Updated: October 3, 2020 10:31:51 pm
There is growing hope that a vaccine against coronavirus may be given the green light by health regulators by the end of this year to be rolled out for a vaccination programme in six months’ time or even less, according to a UK media report.
The vaccine candidate under trial by University of Oxford scientists in collaboration with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is the furthest in the process of trials and, according to a report in “The Times’, it could be given the required clearances by Christmas in December.
The newspaper quoted UK government sources involved in the making and distribution of vaccines as saying that a full vaccine roll-out programme for adults could take six months or less after approval.
“We are looking at closer to six months and it is likely to be far shorter than that,” a government source said.
Under a protocol developed by the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, any approved vaccine will then be given to all over 65s, followed by younger adults at higher risk, which could include those from ethnic minorities as well as those with serious health issues based on their higher risk from the deadly virus. People over 50 will be next in line, with younger adults at the back of the queue.
The UK government has ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine once it is ready for roll-out and the doses are being manufactured before it has been shown to be successful in order to save time once it clears all the regulatory stages.
According to the newspaper report, scientists on the trial are hopeful that they will get results before the end of this year, and that they will at the very least show that it prevents 50 per cent of infections, the threshold for success.
If it is approved by the regulators, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is said to be in a position to begin mass vaccination almost immediately.
There are others within the UK government, however, who are more cautious on the timelines as vaccinating every adult is a big challenge. A Royal Society report this week, co-authored by an Indian-origin scientist, warned of the massive uphill task ahead in producing and distributing a vaccine.
“Even when the vaccine is available, it does not mean within a month everybody will be vaccinated. We’re talking about six to nine months to a year after a vaccine is approved,” said Professor Nilay Shah, head of chemical engineering at Imperial College London.
The report called for the criteria for vaccine prioritisation to be “defined and made explicit” and then “public dialogue and engagement to manage expectations and understanding of vaccine effectiveness, safety, side effects, availability, and access”.
The government’s Department of Health sought to downplay the findings and stressed that its planning process will ensure a speedy roll-out.
“This study fails to reflect the enormous amount of planning and preparation that has taken place across government to quickly roll out a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine,” said a department spokesperson.
“We are confident we have adequate provision or transport, PPE [personal protective equipment] and logistical expertise to deploy a Covid-19 vaccine across the country as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said.
Source:- The Indian Express
Manitoba to give COVID-19 update as new Winnipeg restrictions begin – CTV News Winnipeg
The Manitoba government is set to give an update on COVID-19 cases in the province on Monday, Oct. 19.
Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, will be speaking at a news conference at 12:30 p.m. at the Manitoba Legislative Building. CTV News Winnipeg will live-stream the event.
This news conference comes as new restrictions take effect in the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region amid growing case numbers. These restrictions include reducing gathering sizes to five people for both indoor and outdoor public and private gatherings, and closing beverage rooms, bars, live entertainment facilities, casinos and bingo halls.
Over the weekend, Manitoba announced 129 new COVID-19 cases – 85 on Saturday and 44 on Sunday, as well as two more deaths. This brings the province’s death toll to 40 people.
Currently, there are 1,675 active cases of the disease in Manitoba, 1,436 of which are in Winnipeg, which is under code orange restrictions.
Since March, there have been 3,302 cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba.
This is a developing story, more details to come.
– With files from CTV’s Danton Unger and Mason DePatie.
New Winnipeg restrictions take effect today
Amid rising COVID-19 case numbers, the Manitoba government has issued more targeted restrictions for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region, which come into effect on Monday, Oct. 19.
These new rules include:
- Reducing gathering sizes to five people for both indoor and outdoor public and private gatherings. This excludes household members for private gatherings inside a home;
- Closing beverage rooms, bars, live entertainment facilities, casinos and bingo halls;
- Limiting capacity at restaurants and lounges to 50 per cent. Tables can be no more than five people with two-metre distancing;
- Limiting retail businesses to 50 per cent capacity. Food courts and common areas must adhere to the five-person group size limit;
- Reducing the number of spectators at sporting activities and after-school events to 25 per cent of a site’s capacity;
- Reducing capacity at museums, galleries and libraries to 50 per cent. These facilities must also collect all attendees’ contact information; and
- Gyms and fitness centres must collect all attendees contact information. Everyone at a gym or fitness centre must wear a mask, unless they are doing physical activity.
These restrictions will remain in place for two weeks, at which time the province will reassess the rules.
“At two weeks we are going to need to either extend them or draw back – so we want to make it really clear that the intent of this is strictly time-limited,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, at a news conference on Friday, Oct. 16.
These new restrictions are in addition to the current rules in place for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region, which includes mandatory masks in all indoor public spaces.
The Winnipeg Metropolitan Region has been under orange or restricted levels on the pandemic response system since Sept. 28.
“These restrictions will all be enforceable under the law,” Roussin said.
“We’ve issued fines in the past when required and we will be looking at ways of stepping up enforcing efforts in the coming weeks.”
As of Sunday, Oct. 18, there are 1,436 active COVID-19 cases in Winnipeg, the highest of any region in the province.
– With files from CTV’s Danton Unger.
Nova Scotia businesses won’t survive another year of COVID-19 restrictions
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business say many Atlantic Canada businesses are on the brink of bankruptcy.
According to their most recent study, 59 percent of Nova Scotia businesses would struggle to survive another year of COVID-19 business restrictions.
Jordi Morgan, Vice President of the Atlantic region for the CFIB, told NEWS 95.7’s The Rick Howe Show that without continued government support, many businesses in the province will slip below the surface, according to research CFIB has been conducting on business revenues ever since the pandemic began.
“In Nova Scotia, we’re looking at about only 33 percent normal or better,” said Morgan of businesses’ revenues compared to before the pandemic began. “So that means the remainder are below that.”
According to Morgan, the sectors most impacted are arts, hospitality and natural resources industries.
He added the most recent figures show 8 percent of businesses in the province are actively considering bankruptcy or winding down.
With the current revenue projections, only about 35 percent of Nova Scotia businesses would survive the year with their current earnings.
Morgan says the provincial government needs to get creative and ease business restrictions to make life easier for buisnesses as they brace for a potential second wave of COVID-19.
Source: – HalifaxToday.ca
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