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No new coronavirus signage at YVR, despite Iran case – Kamloops Matters



There are no plans to change the signage at YVR or adjust the questions asked of arriving passengers, despite a woman being diagnosed with coronavirus after travelling in Iran.

To date, much of the signage placed around the terminals at Vancouver Airport have made specific reference to passengers who’ve travelled from China, the epicentre of the global outbreak.

However, when asked about the border screening process, Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr, Theresa Tam, told media Friday afternoon that public health’s “layered response” is working well.

“Right now. What we have in place has been working,” said Tam.

The airport takes its lead regarding signs from the CBSA which, in turn, gets its advice on the matter from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHOC).

“It’s about every traveller being vigilant and what to do if they get sick. It’s not just about China, it’s about realizing (coronavirus) is everywhere.”

All of the reported cases of the virus in Iran have been in the Qom region, just south of Tehran.

Asked if the woman who flew into YVR recently from Iran had been to the Qom area of the country, Tam said she believed that B.C.’s health authorities are looking into that.

“I didn’t get any indication that she’s been there. That needs further investigation,” she added.

A sixth case of coronavirus was confirmed in B.C. on Thursday evening.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s top medical health officer, told media the woman in her 30s lives in the Fraser Health region and had recently visited Iran.

By Friday, Iran has 18 confirmed cases of coronavirus and four deaths.

Henry said the woman attended a local hospital with flu-like symptoms when she arrived back in B.C. and was then asked to go into isolation at her home, where her family members are also being monitored. The woman’s infection is relatively mild, added Henry.

“She returned (from Iran) this week and we are looking at all her movements over the last few days,” said Henry, adding that the health authority will be working with national and international colleagues to better understand where the woman may have been exposed to the virus.

“We were surprised, as you can imagine,” said Henry, referring to the case.

“It could be an indicator that there’s more wide-spread transmission. This is what we call an indicator or a sentinel event.”

The Fraser Health region stretches from Delta in the west to Hope in the east and White Rock in the south.

Today’s announcement brings Canada’s total confirmed cases of the virus to nine. Three of the cases are patients in Ontario.

Last week, health officials confirmed B.C.’s fifth case, a woman in her 30s who flew into Vancouver International Airport from Shanghai, and then travelled via private car to her home in the Interior region.

While she still has symptoms, Henry told media this week she is “doing well” in isolation at home.

Globally, as of Thursday evening, there has been 76,722 cases of coronavirus reported, which resulted in 2,247 deaths, mostly in China’s Hubei province.

About 18,500 of the reported cases have recovered.

On Wednesday, Feb. 19, Henry announced that the province’s first coronavirus patient — who lives in the Vancouver Coastal Health region — has fully recovered and is out of isolation.

B.C.’s second, third and fourth cases, announced two weeks ago, who are all related, are still at home in isolation.

Two of those patients are visitors from Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

Canada’s first coronavirus case, a man in his 50s in Toronto, has also recovered, Ontario health officials announced Thursday.

On Thursday, Canadians aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, docked in Japan, were removed from the ship after being quarantined there for the past 14 days. Hundreds of the ship’s passengers tested positive for coronavirus.

The Canadians who did not test positive for the virus are now onboard a repatriation flight and are expected to arrive at CFB Trenton early Friday morning. 

They will then be transported to the NAV Canada Training Institute in Cornwall, Ont. for another two-week quarantine.

Meanwhile the passengers from the first repatriation flight, which flew out of Wuhan Feb. 6, are completing their 14-day quarantine and are expected to go home Friday.

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UK study finds mRNA COVID-19 vaccines provide biggest booster impact – Fiji Times



LONDON (Reuters) -COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna that use mRNA technology provide the biggest boost to antibody levels when given 10-12 weeks after the second dose, a new British study has found.

The “COV-Boost” study was cited by British officials when they announced that Pfizer and Moderna were preferred for use in the country’s booster campaign, but the data has only been made publicly available now.

The study found that six of the seven boosters examined enhanced immunity after initial vaccination with Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine, while all seven increased immunity when given after two doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

“A third dose will be effective for many of the vaccines we’ve tested and in many different combinations,” Professor Saul Faust, an immunologist at the University of Southampton and the trial’s lead, told reporters.

The study, published late on Thursday, found that a full dose or half dose of Pfizer or a full dose of Moderna gave a strong boost to both antibody and T-cell levels, regardless of whether the person initially received Pfizer or AstraZeneca.

