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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – Times Colonist

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

5:15 p.m.

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Prince Edward Island is reporting one new case of COVID-19.

Chief public health officer Heather Morrison said today a man in his 30s tested positive after returning from travel outside the Atlantic region.

The province has reported a total of 68 cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic; all have been travel related.

Morrison says the infected person and his six close contacts will remain in isolation for 14 days.

3:15 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting nine new deaths attributed to COVID-19 — its highest daily death toll since the pandemic began.

The province has reported a total of 123 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.

Health officials said today the most recent deaths include a man and a woman in their 60s, four men and one woman in their 70s, and a man and a woman in their 80s.

The province is also reporting 431 new COVID-19 infections and an active case count of 5,676.

2:10 p.m.

The chief public health officer in the Northwest Territories says there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Fort Smith, a community of about 2,500 people.

Kami Kandola says the individual contracted the virus while travelling outside the territory and is now in isolation with family.

Kandola says there is no risk to the community because the individual followed self-isolation rules.

It’s the territory’s 11th case of COVID-19 and the only one that is currently active.

1:15 p.m.

An investigation into the source of a COVID-19 case announced Sunday in Newfoundland and Labrador has turned up two previously unidentified cases.

These two cases were announced today, affecting a man and woman in their 60s who returned to the province from work in Alberta and live in the same household.

The positive case announced Sunday was an inaccurate test result, stemming from a data manipulation error made in the provincial public health laboratory.

The province has seven active cases.

1 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting two new cases of COVID-19.

Officials say the two cases were identified yesterday in the Central Zone and are close contacts of a previously reported case.

The province also says the cases aren’t linked to a recent outbreak of COVID-19 in the Clayton Park area.

Nova Scotia now has 20 active cases of the disease, bringing the total number of cases to 1,134.

12:15 p.m.

The latest figures from the Public Health Agency of Canada say that the country has diagnosed an average of more than 4,000 COVID-19 cases a day over the past week.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the positivity rate on tests has recently hit 5.8 per cent.

Canada had more than 41,000 people with active COVID-19 cases at last count Tuesday night.

The numbers have kept rising over recent weeks and Tam is repeating her call for Canadians to cut their social contacts, wear masks and wash their hands.

12 p.m.

Nunavut’s chief public health officer is reporting a case of COVID-19 in Rankin Inlet.

Michael Patterson said today his department is working to identify anyone in the western Nunavut community of about 2,800 who might have been in contact with the infected person.

The new case brings the total number of infections in the territory to three.

Patterson is asking residents to remain at home as much as possible, to limit contact with others and to strictly follow public health measures.

11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 1,378 new COVID-19 cases and 22 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, six of which occurred in the past 24 hours.

Health officials said today hospitalizations increased by 39, to 573, and 84 patients were in intensive care, a rise of two.

The province says 843 more people recovered from COVID-19, for a total of 100,564.

Quebec has reported a total of 118,529 COVID-19 infections and 6,515 deaths linked to the virus.

10:50 a.m.

Ontario is reporting a new daily record of 1,426 COVID-19 cases today as well as 15 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 468 new cases in Peel Region, 384 in Toronto, and 180 in York Region.

Elliott says there are also 63 new cases in Durham and 62 in Hamilton.

The province says it has conducted 36,707 COVID-19 tests since the last daily report.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2020.

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How the COVID-19 vaccines are being approved in Canada – CBC.ca

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The approval of a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada could potentially be days away with the initial supply to be limited to about three million Canadians, in the first three months of 2021. But what approval processes have the vaccines gone through? CBC explains:

Is the approval process for the COVID-19 vaccine different than for other vaccines?

Due to the immediate need for the COVID-19 vaccine, some flexibility has been introduced to the approval process. Typically, a vaccine manufacturer will do all their clinical trials, gather all their data, prepare a submission package and put that forward for approval, said John Greiss, a Toronto-based intellectual property lawyer with Norton Rose Fulbright, who advises companies in the life sciences sector that are regulated by Health Canada.

