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Saskatchewan reveals plan to vaccinate kids 5 to 11 against COVID – CKOM News Talk Sports



Health Canada has yet to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11, but Saskatchewan is looking to be ready for when that green light is given.

The province unveiled its vaccination plan for that age group Tuesday, announcing it has ordered 112,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that is specially formulated for kids. Delivery is expected in mid-November.

Dr. Tania Diener, the medical health officer responsible for immunization and physician co-lead of the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s COVID-19 immunization campaign, said getting children vaccinated against COVID is part of getting back to normal.

“It’s so important for kids to be part of a social environment in the education system (and) being part of extracurricular activities. It’s important for their emotional well-being but also their physical well-being,” Diener said during a media conference.

Diener also said while kids are vulnerable and need to be protected from the virus, there are indirect benefits too.

“Unimmunized individuals can act as a reservoir for the virus, and therefore transmission in our community can continue. So getting such a large group of kids immunized will definitely make an impact, indirectly, on the transmission of disease in our community,” explained Diener.

There will be about 190 locations in roughly 100 communities in the province where kids can get their vaccines.

Sheila Anderson, the vaccine chief responsible for the SHA’s COVID-19 immunization campaign, said the locations will be places where people will be familiar with clinics, but there will also be places like schools and libraries that will be more familiar for kids in this age group.

She said the province is in discussions with school divisions.

Anderson said there will be enough space for parents to be there with the kids and more time will be given for each appointment so the kids can feel comfortable. There will also be an opportunity for parents to get their shots at the same time, if they haven’t already.

Diener believes the majority of parents will get their kids vaccinated, but some parents are hesitant about the vaccines while others got the shots themselves but are wary about their kids getting it.

Diener said she believes parents just want the best for their kids and hesitant parents just need a bit of correct information.

“They need to have the information that can convince them that this is the right thing to do for not only protecting their kid, but maybe the rest of their family that might be vulnerable and the rest of the community,” said Diener.

There were 126 new cases of COVID reported in Saskatchewan on Tuesday, with 39 of those in children under the age of 11.

Pfizer made its submission to Health Canada after a trial involving 2,268 participants aged five to 11, each of whom received two doses.

The company’s studies showed the vaccine didn’t produce any safety concerns among the test subjects. The studies also showed expected vaccine side effects (such as soreness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and chills) were well-tolerated and resolved in one to two days.

Pfizer’s vaccine was given the go-ahead by Health Canada for those between the ages of 12 and 15 in May, five months after it was approved for everyone aged 16 and up.

The provincial government noted vaccination for the five-to-11 age group is voluntary and parental/guardian consent is required.

When the vaccine is available, appointments can be made by calling 1-833-727-5829 or going online or at participating pharmacies.

Expanding vaccinations

The provincial government also said it was planning to make COVID vaccine available at doctors’ office in hopes of increasing accessibility for patients and vaccination rates.

“The Ministry of Health is implementing new temporary fee codes to compensate physicians for counselling unvaccinated patients in their office while they are there for another service,” the government said in a release. “There is also a new fee code to compensate participating physicians for providing vaccinations in their office.”

The ministry and SHA are to work in the coming weeks with doctors interested in giving shots in their offices.

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Instagram Unveils New Features to Show Everyone It Really Cares About Teens’ Mental Health – Gizmodo



Image for article titled Instagram Unveils New Features to Show Everyone It Really Cares About Teens’ Mental Health
Illustration: Olivier Douliery / AFP (Getty Images)

Instagram wants you to know it really cares about teens’ mental health and safety, despite everything you may have heard. In fact, it’s rolling out a slew of new tools and features it says will protect teens that use its app.

Company head Adam Mosseri unveiled the new features for teens and parents in a blog post on Tuesday, one day before he’s set to testify before Congress, and also included measures the app will take to promote safety. Instagram’s announcement around teens comes amidst a public reckoning over its failure to protect its youngest users, even though it knew the app affected their mental health.

For teens, Mosseri said Instagram will be launching tools to help them “better manage” their experience on the app. This includes rolling out the previously announced “Take a Break” feature, which encourages young users to close Instagram if they’ve spent too much time on it, to the U.S., UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The feature was available to users in these countries on Tuesday.

Teens will also be able to delete content they’ve posted in bulk, including photos, videos, likes, and comments. Mosseri said this tool, which will roll out in January for all users, will allow teens to “manage their digital footprint” and help them understand what information others can see about them. I will give Instagram credit on this one. Everyone says and does stupid things when they’re young (or not so young), and they should be able to take quick action to rectify and learn from those mistakes.

In addition to features for teens, Instagram will unveil its first features and tools for parents and guardians in March that will let them “guide and support their teens” on the app. This mainly seems to consist of reports on how much time individual teens spend on Instagram and the option to limit their time on the app, according to the blog post. Teens will also have the option to have the app notify their parents when they report someone.

