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Sinovac says its coronavirus vaccine candidate appears safe for elderly in early trials – CBC.ca

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Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech Ltd. said on Monday its coronavirus vaccine candidate appeared to be safe for older people, according to preliminary results from an early to mid-stage trial, while the immune responses triggered by the vaccine were slightly weaker than for younger adults.

Health officials have been concerned about whether experimental vaccines could safely protect the elderly, whose immune systems usually react less robustly to vaccines, against the virus that has led to nearly 890,000 deaths worldwide.

Sinovac’s candidate CoronaVac did not cause severe side effects in combined Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials launched in May involving 421 participants aged at least 60, Liu Peicheng, Sinovac’s media representative, told Reuters. The complete results have not been published and were not made available to Reuters.

The World Health Organization is working with China on requirements for international approval of any Chinese COVID-19 vaccine, a senior official said on Monday.

“WHO’s office in China and WHO headquarters has been working with the regulatory authorities in China,” assistant director-general Mariangela Simao told a briefing in Geneva. “We are in direct contact. We have been sharing information and the requirements for international approval of vaccines.”

Four of the world’s eight vaccines that are in the third phase of trials are from China.

For three groups of participants who respectively took two shots of low, medium and high-dose CoronaVac, over 90 per cent of them experienced significant increase in antibody levels, while the levels were slightly lower than those seen in younger subjects but in line with expectation, Liu said in a statement.

CoronaVac, being tested in Brazil and Indonesia in the final-stage human trials to evaluate whether it is effective and safe enough to obtain regulatory approvals for mass use, has already been given to tens of thousands of people, including about 90 per cent of Sinovac employees and their families, as part of China’s emergency inoculation scheme to protect people facing high infection risk.

The potential vaccine could remain stable for up to three years in storage, Liu said, which might offer Sinovac some advantage in vaccine distribution to regions where cold-chain storage is not an option. Cold-chain refers to the process used to maintain optimal conditions during the transport, storage and handling of vaccines, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Such estimation is extrapolated from the fact that vaccines readings stayed within acceptable ranges for 42 days at 25 C, 28 days at 37 C and five months for 2-8 C, Liu said, without disclosing complete data.

WATCH | Don’t rush vaccine development, says infectious diseases specialist: 

A coronavirus vaccine could be in circulation by mid-2021, says infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Gardam, but he cautions against rushing the testing process. 1:29

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Iconic Ranchman's Cookhouse & Dancehall building up for lease – Calgary Herald

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A legendary Calgary restaurant and club may be hanging up the saddle.

An MLS listing for the Ranchman’s Cookhouse & Dancehall building, located at 9615 Macleod Trail S.E., was posted Saturday by Calgary realtor Rob Campbell, advertising the property as available for lease “for the first time in its history.”

Two for-lease signs also appear on the outside of the 17,000-square-foot Calgary watering hole. One sign reads “temporarily closed,” and the business’s phone line is not active.

Ranchman’s has been synonymous with Calgary western culture since it first opened its doors on April 27, 1972, nearly 50 years ago.

A “For Lease” sign is seen on the iconic Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall along Macleod Trail south. Saturday, September 19, 2020. Brendan Miller/Postmedia Brendan Miller/Postmedia

The popular country nightclub draws large crowds during the Calgary Stampede and throughout the rest of the year. It has been named the Canadian Country Music Association’s “Country Club of the Year” 11 times.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced Ranchman’s to temporarily shut its doors on March 17, and it has remained closed since. Ranchman’s and other nightclubs are not permitted to reopen until Stage 3 of Alberta’s relaunch.

Ownership of the venue most recently traded hands in 2017, when Calgary bar scene mainstay Doug Rasberry purchased the property alongside a group of local business owners.

Ranchman’s representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

jherring@postmedia.com

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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Canadian Police Arrested a Man for Sleeping While His ‘Self-Driving’ Tesla Sped Down the Highway – Robb Report

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We’ve all felt the need to catch 40 winks at inconvenient times, but one Candian man took his need for shut-eye to a whole new level.

Alberta police have formally charged a 20-year-old man who was caught asleep behind the wheel of his Tesla while the electric vehicle was speeding on autopilot. Authorities were alerted to the scene on the afternoon of July 9th by a caller who noted that both of the front seats were fully reclined with no visible operator. Sgt. Darrin Turnbull told CBC News on Thursday that the car was traveling 87mph in a zone with a speed limit of 68mph. Both the driver and the passenger appeared to be fully asleep, according to police.

“Nobody was looking out the windshield to see where the car was going,” Turnbull told CBC. “I’ve been in policing for over 23 years and the majority of that in traffic law enforcement, and I’m speechless. I’ve never, ever seen anything like this before, but of course, the technology wasn’t there.”

The model in question was a 2019 Tesla Model S, which has an array of autopilot features from auto-steer to “traffic-aware” cruise control, both of which were engaged when the car was stopped. But despite its name, the autopilot function still requires an active driver to monitor the road, making a lack of one remarkably dangerous all on its own. It turned out to be even more detrimental than the concerned police originally thought because once the officers activated their car’s emergency lights, the Tesla began accelerating and eventually reached a speed of 93mph, which was confirmed by a radar scan.

Officers eventually caught up with the vehicle and issued the sleeping driver a 24-hour license suspension for fatigue before an investigation resulted in a charge of dangerous driving. The driver received a court summons scheduled for this December. Fortunately, no one was injured as the incident ensued, but it acts as a serious cautionary tale as Tesla’s autopilot functions have come under sharp scrutiny for their potential links to more than one crash and related death.

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No winning ticket sold in Saturday's $5M Lotto 649 draw – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $5 million jackpot in Saturday night’s Lotto 649 draw.

However, the guaranteed $1 million prize was claimed by a ticket holder in Quebec.

The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Sept. 23 will be approximately $6 million.

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