“Health Canada will comment on it or ask for additional information and it will go back and forth until they come to a decision, he said.

But with COVID-19, Health Canada has accepted what’s known as a “rolling submission.” 

“The new process allows for a company to start an application process, submit the information that they have available, as of that date and add new data and new information as it becomes available, Greiss said

Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser to Health Canada, said this enables the organization to start reviewing the potential vaccine and will shorten the overall review process “while still maintaining those same standards for the safety and the efficacy.”

What’s included in the submission?

That really hasn’t changed, Greiss said. Vaccine manufacturers have to submit all of the scientific data that they have, which includes any kind of lab data that demonstrates how the vaccine works, any kind of clinical trial data that they have obtained, along with Phase 1 to Phase 3 clinical trial data.

WATCH | Vaccines are coming soon

Dr. Njoo tells reporters the federal government is expecting 6 million doses of first two vaccines to arrive in Canada after approvals within the first quarter of the new year. 1:35

They also have to submit information about the manufacturing process and standards and procedures that demonstrate they’re meeting good manufacturing processes in their facilities, Greiss said.

How is the vaccine reviewed?

One vaccine submission is hundreds of thousands of pages long and can take, on average around 2,000 person hours to review, Sharma said. For COVID-19, Health Canada is employing specialized teams of seven to 12 people who have experience in areas like toxicology, infectious diseases, clinical medicine, microbiology and epidemiology to review the vaccine.

“Each vaccine submission has its own team that’s dedicated to it. And they will go through all of that information,” she said.

Reviewers must confirm there are no significant safety concerns, determine that the vaccine is able to prompt an adequate immune response in vaccinated people and show that it can protect against disease, she said.

“We go through all of that to see if it actually meets our standards for safety, efficacy, quality,” Sharma said. 

“We need to make sure that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the potential risks and that we know that it’s being made in at a licensed place that’s up to standards and up to code.”

Greiss said that during the review process, Health Canada officials might, for example, ask for further clarification about the clinical trial procedure, or how patients were recruited.

The approval process has been modified to accommodate the pressing need for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

“Or if they see anomalies in the data, they’ll ask the company to justify or clarify that information,” he said. “So there is still that back and forth in terms of Health Canada sort of digesting and analyzing the data and the company having to provide answers for that before they get an approval.”

Are the vaccine manufacturing facilities inspected?

For manufacturing facilities around the world, not just for vaccines, but for medications as well, Health Canada has entered into mutual recognition agreements with other regulators, Sharma said.

“We actually have sent our inspectors over to their country,” she said. “They’ve sent inspectors over to our country. We make sure that our standards are the same, our processes are the same.”

Every facility that manufactures vaccines needs to have an inspection before it’s licensed. And there are ongoing inspections to make sure standards are maintained, she said.

What are they looking for in these facilities?

They’re looking at key factors, known as the four Ps, Sharma said. 

  • Product: What’s being made there.
  • Premises: There are very detailed specifications on the facilities themselves. For example, special flooring and ventilation systems have to be in place.
  • Process: All the processes that go into manufacturing the product.
  • People: The qualifications and training of the people that work there.

All of those things are really important in terms of making sure that standards are met, she said.

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It’s ‘unknown’ when Canada will reach herd immunity from coronavirus vaccine: Tam – Global News

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The percentage of the Canadian population that needs to be vaccinated in order to reach widespread immunity against the coronavirus is unknown, according to Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

Speaking at a media conference Friday, Tam was asked what entails a “successful vaccine campaign,” in order to determine when the population reaches herd immunity.

READ MORE: Canada is nowhere near herd immunity to the novel coronavirus as second wave surges, Tam says

“Nobody actually knows the level of vaccine coverage to achieve community immunity or herd immunity,” Tam explained. “We have an assumption that you will probably need 60 to 70 per cent of people to be vaccinated. But we don’t know that for sure … that’s modelling. Lots of these calculations are being done but bottom line is that we actually don’t know.”

