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Pfizer investigates post-vaccine death for possible connection – Mint

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Pfizer Inc. and federal health officials are investigating the death of a health-care worker 16 days after the person received the first dose of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine.

So far, the evidence doesn’t suggest a connection, Pfizer said in a statement on Tuesday. The Florida-based physician developed a rare disorder called severe thrombocytopenia that decreases the body’s ability to clot blood and stop internal bleeding.

Also Read | What’s got Indians excited about Covid shot

Pfizer cited its clinical trials and data gathered since the vaccine was authorized in the US in reporting its initial conclusion that the evidence doesn’t suggest a causal association to the shot it developed with Germany’s BioNTech SE. Meanwhile, the x said it is aware of the death, and “will evaluate the situation as more information becomes available,” according to spokesman Tom Skinner.

“To date, millions of people have been vaccinated and we are closely monitoring all adverse events in individuals receiving our vaccine,” Pfizer said in its statement. “It is important to note that serious adverse events, including deaths that are unrelated to the vaccine, are unfortunately likely to occur at a similar rate as they would in the general population.”

Pfizer’s shares were down 2% to $37.03 at 3:14 pm in New York trading on a day when the company also said its 2021 adjusted earnings would be between $3 and $3.10 per share, less than what analysts were expecting.

The New York Times first reported news of the death of Gregory Michael, a 56-year-old obstetrician and gynecologist located in Miami Beach. The Times cited a Facebook post written on Jan. 5 by his wife, Heidi Neckelmann, who said Michael had died from a brain hemorrhage.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was authorized for emergency use in the US on Dec. 14, with health-care workers and those in long-term care facilities the first in line to get the shot. Thus far, 9.27 million shots have been administered of this vaccine and a second authorized vaccine developed by Moderna Inc., according to a state-by-state tally by Bloomberg and data from the CDC.

The CDC, along with the US Food and Drug Administration and other federal agencies, regularly review Covid-19 vaccine safety monitoring data and share their findings with a group of vaccine safety experts, who provide independent guidance to the federal officials, according to the CDC’s Skinner.

“Our thoughts are with the family during this heartbreaking time,” Skinner said.

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B.C. says all eligible adults should get first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by end of July – Global News

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Health officials are hoping to fast-track how quickly all eligible British Columbians will receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The province is expecting all adults in the province will have the option to receive their first dose before the end of July.


Click to play video 'Officials aim to administer first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all British Columbians by July'



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Officials aim to administer first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all British Columbians by July


Officials aim to administer first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all British Columbians by July

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Monday that the gap between the first and second doses of the vaccine will be extended to 112 days.

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Pfizer, one of the manufacturers, has recommended a 21-day gap between doses and the province previously was spacing them out by 42 days.

The province is also expecting to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine as soon as next week, which will allow some essential workers to get the shot ahead of their age group.

Read more:
B.C. rolls out COVID-19 vaccination plan for those over 80 and extends time between doses

“The extension of dose two will make a big difference in our ability to vaccinate our mass population,” Dr. Penny Ballem, who is leading the province’s vaccination plan, said Monday.

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“It will likely result in mid-to-late July we will be able to give a first dose to everyone in our population, which is a significant shift in our original plan. We will come back with more details on this.”


Click to play video 'B.C. health officials roll out phase two of province’s vaccination plan'



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B.C. health officials roll out phase two of province’s vaccination plan


B.C. health officials roll out phase two of province’s vaccination plan

There is still no approved COVID-19 vaccine for children and teenagers in British Columbia.

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Dr. Danuta Skowronski, epidemiology lead for influenza and emerging respiratory pathogens at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, has convinced provincial health officials that spreading out doses will not jeopardize the vaccine’s effectiveness.

In a letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine, co-authored with Dr. Gaston De Serres of the Institut National de Sante Publique du Quebec, Skowronski argues the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — initially said to be just 52.4 per cent effective with one dose — could provide more than 90 per cent protection with a single shot.

According to Skowronski and De Serres, Pfizer’s own research started measuring the vaccine’s efficacy immediately after a dose was administered, not after a two-week grace period, which is typical in vaccinology.

READ MORE: Canada prepares for single biggest Pfizer vaccine shipment to date

Using documents submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the doctors say they determined Pfizer’s vaccine is actually up to 92.6 per cent effective with a single dose.

“These are decisions that have gone through our immunization committee, our public health team,” Henry said.

“We have such good protection from these vaccines after the first dose. We will be focusing on second doses in the summer.”

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The province originally estimated all eligible British Columbians would receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September.

–with files from Aaron McArthur, Simon Little and The Canadian Press

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

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What side effects do Canadians report after getting COVID-19 vaccine? – News 1130

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VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – B.C. is ramping up its vaccine efforts in the coming weeks, planning to get more people immunized faster by extending the length of time between first and second doses. That means you may be able to get the jab sooner that first thought.

So what has the experience been like for the many people who have already been vaccinated?

Looking at the latest poll from Leger, there is a range of experiences reported.

In Canada, most of those immunized against COVID-19 so far (55 per cent) have received the Pfizer vaccine. When it comes to side effects, respondents most commonly report pain in the arm, at 68 per cent.

About a quarter report tiredness and fewer than two-in-10 say they got a headache after rolling up their sleeve.

In descending order, other reported effects from the COVID-19 shot include muscle soreness, swelling, chills, and fever.

Only about three per cent report they were hospitalized, though the poll doesn’t go into why.

There is a significant portion of those polled who say they had absolutely no side effects at 17 per cent.

Meanwhile, 41 per cent of Canadians surveyed reported some sort of pain associated with the side effects. Thirteen per cent say the side effects were “very painful” while 28 per cent say they were “somewhat” so.

Across the country, 59 per cent seem to be on the other side of that; 44 per cent say the side effects were not very painful while 15 per cent say they weren’t painful at all.

Read the full survey:

Legers-North-American-Tracker-March-1st-2021-min

On Monday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced B.C. would be extending the interval between first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months. The extension will apply to all three vaccines currently approved in Canada, made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.

“The important thing that we have learned is that these vaccines work, they give a very high level of protection, and that protection lasts for many months,” Henry said.

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“In combination with the new vaccines that we have available, this gives us a very important and very real benefit to everybody here in B.C. That means we can move everybody up the list and more people will be protected sooner,” B.C.’s top doctor added, noting delaying the second shot “provides very high, real-world protection to more people sooner.”

Word of the extension came as the province unveiled dates for when the most senior British Columbians will begin to have access to the vaccines.

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2020 was the worst year on record for Canada's economy. It shrank by 5.4% – CBC.ca

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Canada’s economy shrank by 5.4 per cent last year, official data from Statistics Canada showed Monday, making 2020 the worst year for the country’s economic output since record keeping began.

The data agency said Tuesday that Canada’s gross domestic product — the total value of all goods and services it produced — grew by 2.3 per cent during the last three months of the year, but that was nowhere near enough to offset the record-setting plunge it experienced during the the middle half of 2020.

Since bottoming out in the spring and early summer, economic activity has slowly, steadily grown.

For comparison purposes, Canada’s economy contracted almost twice as much as the U.S. did during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the U.S. seeing far more cases per capita.

Preliminary data suggests the U.S. economy shrank by 3.5 per cent last year.

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