Canadians have been asking this question for months now — when will we get the vaccine?
Epidemiologist Dr. Isaac Bogoch recently joined The Morning Show to speak to that question and to share all the latest COVID-19 updates.
On Tuesday, Moderna gave the world good news when it announced that its vaccine is up to 94.5 per cent effective.
However, Dr. Bogoch says the promising results also call for optimistic caution. The data still needs to be peer-reviewed and made accessible to experts.
Moderna applied for vaccine approval in the U.S. and the U.K. However, the company has been gradually releasing data to Health Canada for its approval.
The infectious diseases expert believes the approval process will be fair and transparent.
While we still don’t know when will we receive the vaccine, Bogoch says prioritized groups like people in long-term care homes and front-line workers will be among the first to get the vaccine when it is available.
He says a significant number of deaths come from long-term care homes and giving them vaccines will reduce the stress on the health-care system.
As for concerns about side-effects of the vaccine, Bogoch says people receiving the two-shot vaccine may experience fatigue, fever and a sore arm. “It is important to inform people on what they can expect,” he says.
While Canada, and indeed the world, waits for vaccines amid continued restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, lockdowns have been working elsewhere — in countries like France and the U.K. — to reduce infection.
Bogoch says “we can all acknowledge that they’re terrible for mental health, they bad for physical health, they take a tremendous economic toll,” and urges Canadians to stay patient in these lockdowns because they can get the cases under control despite the challenges.
“Unfortunately, when health-care systems are stretched beyond capacity, that’s really the last straw,” he added.
To find out more about Canada’s process of getting vaccines, watch the full video above.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Canada Post employee dies after contracting COVID-19 amid major outbreak at Mississauga facility – CTV Toronto
A Canada Post employee infected with COVID-19 during an outbreak that has impacted 224 workers at a Mississauga, Ont., facility died over the weekend, the union representing workers said.
Canadian Union of Postal Workers Toronto local president Qaiser Maroof told CP24 the employee at the Gateway East plant died on Monday.
He said the man worked nights on “Shift 1” at the Gateway East plant.
He was tested on Jan. 19 and isolated at home after his test.
Between the start of January and today, 224 workers at the facility have tested positive for coronavirus infection.
The spread at the 4,500-worker facility got so bad this month that 100 Canada Border Services Agency guards assigned to inspect packages at the facility were instructed to stay away.
More than 350 workers – an entire shift of workers in one area of the facility – were sent home to self-isolate last week as Peel Public Health sought to slow the spread of infection in the facility.
Maroof said the deceased employee was not part of the shift sent home to self-isolate, and sought out testing on his own.
He did not show symptoms prior to his test and was upset that he was not offered a test as a proactive measure, Maroof recalled.
“It is an unnecessary loss of life and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends,” Maroof said in a statement. “This tragedy underscores why we have been insisting to the government that the postal workers are indeed frontline workers.”
Employees told CP24 news of death was shared informally with some workers on Tuesday.
Chief Medical Officer of Health for Peel Region Dr. Lawrence Loh would not comment on the death when asked Wednesday.
He said that rapid tests were used to detect cases at Gateway East.
Maroof said he did not know whether the man was hospitalized prior to his death or where in the GTA he passed away.
The man’s wife also works for Canada Post, at a Toronto facility on Eastern Avenue.
Canada Post did not comment on the death when asked Wednesday, only saying that the outbreak was impacting parcel processing speeds at the facility.
A previous headline said the employee died of COVID-19. While the worker had tested positive for the disease, it has not yet been confirmed if it was the cause of death.
Could zero-waste shopping be the solution to Canada’s plastic packaging issue? – Global News
When you walk into The Tare Shop, you’ll notice one thing that sets it apart from other stores: no plastic bags or containers in sight.
When Kate Pepler opened her flagship store in Halifax’s north end three years ago, it was hailed as Nova Scotia’s first completely package-free bulk store.
