The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may not authorize a Covid-19 vaccine until January 2021 at the earliest, according to Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases—but that isn’t stopping drug manufactures from cranking them out by the millions ahead of time.
Between Moderna and Pfizer, makers of the two vaccines emphasized in federal distribution preparedness plans, the US should have access to at least 50 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020. Assuming each person receives two doses for maximum immunity, that’s enough to vaccinate 25 million Americans—less than 10% of the US population. But until the FDA gives the green light, those doses will have to stay in cold storage.
In an earnings call on Oct. 23, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla stated that the company had already made “hundreds of thousands” of doses of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate; he expects to have 30 million to 40 million doses ready to deliver to the US by the end of the year, with plans to reach 100 million by March 2021. And today, Oct. 29, Tal Zaks, the chief medical officer of Moderna, said that he expects to be able to provide 20 million doses of its candidate to the US by the end of the year.
The US government has invested in both companies to ensure speedy access to their products if proved safe and effective. It provided nearly $2 billion to Pfizer through Operation Warp Speed, and nearly $1 billion to Moderna through multiple investments through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Both companies are wrapping up their late-stage clinical trials, but have yet to share the data examining their vaccines’ safety and efficacy profiles.
The US has spread out its vaccine bets: It also invested in Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Novovax, which are also ramping up vaccine manufacturing. But Pfizer and Moderna have made the most progress in their phase 3 trials. Novovax’s phase 3 trial has been delayed until next month, and both Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca just got clearance to resume their phase 3 trials last week after they paused to investigate potentially dangerous adverse reactions.
Manufacturing so many vaccines before approval isn’t arrogance—it’s by design. Drug manufacturers are antsy about the manufacturing bottleneck that could occur as soon as a vaccine gets the all clear. Each of the vaccines in the pipeline require their own factory setups and equipment. