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‘Nobody wants to waste them’: What should Canada do with leftover COVID-19 vaccine doses? – Global News

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Scoring a leftover dose of COVID-19 vaccine is like winning the lottery. But who should be allowed to play?

Canada has approved two vaccines so far: one from Pfizer-BioNTech and another from Moderna.  Both have a limited shelf life after thawing, therefore appointment no-shows can mean leftover doses at the end of the day.

In the USA, people of all ages have been posting tips about how to snag a surplus shot on websites like Vaccine Hunter.

Some TikTok users have made joyful videos about their success after waiting in pharmacy standby lines. A Tennessee news outlet reported Nashville was running a raffle — drawing a few names each day to come get a shot within 30 minutes.


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Coronavirus: White House invoking DPA, originally intended as wartime measure, to speed up vaccine production


Coronavirus: White House invoking DPA, originally intended as wartime measure, to speed up vaccine production

In Canada, COVID-19 vaccines are harder to come by. Shipment delays have slowed roll-out efforts, leaving priority groups waiting for their second or even their first dose. Yet some non-priority Canadians have already received a shot.

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Read more:
Despite vaccine rollout headaches, feds expect campaign to scale up soon

“I think (Ontario) set a really negative precedent for the rest of the nation,” Dr. Kerry Bowman told Global News.

The Toronto bioethicist points to examples of Ontario hospitals vaccinating non-frontline staff. One long-term care home in the province allegedly vaccinated family and friends of board members and staff.

In Alberta, at least two fire chiefs in St. Albert are also accused of jumping the queue.

While no one wants the precious commodity to go to waste, Bowman says there is no excuse for vaccines not going to vulnerable people right now.

“In most cases, it’s not hard to find people that meet those protocols. Whether you’re in a hospital or a long term care facility, it can be done,”  Bowman said.

“No one should be (vaccinating) without that plan before they start.”

Read more:
Pfizer’s vaccine shipments to Canada already based on 6 doses per vial

Some are calling for a national policy on what to do with leftover doses. At a news conference on Feb. 9, Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said such policies are up to provincial and local authorities.

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“What we do try and share is best practices and making sure that provinces can share how they reduce any kind of wastage,” Tam said.

“Nobody wants to waste (vaccines) so any way in which people can get them into people’s arms is really critical.”


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Coronavirus: More than 70% of Canadians intend to get COVID-19 vaccine, Tam says


Coronavirus: More than 70% of Canadians intend to get COVID-19 vaccine, Tam says

Some provinces have clear guidelines. Alberta Health Services has created a “wastage strategy,” with an “evolving list of eligible individuals” according to an email from AHS spokesperson Kerry Williamson.

The list includes people who already have a vaccination appointment booked and people who are over the age of 75, but are not yet eligible.

Williamson said Alberta’s current waste levels of COVID-19 are “extremely low” at 0.2 per cent.

Read more:
Canada to squeeze extra vaccine dose from Pfizer vials. It’s not as easy as it seems

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Infectious diseases physician Stephanie Smith points out a one-size-fits-all approach to distribution may not work in remote areas.

“I think that there has to be a little bit of flexibility based on infrastructure and location,” Smith said.

Bowman predicts Canadians may one day look back at the history books in disbelief.

“We had active outbreaks right there, and we were giving away vaccines to peripheral people.”

Here’s a brief look at what we know about the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines:

Moderna


The first doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Ottawa, Mayor Jim Watson said Friday.


Eduardo Munoz/Pool via AP

Headquarters: Cambridge, Mass.

About the vaccine: Messenger RNA (ribonucleic acid), a genetic component that carries genetic information of a virus. The mRNA vaccines inject part of the code from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which then train the immune system to recognize the virus and mount an immune response against it. Moderna partnered with Lonza, which is manufacturing the vaccine.

Storage: Vaccine is frozen between -15 C and -25 C, can be kept in a refrigerator between 2 C and 8 C for up to 30 days.

Doses: Two, 28 days apart.*

Effectiveness: Trials showed it to prevent serious illness from COVID-19 in 94 per cent of patients.

Canadian purchase agreement signed: July 24, 2020.

Doses purchased: 40 million. Initial purchase was 20 million doses with option for 36 million more. Canada exercised the option to buy 20 million more in early December. The remaining optional doses expired in December. Canada expects all 40 million doses to be delivered by the fall.

Status in Canada: Approved by Health Canada Dec. 23, 2020 for use on Canadians 18 years and older.

Pfizer-BioNTech

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Headquarters: Pfizer is headquartered in New York City and BioNTech in Mainz, Germany.

About the vaccine: Like Moderna’s, it is an mRNA vaccine. BioNTech developed the technology and partnered with Pfizer for further research, manufacturing and commercialization.

Storage: Vaccine must be kept at ultralow temperatures, between -60 C and -80 C. It is shipped on dry ice to keep it cold between freezers. Can be thawed to room temperature up to five days before use. It must be mixed with sodium chloride before injection and after mixing, can be kept at room temperature up to six hours.

Doses: Two, 21 days apart.*

Effectiveness: Prevented serious illness in 95 per cent of patients.

Canadian purchase agreement: Aug. 1, 2020.

Doses purchased: Canada got 20 million guaranteed doses with an option for 56 million more. It has exercised the options for another 20 million doses in 2021. Pfizer is to deliver four million doses by March 31 and most of the rest by Sept. 30.