“After announcing the business in Jan. 2018, I was flooded with messages from folks from all over Nova Scotia saying how excited they were to finally be able to shop at a package-free place,” Pepler tells Global News.
“You bring in your own containers and we encourage folks to reuse what they have.”
Love Your Local: The Tare Shop
It’s a business model that has seen so much success, the 27-year-old entrepreneur just opened up her second location on Portland St. in downtown Dartmouth.
“It’s really encouraging to see. It definitely feels like this way of shopping is catching on and is growing,” says Pepler.
She says she’s seen more customers — particularly new customers — during the coronavirus pandemic: an increase of about 30 to 40 per cent each month.
It’s a surge in new customers that doesn’t come as a surprise to Sylvain Charlebois, a Dalhousie University professor who studies Canadian food trends and habits.
“We do waste a lot of food and our lifestyles have changed since the start of COVID,” he says.
Coronavirus: Soaring reliance on single-use plastics stalls zero-waste movement
“There are reports that suggest that we are wasting more than ever, especially when it comes to packaging, so I’m not surprised that more and more people are conscious about this issue and they’re willing to do something about it.”
And just how much work Canadians are willing to put in to their shopping trips to help the environment could depend on where they live, according to Charlebois.
“We conducted a study last year about food waste awareness or packaging waste awareness, and awareness levels on both coasts in Canada were higher than say, in the prairies, Ontario or Quebec. That’s probably because we can actually see the problem, they see things on the beach, they see things in parks. So I’m not surprised to see this movement actually getting some traction in our region,” he says.
But, he says, while it may be a solution for some, he doesn’t believe a package-free shopping model will solve Canada’s food waste issue, as plastics have become a “safety net” for consumers.
“I do think that there is a good market for shops like that, but not for the masses. Everything that you have to do to visit these shops require more time. It’s a lot of work. The key is to save the planet, with convenient solutions for consumers,” Charlebois says.
He says during the pandemic, people simply aren’t focused on sustainability issues as public health takes centre stage. That said, Charlebois expects the focus to shift back to environmental issues soon.
“We need to change behaviours as quickly as possible because right now, parks and oceans don’t care about the pandemic. The problem is still there,” Charlebois says.
That is what motivates Pepler, who says she is happy to cater to those who are willing to put in the work today.
“It definitely can get very frustrating walking into a grocery store and not being given an option for a lower-waste or a plastic-free option. We can make these small changes in our lives, but we have to go one step further and push those big businesses and manufacturers and producers to take responsibility for their packaging and offer more sustainable solutions that are also economical,” she says.
“It’s been really great to be able to still provide folks with a safe way to shop a lower waste lifestyle, because, we are in a time of crisis, not just COVID-19, but the climate change and the plastic problem. We need to act, and we need to act now.”
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Wednesday – CBC.ca
Answering growing frustration over vaccine shortages, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. is ramping up deliveries to hard-pressed states over the next three weeks and expects to provide enough doses to vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer or early fall.
Biden, calling the push a “wartime effort,” said Tuesday the administration was working to buy an additional 100 million doses of each of the two approved coronavirus vaccines. He acknowledged that states in recent weeks have been left guessing how much vaccine they will have from one week to the next.
Shortages have been so severe that some vaccination sites around the U.S. had to cancel tens of thousands of appointments with people seeking their first shot.
“This is unacceptable,” Biden said. “Lives are at stake.”
He promised a roughly 16 per cent boost in deliveries to states over the next three weeks.
The administration said it plans to buy another 100 million doses each from drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna to ensure it has enough vaccine for the long term. Even more vaccine could be available if federal scientists approve a single-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson, which is expected to seek emergency authorization in the coming weeks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the government plans to make about 10.1 million first and second doses available next week, up from this week’s allotment of 8.6 million. The figures represent doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. It was not immediately clear how long the surge of doses could be sustained.
