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Quebec's COVID-19 vaccine plan runs contrary to new federal guidelines – Montreal Gazette

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In an email, the director of corporate affairs for Pfizer Canada did not answer a  question as to whether it might stop some shipments because of Quebec’s vaccination plan.

Pfizer and BioNTech’s Phase 3 study for the COVID-19 vaccine was designed to evaluate the vaccine’s safety and efficacy following a two-dose schedule, separated by 21 days,” Christina Antoniou said. “The safety and efficacy of the vaccine has not been evaluated on different dosing schedules as the majority of trial participants received the second dose within the window specified in the study design.

“Our focus is on continuing to work with the federal government’s national operations centre and the Public Health Agency of Canada to support the government’s COVID-19 vaccine implementation plan,” she added.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday Ottawa was exercising the option under its contract with Pfizer to purchase another 20 million doses. Canada has now agreed to buy 40 million doses from Pfizer and 40 million from Moderna.

To date, Quebec has vaccinated 99,510 health-care workers and residents of long-term care centres, representing more than 1.1 per cent of the population. The province is expected to receive more shipments of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in the next few days.

Legault boasted in a tweet on Tuesday that Quebec is vaccinating more than any other province.

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Wife of Nunavut man who died from COVID-19 pleads with people to get vaccinated – CTV News

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IQALUIT, NUNAVUT —
The wife of a Nunavut man who died from COVID-19 after contracting it in his community is urging the territory’s residents to get vaccinated.

Diane Sammurtok’s husband Luki died in December after being flown from his home in Arviat to a southern hospital.

Sammurtok called in to Arviat’s local radio station and pleaded with people to get the vaccine.

A recording of the call was played at a news conference today and broadcast over radio and television.

Speaking through tears and sobs, Sammurtok said she doesn’t want anyone to go through what she did.

Premier Joe Savikataaq, who is from Arviat, had tears in his eyes as he listened and his voice shook as he addressed the media.

Savikataaq urged people to stop spreading misinformation about the vaccine and said he will get it when it’s his turn.

Vaccination clinics are underway in four Nunavut communities this week and are tol roll out in four more next week.

There are no active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.

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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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Vaccine: Difficult choices – Dan in Ottawa – Castanet.net

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Canada got some good news this week — the country is getting an additional 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Unfortunately, this additional vaccine will not make it to Canada until April or May.

This is important because this week CBC reported that British Columbia has now “slowed its pace” administering the vaccine while the province awaits for more vaccine.

Another decision that B.C. has had to make, related to the lack of supply for the COVID vaccine, is that the required second dose will now be administered 35 days after the first dose. 

This is to ensure as many vulnerable citizens as possible receive the first dose as possible and to maximize the limited supply.

The challenge with this is that Health Canada states the following:

“The vaccine is given by an injection (0.3 mL) into the muscle of the arm. For the vaccine to work best, you need to get 2 doses: a single dose and then a second dose 21 days later. Based on studies in about 44,000 participants, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 beginning 1 week after the second dose. This means that people may not be fully protected against COVID-19 until at least seven days after the second dose.”

B.C. has indicated that extending the second dose to 35 days is ‘approved’ by the World Health Organization as well as the Federal Government.

This is noteworthy as Health Canada is the regulatory agency that approves the use of any vaccine or drug based on its arms length, evidence based process.

However, some groups of B.C. doctors have opposed this move suggesting it is potentially “unscientific, unsafe and unethical.”

The B.C. Nurses Union is also questioning this move stating that nurses “follow the other guidelines from the manufacturer around storage and handling of this vaccine,” pointing out that; “now we’re going to deviate?”

It is unfortunate B.C. is in this situation.

It is well known that the Trudeau Liberal government, for reasons unknown, made their first deal with the China based CanSino Biologics to deliver vaccine.

The Chinese government ultimately blocked this vaccine from coming to Canada.

As a result, Canada did not secure the large quantities of vaccine it now has on order from other manufactures in as timely of a manner.

My question this week is not a political one.

  • If you received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine (as some citizens now have in the Okanagan) do you believe it is a reasonable expectation to receive the second dose within the 21 day timeframe as set out by the manufacturer?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

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