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Ontario youth aged 12 to 17 can now book faster second dose of COVID-19 vaccine – y108.ca

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TORONTO — Ontario youth aged 12 to 17 were able to start booking accelerated second doses of their COVID-19 vaccines Monday as the government worked to boost immunization rates before school resumes in September.

Appointments opened at 8 a.m. through the provincial booking portal, public health units and pharmacies. Tweens and teens in that age group are eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech shots, the only vaccine approved for use in youth in Canada.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said high vaccination coverage among youth will allow schools to offer in-person learning and will help extracurricular activities, volunteer opportunities and other in-person experiences resume.

Read more:
Ontarians aged 12 to 17 can push up date of 2nd COVID-19 vaccination on Monday

“I’m encouraging families out there to sign their child up,” he said Monday. “By doing so, our schools will be safer and it will allow us to create a much more normal experience I think many of our young people long for.”

More than 58 per cent of youth aged 12 to 17 had one dose of a vaccine as of Monday and more than nine per cent were fully vaccinated.

The government has promised to offer full vaccination to all eligible students and educators before classes resume.

Lecce has said the government will share its back-to-school plan later this month after developing it with the chief medical of health and looking at factors like vaccination rates among staff and students.

Ontario’s opposition parties have said the government needs to improve ventilation and mandate smaller class sizes as it prepares its back-to-school plan.

Read more:
Doug Ford says next steps in Ontario’s COVID-19 reopening plan to be announced within 3 weeks

The Progressive Conservative government has committed to spend $1.6 billion on boosting health and safety measures in schools, and more than $85 million to support learning recovery, but details are still outstanding about what September will look like in Ontario schools.

Classes were disrupted multiple times over the last year as the province moved learning online to contend with surges in COVID-19 infections.

Lecce said high vaccination rates among the broader community will allow the province to reopen schools in September for full in-class learning, including for students under 12 who are not currently eligible for vaccination.

As of Monday, 78 per cent of adults in Ontario had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 46 per cent were fully vaccinated.

“This gives us an incredible sense of confidence that the communities that our schools are surrounded in will be safer,” Lecce said.

“With low cases in the community, we know absolutely, we’re going to be able to return kids back to class.”

The move to accelerate second vaccine doses for youth comes as the province further ramps up its vaccination campaign.

Ontario initially booked people in for a second shot four months after their initial dose.

Read more:
Ontario reports 170 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death

As of Monday, everyone eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in the province had the option of shortening the time between shots, but the onus is on individuals to seek out and book new appointments themselves.

Lecce said the government is looking at additional “tactics” to boost participation in the province’s vaccine drive in the coming weeks.

“We’re having discussions about ways by which we can bolster the percentage and incentivize participation,” he said, adding that public health units, school systems, health-care providers and other partners are helping to promote vaccination as safe.

Ontario reported 170 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and one death from the virus.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Peel Region reports its first confirmed case of monkeypox – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Peel Region has its first confirmed case of monkeypox.

According to Peel Public Health, the person infected is an adult male in his 30s who lives in Mississauga.

The heath unit said the risk to the public remains low.

Monkeypox, which comes from the same virus family as smallpox, spreads though close contact with an infected individual. Most transmission happens through close contact with the skin lesions of monkeypox, but the virus can also be spread by large droplets or by sharing contaminated items.

To reduce risk of infection, people are advised to be cautious when engaging in intimate activities with others. Vaccination is available for high-risk contacts of cases and for those deemed at high risk of exposure to monkeypox.

Symptoms can include fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash/lesions, which could appear on the face or genitals and then spread to other areas.

Anyone who develops these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider and avoid close contact with others until they have improved and rash/lesions have healed.

While most people recover on their own without treatment, those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for monkeypox should self-monitor for symptoms, and contact PPH to see if they are eligible for vaccination.

The Mississauga case is at least the 34th confirmed case of the disease in Ontario, with dozens more under investigation.

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Monkeypox case count rises to more than 3400 globally, WHO says – The Globe and Mail

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More than 3,400 confirmed monkeypox cases and one death were reported to the World Health Organization as of last Wednesday, with a majority of them from Europe, the agency said in an update on Monday.

WHO said that since June 17, 1,310 new cases were reported to the agency, with eight new countries reporting monkeypox cases.

Monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency, WHO ruled last week, although WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was deeply concerned about the outbreak.

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Sudbury news: Northern agencies highlight national HIV testing day | CTV News – CTV News Northern Ontario

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Monday was national HIV testing day. Officials say this year’s theme surrounds how getting tested is an act of self-care.

From clinics to self-testing kits, groups in the north say there are many options to get tested and everyone should use whichever way works best for them.

Just more than a year ago, Reseau Access Network in Sudbury teamed with Ready to Know and Get a Kit, groups that provide HIV self-testing kits at a pickup location.

Officials said it has been a huge success.

“We get a consistent number throughout each month and I can’t really divulge those figures, unfortunately, but as part of the overall study I can tell you the pickup of self-tests is a fraction of the amount of tests being ordered,” said Angel Riess, of Reseau Access Network.

“There’s actually a lot of tests being shipped to homes directly but I can confirm that they have been active and there’s a significant number of people who have chosen to engage in both programs.”

Elsewhere, the Aids Committee of North Bay and Area held a point-of-care testing clinic to mark the day.

“It’s an opportunity for us to remind everyone that getting tested is essential. If you don’t know you have HIV, you can’t take the steps to try to mitigate the possibility of spread,” said executive director Stacey Mayhall.

In addition to stopping the spread, knowing whether you are positive sooner rather than later can allow for a better quality of life.

“HIV is not a death sentence that it used to be,” said Riess.

“There have been advances in testing and medication and people can live long, healthy lives living with HIV.”

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