Status in Canada: Approved by Health Canada Dec. 9 for Canadians 16 years of age and older.

* The National Advisory Committee on Immunization in Canada says the vaccines should be given on schedule where possible but if there are supply shortages, the second dose could be delayed up to six weeks, instead of the three or four weeks recommended.

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— With files from Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Asian markets roiled as bond rout turns 'lethal' – Yahoo Finance

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By Wayne Cole and Swati Pandey

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian stocks fell by the most in nine months on Friday as a rout in global bond markets sent yields flying and spooked investors amid fears the heavy losses suffered could trigger distressed selling in other assets.

In a sign the gloomy mood will reverberate across markets, European and U.S. stock futures were a sea of red. Eurostoxx 50 futures lost 1.7% while futures for Germany’s DAX and those for London’s FTSE dropped 1.3% each.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slid more than 3% to a one-month low, its steepest one-day percentage loss since May 2020.

For the week the index is down more than 5%, its worst weekly showing since March last year when the coronavirus pandemic had sparked fears of a global recession.

Friday’s carnage was triggered by a whiplash in bonds.

The scale of the sell-off prompted Australia’s central bank to launch a surprise bond buying operation to try and staunch the bleeding.

Yields on the 10-year Treasury note eased back to 1.538% from a one-year high of 1.614%, but were still up a startling 40 basis points for the month in the biggest move since 2016.

“Bond yields could still go higher in the short term though as bond selling begets more bond selling,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP.

“The longer this continues the greater the risk of a more severe correction in share markets if earnings upgrades struggle to keep up with the rise in bond yields.”

Markets were hedging the risk of an earlier rate hike from the Federal Reserve, even though officials this week vowed any move was long in the future.

Fed fund futures are now almost fully priced for a rise to 0.25% by January 2023, while Eurodollars have it discounted for June 2022.

Even the thought of an eventual end to super-cheap money sent shivers through global stock markets, which have been regularly hitting record highs and stretching valuations.

“The fixed income rout is shifting into a more lethal phase for risky assets,” says Damien McColough, Westpac’s head of rates strategy.

“The rise in yields has long been mostly seen as a story of improving growth expectations, if anything padding risky assets, but the overnight move notably included a steep lift in real rates and a bringing forward of Fed lift-off expectations.”

Japan’s Nikkei shed 3.7% and Chinese blue chips joined the retreat with a drop of 2.5%.

EMERGING STRAINS

Overnight, the Dow fell 1.75%, while the S&P 500 lost 2.45% and the Nasdaq 3.52%, the biggest decline in almost four months for the tech-heavy index.

Tech darlings all suffered, with Apple Inc, Tesla Inc, Amazon.com Inc, NVIDIA Corp and Microsoft Corp the biggest drags.

All of that elevated the importance of U.S. personal consumption data due later on Friday, which includes one of the Fed’s favoured inflation measures.

Core inflation is actually expected to dip to 1.4% in January, which could help calm market angst, but any upside surprise would likely accelerate the bond rout.

The surge in Treasury yields also caused ructions in emerging markets, which feared the better returns on offer in the United States might attract funds away.

Currencies favoured for leveraged carry trades all suffered, including the Brazil real, Turkish lira and South African rand.

The flows helped nudge the U.S. dollar up more broadly, with the dollar index rising to 90.371. It also gained on the low-yielding yen, briefly reaching the highest since September at 106.42. The euro eased a touch to $1.2152.

The jump in yields has tarnished gold, which offers no fixed return, and dragged it down to $1,760.8 an ounce from the week’s high around $1,815.

However, analysts at ANZ were more bullish on the outlook.

“We now expect U.S. inflation to hit 2.5% this year,” they said in a note. “Combined with further depreciation in the U.S. dollar, we see gold’s fair value at $2,000/oz in the second half of the year.”

Oil prices dropped on a higher dollar and expectations of more supply.[O/R]

U.S. crude fell 67 cents to $62.86 per barrel and Brent also lost 67 cents to $66.21.

(Editing by Sam Holmes)

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Canada should invest in facilities to make vaccines for next pandemic, says Moderna co-founder – CTV News

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  1. Canada should invest in facilities to make vaccines for next pandemic, says Moderna co-founder  CTV News
  2. Vaccines, excellent real world data  Dr. John Campbell
  3. COVID-19: Vaccinating B.C. kids could be critical to achieving herd immunity  Vancouver Sun
  4. Vaccine ‘ramp-up phase’: 1.3M Moderna doses in March; more than 10M Pfizer by June  CTV News
  5. Canada receives largest COVID-19 vaccine shipment to date | News  Daily Hive
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



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Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce profit beats estimates on capital market strength

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TORONTO (Reuters) – Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit on Thursday, as it put aside lower-than-expected funds for loan loss provisions and its capital markets segment performed well.

Adjusted net income rose to C$1.64 billion, or C$3.58 a share, in the three months to Jan. 31, compared with C$1.5 billion, or C$3.24 a share, a year earlier. Analysts had expected C$2.81 a share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income stood at C$1.63 billion, or C$3.55 a share, up from C$1.2 billion, or C$2.63 a share.

($1 = 1.2476 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting By Nichola Saminather and Sohini Podder; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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