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Pfizer assures affordable vaccines for PH – CNN Philippines

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 15) — US drugmaker Pfizer is aiming to provide developing countries like the Philippines doses of its COVID-19 vaccine at an affordable price.

“I’m also very happy to announce that it is Pfizer’s intention to make available its COVID-19 vaccine to low-income countries like the Philippines at a not-for-profit price during the pandemic,” said Andreas Quercia, Pfizer country manager during the Senate Committee on the Whole’s hearing on the national COVID-19 vaccination plan Friday.

Pfizer also said it is in “advance discussions” with the Philippine government on a supply agreement for its COVID-19 vaccine, adding it plans to make doses available to the country as soon as possible. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., meanwhile, said there might already be a term sheet and supply agreement with the pharmaceutical firm within next week.

The official also said Pfizer vaccine doses may reach the Philippines as early as the first quarter of 2021 through the help of the COVAX facility, of which the country is part of. The facility purchases vaccines to be distributed for free to developing countries, covering a maximum of 20% of their respective populations.

Pfizer is the first to secure Emergency Use Authorization in the Philippines for a coronavirus vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration granted the approval Thursday, citing the vaccine’s high efficacy rate.

Pfizer earlier bagged EUAs across the globe, including from the United States and the United Kingdom.

Agreements with Sinovac, other firms not a ‘done deal’

When asked whether agreements the country has entered into in advance for vaccine supply with firms like China-based Sinovac are already a “done deal,” Galvez said that is not the case.

Ang sa atin pa lang po ngayon [For now,] we are [just] dealing with the term sheet. Posible rin [It could also be possible] we have to lock (the supply), so that they can already make production. So sa ngayon po, wala pa pong government funds tayong naibibigay,” clarified the official.

[Translation: As of now, we haven’t given out government funds yet.]

National policy against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon also reiterated the country’s vaccine expert panel has recommended seven vaccine brands for possible purchase, which includes Sinovac. However, none of this is final yet, as the government awaits the panel’s final recommendation, along with an EUA from the FDA.

Sinovac has also applied for emergency use authorization, the regulatory agency revealed earlier this week.

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Proof of pre-existing illness not required for COVID-19 shot, health minister says – 680 News

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Ontario’s health minister says people won’t be asked to provide proof of their pre-existing health conditions to access a COVID-19 vaccine during the second phase of the rollout.

Christine Elliott says she believes most people will come to the clinics when they are permitted and not take advantage of the honour system.

The vaccine will be offered starting in April to people with specific health conditions like organ transplant recipients, those living with obesity, and those receiving treatments that suppress the immune system.

Elliott says local public health units will screen people as they arrive at the clinics and may be able to check with a person’s family physician, but that will not be mandatory.

“We haven’t run into very many of those situations,” she said. “People are following the rules, they are coming in at the appropriate time, they’re being very patient, and they want to make sure that people who are the most at risk are going to be given their vaccinations first.”

Vaccinations among the highest-priority Ontarians, including long-term care residents and staff, are wrapping up, and some local public health units have already begun offering shots to the broader public, starting in many cases with those over age 80.


RELATED: Toronto to open 3 mass immunization clinics on March 17, will prioritize seniors


First vaccine doses were completed as of Monday in 31 fly-in Indigenous communities, in what the province called a “milestone” in its effort to provide protection against the virus in remote areas. Ontario aims to complete second doses in those communities by the end of April.

Meanwhile, Ontario has reported 1,631 new cases of COVID-19 today, but the government says the case count is higher than expected due to a “data catch-up process” in its system.

The province also recorded 10 additional deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said 568 of the new cases are in Toronto, 322 are in Peel Region, and 119 are in York Region.

Ontario said 994 more cases were resolved since the last daily update.

The numbers come as a stay-at-home order in Toronto, Peel Region, and North Bay lift today, loosening pandemic restrictions imposed nearly two months ago.


RELATED: Durham, York Region open additional vaccination clinics for those 80-and-up


The three regions were the last ones still under the order, and are transitioning back to the government’s colour-coded pandemic response framework.