Governors and top health officials have been increasingly raising the alarm about inadequate supplies and the need for earlier and more reliable estimates of how much vaccine is on the way so that they can plan.
Biden’s team held its first virus-related call with the nation’s governors on Tuesday and pledged to provide states with firm vaccine allocations three weeks ahead of delivery.
Biden’s announcement came a day after he grew more bullish about exceeding his vaccine pledge to deliver 100 million injections in his first 100 days in office, suggesting that a rate of 1.5 million doses per day could soon be achieved.
The administration has also promised more openness and said it will hold news briefings three times a week, beginning Wednesday, about the outbreak that has killed over 420,000 Americans.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the CDC reported that just over half of the 44 million doses distributed to states have been put in people’s arms. That is well short of the hundreds of millions of doses that experts say will need to be administered to achieve herd immunity and conquer the outbreak.
The U.S. ranks fifth in the world in the number of doses administered relative to the country’s population, behind No. 1 Israel, United Arab Emirates, Britain and Bahrain, according to the University of Oxford.
The reason more of the available shots in the U.S. haven’t been dispensed isn’t entirely clear. But many vaccination sites are apparently holding large quantities of vaccine in reserve to make sure people who have already gotten their first shot receive the required second one on schedule.
Also, some state officials have complained of a lag between when they report their vaccination numbers to the government and when the figures are posted on the CDC website.
Emergency debate in Parliament on vaccines
Canada is facing its own struggles with vaccine rollout, as provinces call for more supply from Ottawa to meet demand.
No doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will arrive in Canada this week, and there will be a reduction in deliveries next week too as the company retools a production facility in Europe.
During an emergency debate Tuesday night, Procurement Minister Anita Anand told the House of Commons that Pfizer has assured her it will ramp up its deliveries once its plant is upgraded and will still meet its contractual obligation to supply Canada with four million doses by the end of March. Another two million doses are scheduled from Moderna by that time.
With those two vaccines alone, Anand said the country remains on track to meet the government’s goal of vaccinations for every willing Canadian by the end of September. If Health Canada authorizes any of the other five vaccine candidates for which the government has contracts, she said that schedule could be accelerated.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for suggesting earlier in the day that Canada is “in good shape” when it comes to the vaccine supply.
“He thinks we’re in good shape when Canadians will only receive eight per cent of the vaccines his government promised Canadians just last month,” O’Toole said. “If this is what the prime minister considers good shape … what does he consider terrible shape? Three per cent?”
“There’s more demand than there is supply” of vaccines right now, says Patricia Gauthier, head of <a href=”https://twitter.com/moderna_tx?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@moderna_tx</a>’s Canadian operations.<br><br>But she told <a href=”https://twitter.com/mattgallowaycbc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@mattgallowaycbc</a> that Moderna has a plan to ramp up production — and “Canada is at the top of the queue.”<a href=”https://t.co/MGLYhw8JkS”>https://t.co/MGLYhw8JkS</a>
The vaccine rollout across the 27-nation European Union has also run into roadblocks and has likewise been criticized as too slow. Pfizer is delaying deliveries while it upgrades its plant in Belgium to increase capacity. And AstraZeneca disclosed that its initial shipment will be smaller than expected.
The EU, with 450 million citizens, is demanding that the pharmaceutical companies meet their commitments on schedule.
-From The Associated Press, The Canadian Press and CBC News, last updated at 6:30 a.m. ET
What’s happening in Canada
As of 11:25 a.m. ET, Canada had reported 760,020 cases of COVID-19, with 58,303 cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 19,505.
Ontario reported 1,670 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 49 additional deaths. According to a provincial site, hospitalizations stood at 1,382, with 377 patients in intensive care units.
Quebec, meanwhile, reported 1,328 new cases and 53 additional deaths. The province on Wednesday reported having 1,290 COVID-19 patients in hospital, with 221 people in intensive care units.
The province said Tuesday it plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions in some regions as of Feb. 8 if the situation in the province continues to improve. Premier François Legault said the average number of new cases in the province has declined in recent weeks — something he credits to government measures that include a nighttime curfew.
