantage. What is more Canadian, American, and Caribbean-like, than cooperating with our fellow citizens? Please consider, excuse me, sorry are words voiced by us who only want to build, while these opportunists’ words tear apart, derail and often destroy. Image means more to this lot than reality because they believe our reality is false, misrepresenting, and manipulative.

Imagine yourself as a new national immigrant coming from a nation carrying with you the ideals, customs, and culture of your homeland. Splashing into the confusing gender-cultural wars that exist today. What are equality, gender bias, and democratic self-expression? Why are you being confronted by others with seemingly different thoughts and ideals? Debate perhaps, as you’d expect within a democratic nation.

Our lives end the day we fall silent about the things that matter to us. Strong people will stand up for themselves, while even stronger citizens stand up for others. Charity, Concern for others, and respect for your opinion and the opinion of others is what democracy is all about. Ideolog, arrogant supermen and women need to hear the fire of debate, the expression of thoughts and principles that have and will shape us all.

Steven Kaszab
Bradford, Ontario

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Air Canada suspending flights to Calgary from YXE and YQR – CTV News Saskatoon



Starting in mid-January Air Canada will no longer be offering direct flights to and from Calgary for the province’s two biggest airports.

Travelers at the Saskatoon Airport were not happy with the announcement.

“I want them to continue. There are many people in Saskatoon that go to Calgary,” said Josephine Regan.

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“Who wants to go to Vancouver and then fly back again,” said Anne McDonald.

Air Canada passengers will now have to catch a connecting flight through Vancouver, more than tripling the time it takes to reach Calgary with a direct flight.

“It was a surprise, we were not aware that this decision was going to be made,” said Vice-President of Business Development for Skyxe Airport CJ Dushinski.

“It’s obviously disappointing anytime a carrier decides to cease service from a market, especially when we’re talking about a market like Calgary which is one of our largest markets out of Saskatoon.”

Saskatoon and Regina both see approximately two in-bound and out-bound flights to Calgary daily.

“We know loyal Air Canada customers will be disappointed. It provides a few less options for connections through a variety of places,” said Manager of Customer Experience for Regina Airport Authority Justin Reves.

In a statement to CTV News the airline provider said “Air Canada has made some changes to its flights to/from Calgary. We are continuing to rebuild our business in a prudent and disciplined way and that means looking at every aspect of our network and deploying our resources where they will be most productive. After careful review, we’ve decided that we must continue to strategically focus on rebuilding our main hubs of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to suspend a number of regional routes from Calgary effective Jan. 2023.”

Sandy Levinton who operates Marlin Travel Agency says the direct flight suspensions will force her company to switch up some flights for customers.

“We have to find alternate routes for them,” she said. “The airlines have to streamline their operations whenever they can. They’re seeing that flights are not filling up and they’re just going start pulling those or suspending them.”

In the wake of the suspension Levinton says WestJet Airlines has already added more direct flights to Calgary.

Air Canada says it does “review opportunities to add services,” which could have the company add the flights back to the province’s two major airports, however it provided no timetable for when that could happen. 

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Blood Donations: The Gift We take for Granted



How has the pandemic affected the blood pool within the North America Region? Has the blood supply so needed by the racialized, Black and Asian Communities suffered?

Black and Racialized North Americans tend to die or have blood-related illnesses more often than White Folk. The exact cause is unknown, but it is likely a combination of genetics, behavior, and risk factors entering into it. Blacks tend to have smaller blood vessels, leading to heart-centered illnesses. Ethnic health issues are front and center, in front of our political and health officials these days.

Canada is facing a blood shortage, and 100,000 donors are required to maintain the nation’s blood supply. This is a challenge to accomplish in itself. There are racial communities that have particular needs not being serviced. For many of these people, there is a shortage of donations from their specific genetic community, causing a life-or-death situation.

“Most of the time, blood really never sees race,” says Madeline Verhovsek, a hematologist from St. Joseph’s healthcare in Hamilton. Matching blood transfusions between donors and recipients is usually an easy endeavor, but in some special cases, the blood types available are not sufficient. Sometimes a person with special unique medical conditions or complications may require extended matching, challenging the system’s blood pool. In some cases, people from specific ethnic communities are required to donate to their kin and community members.

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One such condition is sickle-cell anemia, which affects people living in malaria-prone areas of Sub-Sahara Africa and The Middle East Regions. Sickle Cell Anemia can require patients to experience up to 25 transfusions annually. While there are 4 main blood types (O, A/B, A, and B are antigens that sit upon red blood cells), there are other antigens contained in blood, and their genetic codes can vary. Blood from the black community is like gold to the Canadian Blood Services, mostly because of its rarity and availability. That is not to say that the black community does not donate blood, but rather that there are stumbling blocks placed before racialized community members. If you have had malaria, you are not allowed to donate in Canada. In America, those who have had malaria are not banned for life.

Margaret Media of Canadian Blood Services (director of philanthropy) said “Canadians must realize and acknowledge that some government policies are a hindrance to people donating their blood, marrow, and stem cells”.

Sikh Nation, a community-based organization, raises the Sikh Community into donating their blood. They want a safe supply, but also adequate supply, so when there is a need the supply is there. The ban that disallowed LGBTQ Community Members to donate has been re-imaged recently. Those communities with a historic rare blood record have been organizing community drives, as well as blood storage with the Canadian authority’s assistance and cooperation. Those that help themselves through organizing and determining action seem to achieve wonderful results. In our crazy energetic world, finding the time to donate is another problem. The Business World has often responded to this difficulty through employee-encouraged blood drives, paid wages while donating, and promoting blood donations. The blood agency and activist organizations pursue diligently those employed in super active jobs, such as truck drivers and seasonal workers to encourage and achieve blood donations.

Governmental action to lower the barriers to donating blood, especially within Black and African, and Asian populations seems to be achieving its necessary goals. The Indian community of Brampton has responded well to the presence of increased donation centers in Brampton. Sikh Canadian activists point out that blood donation is perfectly in line with Canadian – Sikh values, to save lives.

Sources…Canadian Blood Services, CBC, and Brampton Guardian.

Steven Kaszab
Bradford, Ontario

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