Toronto and Peel entered the strictest “grey lockdown” category, something local public health officials asked for in both regions.

Even those strict measures, however, allow more retailers to open, with restrictions, but leave gyms and personal care services closed. Restaurants, meanwhile, can only offer takeout, drive-thru, or delivery.

Some restaurant owners said they won’t be able to survive much longer unless they’re allowed to reopen for on-site dining, even at a limited capacity.

“Move us to the red zone (of the pandemic system) so we have a fighting chance. Even 14 days in grey lockdown could mean the end of my business and many others,” Regan Irvine, owner of the Irv Gastropub in Toronto, said in an open letter to officials issued last week.

“Over the last year, my mother and I have depleted our life savings to try and keep the restaurant afloat. We have cashed RRSPs, drained savings accounts, maxed out credit cards, and maxed out lines of credit because the government assistance programs simply aren’t enough.”

North Bay is now in the “Red Zone,” the second most restrictive level of pandemic measures.

Elliott said the government is taking a “safe and cautious approach” to ending the provincewide shutdown, which started in January.

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Ontario reports more than 1600 new coronavirus cases, 10 more deaths – fm96.com

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Ontario is reporting 1,631 new coronavirus cases on Monday, marking the largest single-day increase in over a month. The provincial total now stands at 309,927.

However, in an update late morning, the Ontario government said the case count “is higher than expected due to a data catch-up process related to the provincial CCM system.”

Still, Monday’s case count is a spike from Sunday’s which saw 1,299 new infections. On Saturday, 990 new cases were recorded and 1,250 on Friday.

News of higher cases come as Toronto, Peel Region and North Bay move out of the stay-at-home order and into grey and red zones of the province’s COVID-19 framework.

Read more:
COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home order lifted in Toronto, Peel and North Bay

According to Monday’s provincial report, 568 cases were recorded in Toronto, 322 in Peel Region, 119 in York Region, 91 in Thunder Bay, 68 in Durham Region, 57 in Ottawa, and 51 in both Waterloo and Halton regions.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 50 new cases in the provincial report.

The death toll in the province has risen to 7,077 as 10 more deaths were recorded.

Officials have listed 879 U.K. variant cases (B.1.1.7) which is up by 51 since yesterday, 39 South African variant cases (B.1.351) which is up by eight, and 17 Brazilian variant cases (P.1) which is up by four, that have been detected so far in the province.

Meanwhile, 291,834 Ontarians were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is 94 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 994 from the previous day.

Active cases in Ontario now stand at 11,016 — up from the previous day when it was 10,389, and up from last Monday at 10,570. At the peak of the coronavirus surge in January, active cases hit above 30,000.

The seven-day average has now reached 1,155, up from yesterday at 1,069, and up from last week at 1,099.

The government said 38,063 tests were processed in the last 24 hours. There is currently a backlog of 13,891 tests awaiting results. A total of 11,436,417 tests have been completed since the start of the pandemic.

Test positivity — the percentage of tests that come back positive — for Monday was 3.4 per cent, up from Sunday when it was 3.1 per cent, and up from a week ago when it was at 3.1 per cent.

Ontario reported 626 people hospitalized with COVID-19 (up by 20 from the previous day) with 282 patients in intensive care units (up by nine) and 184 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (up bye five).

As of 8 p.m. Sunday, the province has administered 912,486 COVID-19 vaccine doses, representing an increase of 21,882 in the last day. There are 273,676 people fully vaccinated with two doses.

Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson are the vaccines currently approved in Canada. The first three require two shots administered several weeks apart while the fourth requires only one.

Here is a breakdown of the total cases in Ontario by gender and age:

  • 152,591 people are male — an increase of 805 cases.
  • 155,659 people are female — an increase of 799 cases.
  • 41,940 people are 19 and under — an increase of 321 cases.
  • 113,601 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 596 cases.
  • 89,413 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 447 cases.
  • 44,450 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 224 cases.
  • 20,447 people are 80 and over — an increase of 47 cases.
  • The province notes that not all cases have a reported age or gender.