“All four of the vaccination regimes most widely deployed in the UK lead to essentially the same levels of immunity and are likely to be equally effective,” said Professor Eleanor Riley, immunologist at the University of Edinburgh. She added that a policy change in booster gaps was also supported by the data.

“These data support the JCVI (vaccine committee) decision earlier this week to bring forward booster doses to 3 months after the second vaccination.”

When AstraZeneca, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson and Curevac were given as boosters, they increased antibody levels for either initial vaccine, albeit to a smaller degree, the study found. However, while Valneva boosted antibodies in people initially vaccinated with AstraZeneca, it did not provide a boost for Pfizer.

The COV-Boost study pre-dated the spread of the emergent Omicron variant of concern, and Faust said he had shared samples with the UK Health Security Agency to generate data on Omicron.

The study did however find that booster shots also helped to generate a broad T-cell response against the Beta and Delta variants, which may play a key role in longer-term protection.

A separate study by Imperial College London into how initial exposure to SARS-CoV-2 shapes immune responses, also published late on Thursday, similarly found a good T-cell response to both Alpha and Delta after infection followed by vaccination.

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Dutch former queen Beatrix tests positive for COVID-19



Dutch former queen Beatrix, 83, has tested positive for COVID-19, the royal information service RVD said in a statement Saturday.

Princess Beatrix, as she has been known since her abdication in 2013, got tested after coming down with “mild cold symptoms”, the statement said.

“The princess is at home in isolation and adheres to the rules of life for people who have tested positive,” it added.

The Netherlands has been experiencing a record-breaking wave of COVID-19 cases that is threatening to overwhelm the country’s healthcare system.

(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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‘I was shocked’: Mother, child mistakenly given COVID-19 vaccine instead of flu shot – Comox Valley Record



A Manitoba mother says a routine appointment for her and her three-year-old to get flu shots ended in frustration and mixed messages after they were each mistakenly given an adult dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Jenna Bardarson is calling for policy changes at the province’s vaccination centres to make sure that doesn’t happen to another family.

The shots were administered on Nov. 24 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.

Bardarson says that shortly after she and her daughter, Dali, got their shots, the health worker who had given them excused herself to speak with a supervisor. When the worker returned, she told them she had made a mistake and given them both the adult Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“I was shocked. I didn’t know what to say. My immediate concerns were, of course, would my daughter be OK and also who could I speak to about this,” Bardarson said in online social media messages Friday to The Canadian Press.

Once she got home, Bardarson made multiple calls to different departments with the regional medical authority, hoping to speak with someone about the error and her concerns, she said.

She said no one was able to provide her with the answers or information she needed. “The conversations with various Prairie Mountain Health members have been frustrating, to say the least.”

Bardarson said she already had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and was due for her booster shot next month. Her daughter is too young to be eligible.

Health Canada last month approved a pediatric version of the Pfizer shot for children ages five to 11, but it has not yet approved a vaccine for those under five.

Bardarson said she and her daughter had headaches and sore arms the following day. Her daughter had no appetite and was throwing up.

Manitoba Health confirmed the mistake in a statement and said staff from Prairie Mountain have reached out to the mother to discuss what happened as well as to provide an update on an investigation.

“Patient safety is a critical aspect of all health-care services in Manitoba. We are constantly reviewing our processes to ensure that our systems support our staff in preventing errors,” it said.

“In this case … our team reviewed the existing processes to make adjustments that would help avoid a similar error from occurring in the future.”

Bardarson said the health region has not provided her with updated information on the investigation and would not discuss any consequences the health worker may have faced.

Manitoba Health said no further action would be taken against the worker, because she immediately recognized the error and told a supervisor.

For Bardarson, that’s not enough.

“I by no means want her fired; however, there should be some sort of measures in place for harm reduction.”

Bardarson suggested taking away the worker’s injection privileges or enhanced supervision during vaccinations.

She said she would also like to see areas at vaccination centres separated by vaccine types, instead of having different vaccines offered in the same booth.

Manitoba Health could not say if others have been given a COVID-19 vaccine by mistake, but acknowledged that medication errors, although rare, do occur. It added that Bardarson was provided with information about the risks of the COVID-19 vaccine, which in this case it says are low.

Health Canada said it is not in charge of immunization monitoring and could not comment on whether similar mistakes have occurred in other parts of the country.

– Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press


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