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Sanofi's mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate not ready this year, CEO says – The Telegram



PARIS (Reuters) – A COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by Sanofi and U.S. group Translate Bio “will not be ready this year,” the French drugmaker’s chief executive told Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

Clinical trials of this vaccine, which will be based on a technology known as mRNA — on which lean approved vaccines of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna –, are expected to start this quarter.

In December last year, Sanofi had said it was targeting “earliest potential approval” of the shot in the second half of 2021, following positive preclinical data.

“This vaccine will not be ready this year, but it could be of use at a later stage all the more if the fight against variants was to continue,” Paul Hudson was quoted as saying.

The CEO gave no other details. Officials at Sanofi were not available for comment.

The news could mark another blow for Sanofi, already embattled with a delay for another COVID-19 vaccine candidate it hopes to bring to patients and for which the company has teamed up with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline.

The two groups stunned investors last year by warning their traditional, protein-based COVID-19 jab showed an insufficient immune response in older people, delaying its launch towards the end of 2021.

To appease critics, Sanofi said last month it had agreed to fill and pack millions of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from July.

Some 108 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and more than 2.4 million have died since first cases were identified in China in December 2019, according to a Reuters tally.

Countries worldwide have since the beginning of the year embarked on mass vaccination programmes, with mixed results, and are now confronted with the emergence of several variant strains which forces them to move even more quickly.

(Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Dominique Vidalon)

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Manitoba reports lowest test positivity rate since October as 70 new COVID-19 cases announced –



Manitoba announced 70 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and reported its lowest test positivity rate in more than four months.

That rate dropped from 4.6 per cent to 4.3 Thursday — the lowest announced since Oct. 20, when it was at the same spot. Winnipeg’s rate dipped to 3.8 per cent from four a day earlier.

A man in his 70s from the Winnipeg health region died, bringing the province’s total number of coronavirus-linked deaths to 888.

Most of the new cases on Thursday are split between the Winnipeg health region, which has 31 cases, and the Northern Health Region, with 30, the province says in a news release.

There are seven new cases in the Interlake-Eastern health region and two in the Southern Health region, while the Prairie Mountain Health region reported no new infections.

No new cases of the more infectious B117 coronavirus variant first detected in the U.K. have been identified in Manitoba since one was announced on Tuesday, bringing the province’s total to five.

Strict public health orders on Pauingassi First Nation, about 280 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, have been lifted now that the risk of COVID-19 spreading in that community has stabilized, the release says.

The fly-in community of about 500 people brought in stay-at-home orders at the start of this month when nearly one in every four people there tested positive for the illness.

All Manitoba’s other public health orders are still in effect.

Vaccines doses received top 100K

The province has now received more than 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, according to its online dashboard.

Of the 102,360 doses, 69,060 — about two-thirds — have been administered, the dashboard says.

So far, 2.6 per cent of Manitobans over 18 have gotten both their shots, with 47,920 more immunizations planned over the next 28 days, the dashboard says.

There are now 196 COVID-19 patients in hospital in Manitoba, a drop of 11 since Wednesday. Twenty-six of those people are in intensive care, down by three.

Three previously announced COVID-19 cases were removed from Manitoba’s total on Thursday because of a data correction, the release says. That brings the number of cases identified in the province so far to 31,657.

Of those cases, 29,563 people are considered to have recovered from the illness, while 1,206 are still deemed active — a number health officials have said may be inflated by a data entry backlog.

There were 2,290 more COVID-19 tests done in Manitoba on Wednesday, bringing the total number of swabs completed in the province to 519,892 since early last February.

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Ontario to release new COVID-19 projections today – Toronto Sun



York Region, which moved to the red zone this week, saw 94 new cases

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Ontario recorded 1,054 new cases Wednesday with another 1,291 cases resolved.

Testing confirmed an additional five cases of the United Kingdom variant, known as B.1.1.7, for a total of 405 variant of concern (VOC) cases.

The province had administered 54,852 tests in the previous 24 hours, a positivity rate of 2.4%.

Nine more deaths were linked to the pandemic, bringing the total number of lives lost to 6,893.

Of the three regions still under a stay-at-home order Wednesday, Toronto reported 363 new cases, Peel Region 186 and North Bay-Parry Sound had one case.

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York Region, which moved to the red zone this week, saw 94 new cases.

Ontario’s slow drip vaccine rollout administered just 17,141 doses Wednesday, bringing the total so far to 602,848 doses and 251,590 people fully vaccinated with the required double dose.

Each of the province’s 34 public health units is being asked to come up with a plan to deliver vaccinations.

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  1. None

    Toronto’s top doc concerned about COVID variants

  2. Toronto Public Health Nurse Amanda Alves, far left, greets Ontario Premier Doug Ford, centre, and Toronto Mayor John Tory, right, as they are given a tour of Toronto's Mass Vaccination Clinic by Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, centre left, on Sunday January 17, 2021.

    Ontario confirms another 57 cases of COVID-19 variants

For instance, Peel Region is planning to set up three large vaccine clinics — one each in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga — but no appointments were being booked as of Wednesday.

Peel confirmed 45,300 doses given out so far which included over 15,500 in long-term-care (LTC) homes and retirement homes.

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Meanwhile, Ontario optometrists say they have been rejected after offering to administer the vaccine.

Ontario veterinarians were recently added to the list of health-care professionals to administer the vaccine, alongside doctors, nurses and pharmacists,” a statement from the Ontario Association of Optometrists released Wednesday said.

“The question is, why have optometrists not been included since they work with patients on a regular basis and many already have had injection training as part of their professional curriculum?”

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The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 – Times Colonist



The latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada (all times eastern):

12:15 p.m.

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Nunavut is reporting four new cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.

All the new cases are in Arviat, the only community in the territory with active COVID-19 cases.

Because of the rise in cases, Arviat’s hamlet council has imposed a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day.

There are 25 active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.

11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 858 new COVID-19 infections and 16 more deaths due to the novel coronavirus.

Health authorities say the number of patients requiring hospitalization has declined by 22 to 633, with eight fewer patients in intensive care.

The latest numbers come as the province began accepting appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations for those 85 and older.

Officials also say primary school students in Quebec’s red pandemic-alert zones — which includes the greater Montreal area — will be required to wear a mask at all times beginning March 8.

10:40 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 1,138 new cases of COVID-19.

The province is also reporting 1,094 cases have been resolved since yesterday’s update and there have been 23 more deaths linked to the virus.

Ontario is set to release new COVID-19 projections this afternoon.

Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of Ontario’s science advisory group, is presenting the data.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2021.

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