Here is a breakdown of the total deaths related to COVID-19 by age:

  • Deaths reported in ages 19 and under: 2
  • Deaths reported in ages 20 to 39: 30
  • Deaths reported in ages 40 to 59: 287
  • Deaths reported in ages 60 to 79: 1,953
  • Deaths reported in ages 80 and older: 4,804
  • The province notes there may be a reporting delay for deaths and data corrections or updates can result in death records being removed.

Read more:
Hamilton public health investigating report COVID-19 vaccines given to ineligible recipients

Cases, deaths and outbreaks in Ontario long-term care homes

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,748 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario which remained the same as yesterday. Eleven virus-related deaths in total have been reported among staff.

There are 84 current outbreaks in homes, which is a unchanged from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 55 active cases among long-term care residents and 139 active cases among staff — both unchanged in the last 24 hours.

Cases among students and staff at Ontario schools, child care centres

Meanwhile, government figures show there have been a total of 9,233 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario to date — 6,618 among students and 1,477 among staff (1,138 individuals were not identified). This is an increase of 95 more cases in the last day — 84 student cases and 11 staff cases.

In the last 14 days, the province indicates there are 1,050 cases reported among students, 167 cases among staff and 13 individuals were not identified — totaling 1,230 cases.

The COVID-19 cases are currently from 734 out of 4,828 schools in the province. Thirty schools in Ontario are currently closed as a result of positive cases, the government indicated.

There have been a total of 2,821 confirmed cases within child care centres and homes — an increase of 34 (20 new child cases and 14 staff cases). Out of 5,268 child care centres in Ontario, 162 currently have cases and 40 centres are closed.

Data for cases in schools and child care centres are updated weekdays only, at 10:30 a.m. On Monday’s, numbers are included from Thursday afternoon to Friday afternoon.

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

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Proof of pre-existing illness not required for COVID-19 shot, health minister says – Dawson Creek Mirror

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TORONTO — Ontario’s health minister says people won’t be asked to provide proof of their pre-existing health conditions to access a COVID-19 vaccine during the second phase of the rollout.

Christine Elliott says she believes most people will come to the clinics when they are permitted and not take advantage of the honour system.

The vaccine will be offered starting in April to people with specific health conditions like organ transplant recipients, those living with obesity and those receiving treatments that suppress the immune system.

Elliott says local public health units will screen people as they arrive at the clinics and may be able to check with a person’s family physician, but that will not be mandatory.

Meanwhile, Ontario is reported 1,631 new cases of COVID-19 today, but the government says the case count is higher than expected due to a “data catch-up process” in its system.

The province also recorded 10 additional deaths linked to the virus

Health Minister Christine Elliott said 568 of the new cases are in Toronto, 322 are in Peel Region, and 119 are in York Region.

Ontario said 994 more cases were resolved since the last daily update.

The numbers come as a stay-at-home order in Toronto, Peel Region and North Bay lifts today, loosening pandemic restrictions imposed nearly two months ago.

The three regions were the last ones still under the order, and are transitioning back to the government’s colour-coded pandemic response framework.

Toronto and Peel entered the strictest “grey lockdown” category, something local public health officials asked for in both regions.

Even those strict measures, however, allow more retailers to open, with restrictions, but leave gyms and personal care services closed. Restaurants, meanwhile, can only offer takeout, drive-thru or delivery.

Some restaurant owners said they won’t be able to survive much longer unless they’re allowed to reopen for on-site dining, even at limited capacity.

“Move us to the red zone (of the pandemic system) so we have a fighting chance. Even 14 days in grey lockdown could mean the end of my business and many others,” Regan Irvine, owner of the Irv Gastropub in Toronto, said in an open letter to officials issued last week.

“Over the last year, my mother and I have depleted our life savings to try and keep the restaurant afloat. We have cashed RRSPs, drained savings accounts, maxed out credit cards and maxed out lines of credit because the government assistance programs simply aren’t enough.”

North Bay is now in the “red zone,” the second most restrictive level of pandemic measures.

Elliott said the government is taking a “safe and cautious approach” to ending the provincewide shutdown, which started in January.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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