Finally, Mosseri laid out what Instagram would do on its end to create a safer experience for teens on the app. He said it will prevent people from tagging or mentioning teens on the platform if the teens don’t follow them and “be stricter” about what it recommends to teens in various parts of the app, such as Explore, Hashtags, and Suggested Accounts.

Instagram is also looking into expanding its “Limit Even More” content control feature for teens, Mosseri said, which allows users to reduce the amount of sensitive content they see in the Explore part of the app. The company is considering expanding this limitation to beyond Explore. In addition, it’s building a feature that will “nudge” users to different topics if they’ve been dwelling on one for too long.

“I’m proud that our platform is a place where teens can spend time with the people they care about, explore their interests, and explore who they are,” Mosseri wrote. “I want to make sure that it stays that way, which means above all keeping them safe on Instagram.”

The Instagram head added that the company would continue doing research, consulting with experts, and testing out new concepts “to better serve teens.”

Well, to clarify, the company was basically forced into better serving teens due to public pressure. And it’s still got a long way to go. On Tuesday, new research by the Tech Transparency Project found that Instagram is encouraging teens to buy drugs and connecting them with dealers.

Mosseri is scheduled to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection on Wednesday about Instagram’s impact on teens’ mental health and wellbeing. You can watch the livestream here beginning at 2:30 ET.

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Thinking of Buying Equipment for Your Business? Here’s What You Need to Know



Many business owners in Canada rely on professional-grade equipment to keep the operations of their business running, but there are plenty of variables to consider before making a commitment this significant.

No matter the size of your business, if you’re tasked with acquiring equipment for your operations, there are certain factors to keep in mind as you begin the process. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering purchasing equipment for your business:

Assessing Your Financing Options

Unless you’re a wildly successful, multi-million dollar corporation, there is a higher chance that you don’t have enough free-floating capital to purchase expensive equipment without any outside assistance. The upside is that there are plenty of financing options available for business owners across every major industry, from heavy equipment financing in Canada to agriculture, manufacturing, start-ups and more.

Before you commit to any major purchases, research the financing options available to your business so you can make the smartest purchases going forward without compromising your current equity and capital.

Make a List

Now that you have your financing options in order, it’s important to make a list of your needs and wants. This list will act as a way to organize your thoughts, so you’re spending your newly earned capital wisely. It may be helpful to divide your list into two categories, your needs and your wants.

Your needs will include essential pieces of inventory that contribute to the basic operations of your company. Once you’ve purchased the essentials, you can assess which items under the wants category will be best for your company, with your remaining capital.

Choosing Quality over Flash

It may be easy to become tempted over the latest, flashiest pieces of equipment on the market, but have you done the research to assess its quality? No matter what you purchase in business or in your personal life, quality will always serve you better than aesthetics.

This is especially important when it comes to purchasing expensive equipment for your company. The more you prioritize quality, the more money you’ll save in the long run since you won’t have to worry about replacements.

Maintenance Requirements

Maintaining your equipment is a crucial component of its longevity and durability. Without proper maintenance, you’ll likely end up spending significant costs to repair or replace your inventory. Once you’ve begun to shop around for professional equipment, ensure you’ve taken the time to research the type of maintenance each piece requires. This will help you decide if you have the time and resources to handle the task.

If the equipment you’ve had your eye on requires too much manpower or capital to maintain, you may need to consider a lower price point with more attainable maintenance.

Safety & Certifications

Like anything connected to your business, safety is key. When it comes to purchasing expensive and often heavy equipment, ensure each item has the safety certifications you need — otherwise, your business could become liable if the equipment malfunctions. Prioritizing safely ensures your company, employees, and customers are out of harm’s way.

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P.E.I. announces 6 new COVID-19 cases, 17 exposure sites –



P.E.I. announced six new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Two of the cases are in their 40s, one is in their 30s, one is in their 20s and two are children under 12.

Three of the announced cases are related to travel outside the province, and three are contacts of previously reported cases.

The two children are students at Westwood Primary School. The school will be closed on Thursday and Friday to allow for close contacts to get tested, and so the province can determine if there’s been any transmission within the school.

Classmates and other children who travelled on the same bus with the students will be contacted by public health and advised on testing and isolation requirements.

The province said other Westwood students and staff should monitor for symptoms and get tested and isolate if any develop.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Public Schools Branch said four schools in eastern P.E.I. will remain closed for another day to allow for mass testing amid worries of community transmission in the eastern Kings region.

The situation at Westwood is not considered an outbreak at this time.

17 exposure sites announced

Seventeen new public exposure site notifications were issued, including two on the Northumberland Ferry. Most of the exposures are in Charlottetown.

The province is also advising anyone who was at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., between last Friday and Monday to get tested and isolate while they await results.

There are currently 27 active cases in P.E.I. and there have been 403 total cases.

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