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Nova Scotia to make vaccination mandatory for health workers, teachers – Powell River Peak

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HALIFAX — Nova Scotia will move into the final phase of its reopening plan on Monday with what officials say is a cautious approach involving vaccine mandates for public sector employees such as health workers and teachers. 

Vaccination against COVID-19 will be required by the end of November for a broad range of public employees, chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang said Wednesday, including hospital and long-term care workers, physicians, paramedics, teachers and other educational staff. 

Strang, who had been hesitant to impose vaccine mandates, said the province has reached a tipping point during the fourth wave of the novel coronavirus.

“The fourth wave impacts young people who cannot yet be vaccinated,” Strang told reporters. “I frankly think we need to put their safety first … and have people who are being paid to provide care or to teach those individuals be vaccinated.”

He said workers will need to provide proof of vaccination by Nov. 30 or face being put on unpaid administrative leave. Unvaccinated employees are required to participate in a vaccine education program, Strang said, adding that all new hires in the targeted sectors must be vaccinated.

Health officials say 80.4 per cent of the population has had at least one dose of a vaccine and 74.6 per cent is fully vaccinated. Premier Tim Houston said Wednesday about 60,000 eligible Nova Scotians still haven’t received a jab.

The new vaccine mandate allows for medical exceptions that can only be issued by a nurse practitioner or physician, the premier said.

“There will be a very small percentage of people who can’t get vaccinated,” Houston told reporters. “But for the rest, the time is up and there will be a clear choice before you. I want to assure Nova Scotians I don’t take this lightly.”

Also beginning Oct. 15, a third or booster dose of an mRNA vaccine will be offered to people who require it for work-related travel and those who are immunocompromised.

Most restrictions will be lifted Monday, Houston said, including physical distancing and gathering limits for events hosted by a recognized business or organization. But mask-wearing will still be mandatory in indoor public spaces and informal gatherings will still be limited to 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors, he added.

Also starting Monday, people over the age of 12 will be required to show proof of vaccination to access services and businesses the government deems non-essential, such restaurants, movie theatres and gyms.

The government said it would add border restrictions for travellers from Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, who will join other Canadian travellers in needing to complete a safe check-in form prior to their arrival. Anyone who is at least two weeks removed from their second COVID-19 dose does not have to isolate upon entry to the province.

“We have no choice but to continue taking this (wave) seriously, there is no other option,” Houston said. “We cannot let our guard down.”

The province reported 41 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Thirty-two new cases were identified in the Halifax area, four in the province’s northern zone, three in its eastern zone and two in the western zone. 

Nova Scotia has 224 active reported COVID-19 infections and 12 people in hospital with the disease, including two in intensive care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2021.

Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press


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Sask. to offer monoclonal antibodies to some COVID-19 patients – Flipboard

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Saskatchewan won’t impose more COVID-19 measures: Premier Scott Moe

The Toronto Star – The Canadian Press • 16h

REGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he will not bring in additional COVID-19 measures because it ultimately takes away people’s personal …

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EOHU recommending flu shots for area residents, as winter approaches – The Review Newspaper

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As the fall and cooler weather arrive, they bring with them the start of flu season. According to the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, the flu shot is the best protection against the flu, and with the presence of COVID-19 in the community, getting your flu shot is more important now than ever. The flu shot has been approved for use alongside COVID-19 vaccines and is a key step in keeping healthy this season.

“It’s especially important that people get their flu shot this year,” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU). “Both COVID and the flu share symptoms and, despite their similarities, being fully vaccinated for COVID won’t protect you from the flu.”

“Getting the flu shot can help you stay healthy and reduce the pressure on health care centres.”

Getting the flu shot could also help reduce the demand on COVID-19 assessment centres. The fewer number of people who develop flu symptoms, the fewer who will need to get tested for COVID-19.

The flu shot is available at various locations throughout the five Eastern Counties and Cornwall, including through some healthcare providers, community health centres, participating pharmacies and by appointment at the EOHU for children ages 6 months to under 5 years, and their immediate family.

Appointments for children at the EOHU will be available as of November 1. Call to book your child’s appointment starting on October 25. Residents must bring a piece of identification to their appointment. To find out more about where you can get the flu shot, visit EOHU.ca.

Certain groups of people are at higher risk of complications from the flu and are strongly encouraged to get immunized. These include:

  • children 6 months to less than 5 years of age
  • people aged 65 and older
  • people with chronic medical conditions

If you live with or provide care to someone who falls under one of the groups listed above, or care for newborn infants and children under 6 months of age, it is also highly recommended that you get immunized. This simple step will help protect you and those around you.

For more information about the flu shot, visit EOHU.ca or call  613-933-1375 or 800-267-7120.

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Facebook, YouTube take down Bolsonaro video over false vaccine claim

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Facebook and YouTube have removed from their platforms a video by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in which the far-right leader made a false claim that COVID-19 vaccines were linked with developing AIDS.

Both Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube said the video, which was recorded on Thursday, violated their policies.

“Our policies don’t allow claims that COVID-19 vaccines kill or seriously harm people,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.

YouTube confirmed that it had taken the same step later in the day.

“We removed a video from Jair Bolsonaro’s channel for violating our medical disinformation policy regarding COVID-19 for alleging that vaccines don’t reduce the risk of contracting the disease and that they cause other infectious diseases,” YouTube said in a statement.

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), COVID-19 vaccines approved by health regulators are safe for most people, including those living with HIV, the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, known as AIDS.

Bolsonaro’s office did not respond immediately to a request for comment outside normal hours.

In July, YouTube removed videos from Bolsonaro’s official channel in which he recommended using hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin against COVID-19, despite scientific proof that these drugs are not effective in treating the disease.

Since then, Bolsonaro has avoided naming both drugs on his live broadcasts, saying the videos could be removed and advocating “early treatment” in general for COVID-19.

Bolsonaro, who tested positive for the coronavirus in July last year, had credited his taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, for his mild symptoms. While Bolsonaro himself last January said that he wouldn’t take any COVID-19 vaccine, he did vow to quickly inoculate all Brazilians.

In addition to removing the video, YouTube has suspended Bolsonaro for seven days, national newspapers O Estado de S. Paulo and O Globo reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

YouTube did not respond to a separate Reuters request for comment regarding the suspension on Monday night.

(Reporting by Pedro Fonseca in Rio de Janeiro; Additional reporting by Gram Slattery in Rio de Janeiro and Anthony Boadle in Brasilia; Writing by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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