In Manitoba, Premier Brian Pallister said Tuesday that people coming into the province will have to self-isolate for 14 days, with some exemptions.
WATCH | Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announces changes for travellers:
Here’s a look at what’s happening across the country:
-From The Canadian Press and CBC News, last updated at 11:25 a.m. ET
What’s happening around the world
As of early Wednesday morning, more than 100 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 55.4 million of those considered recovered or resolved, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 2.1 million.
In the Asia-Pacific region, China has given more than 22 million coronavirus vaccine shots to date as it carries out a drive ahead of next month’s Lunar New Year holiday, health authorities said Wednesday. The effort, which began six weeks ago, targets key groups such as medical and transport workers and has accelerated vaccinations in China. About 1.6 million doses had been given over several months before the campaign began.
“The carrying out of vaccination has been ongoing in a steady and orderly manner,” Zeng Yixin, vice chairman of the National Health Commission, said at a news conference.
He said that 22.76 million doses had been administered as of Tuesday. It’s not clear how many people that represents since the vaccine is given in two doses, and some may have received their second shot.
China, which largely stopped the spread of the virus last spring, has seen fresh outbreaks this winter in four northern provinces. About 1,800 new cases have been reported since mid-December, including two deaths. Authorities are strongly discouraging people from travelling during the Lunar New Year holiday, a time when Chinese traditionally return to their hometowns for family gatherings.
South Korea has reported 559 new cases of the coronavirus, its highest daily increase in 10 days, as health workers scrambled to slow transmissions at religious facilities, which have been a major source of infections throughout the pandemic. The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Wednesday brought the national caseload to 76,429, including 1,378 deaths.
Nearly 300 of the new cases came from the Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country’s 51 million people, where infections have been tied to various places, including churches, restaurants, schools and offices.
Bangladesh started vaccinations against coronavirus in the nation’s capital, with the hope of administering more than 30 million doses over next few months.
In Europe, health authorities in Spain said they are running short of COVID-19 vaccines due to delays in deliveries by pharmaceutical companies. Northeast Catalonia, home to Barcelona, said 10,000 people who had received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine won’t be able to get their required second dose administered as planned 21 days later.
Regional authorities for the territory surrounding the capital of Madrid also said they were halting the administration of the first shot of the Pfizer vaccine to ensure that those awaiting a second shot could get it as scheduled.
Spain has administered 95 per cent of the 1.3 million vaccines it has received as part of the EU plan, according to its health ministry.
Meanwhile, the daily number of new coronavirus infections in France remained over 20,000 on average for the fourth straight day on Tuesday, while hospitalizations reached an eight-week high of 27,041.
Portugal’s government was urged to transfer COVID-19 patients abroad as deaths hit a record high and the oxygen supply system of a large hospital near Lisbon partly failed from overuse.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, said on Wednesday that the global COVID-19 pandemic could drag on unless millions of people receive protection from the virus. He made the comments while speaking at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum.
In the Americas, Mexico’s Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said emergency use of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine should be authorized within days.
WATCH | Brazil struggles to keep up with rising COVID-19 infections:
In Africa, South Africa has approved AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use and is reviewing applications by rival manufacturers, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, the medicines regulator said on Wednesday.
In the Middle East, Bahrain said it’s discovered a mutated strain of the coronavirus on the island kingdom and will send students to home for remote schooling for the next three weeks. The island in the Persian Gulf off Saudi Arabia also said it would stop dining-in service at restaurants and cafes during that time period. The restrictions are set to begin Sunday.
Iran urged the new U.S. president this week to lift sanctions that it said were hampering Tehran’s fight against the pandemic, and approved the import and production of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.
-From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 10:50 a.m. ET
Have a question or something to say about the pandemic? CBC News is live in the comments now or you can send your coronavirus questions to COVID@cbc.ca
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