The end goal, Tam added, is to vaccinate as many Canadian as quickly as possible.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), herd immunity is when a population can be protected from a certain virus, like COVID-19, if a threshold of vaccination is reached. It’s achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it, the WHO added.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

However, the percentage of people needed to be vaccinated in order to create herd immunity depends on the disease.

For example, herd immunity against measles requires about 95 per cent of a population to be vaccinated and for polio, the threshold is about 80 per cent, the WHO stated.


Click to play video 'Canada is nowhere near herd immunity to the coronavirus as second wave surges: Tam'



8:56
Canada is nowhere near herd immunity to the coronavirus as second wave surges: Tam


Canada is nowhere near herd immunity to the coronavirus as second wave surges: Tam – Nov 1, 2020

Tam previously told Global News in November that Canada is still nowhere near herd immunity with the coronavirus.

“We’re only at a few percentage points in terms of the immunity in our population. That leaves over 90 per cent of the population, or 95 per cent of the population still vulnerable,” Tam said.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:
Two shots. A waiting period. Why the coronavirus vaccine won’t be a quick fix

Canada is currently battling a severe second wave of COVID-19 cases. Officials are urging people to remain vigilant in stopping the spread of the virus, despite the promising vaccine news.

Canada expects the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be administered in January, which will go to the country’s most vulnerable populations.

Last week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he hopes to see the “majority” of Canadians vaccinated by September, though he did not specify exactly what that means as far as a percentage of the population.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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It’s ‘unknown’ when Canada will reach herd immunity from coronavirus vaccine: Tam – Global News

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 on


The percentage of the Canadian population that needs to be vaccinated in order to reach widespread immunity against the coronavirus is unknown, according to Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

Speaking at a media conference Friday, Tam was asked what entails a “successful vaccine campaign,” in order to determine when the population reaches herd immunity.

READ MORE: Canada is nowhere near herd immunity to the novel coronavirus as second wave surges, Tam says

“Nobody actually knows the level of vaccine coverage to achieve community immunity or herd immunity,” Tam explained. “We have an assumption that you will probably need 60 to 70 per cent of people to be vaccinated. But we don’t know that for sure … that’s modelling. Lots of these calculations are being done but bottom line is that we actually don’t know.”

The end goal, Tam added, is to vaccinate as many Canadian as quickly as possible.

Story continues below advertisement

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), herd immunity is when a population can be protected from a certain virus, like COVID-19, if a threshold of vaccination is reached. It’s achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it, the WHO added.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

However, the percentage of people needed to be vaccinated in order to create herd immunity depends on the disease.

For example, herd immunity against measles requires about 95 per cent of a population to be vaccinated and for polio, the threshold is about 80 per cent, the WHO stated.


Click to play video 'Canada is nowhere near herd immunity to the coronavirus as second wave surges: Tam'



8:56
Canada is nowhere near herd immunity to the coronavirus as second wave surges: Tam


Canada is nowhere near herd immunity to the coronavirus as second wave surges: Tam – Nov 1, 2020

Tam previously told Global News in November that Canada is still nowhere near herd immunity with the coronavirus.

“We’re only at a few percentage points in terms of the immunity in our population. That leaves over 90 per cent of the population, or 95 per cent of the population still vulnerable,” Tam said.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:
Two shots. A waiting period. Why the coronavirus vaccine won’t be a quick fix

Canada is currently battling a severe second wave of COVID-19 cases. Officials are urging people to remain vigilant in stopping the spread of the virus, despite the promising vaccine news.

Canada expects the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be administered in January, which will go to the country’s most vulnerable populations.

Last week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he hopes to see the “majority” of Canadians vaccinated by September, though he did not specify exactly what that means as far as a percentage of the population.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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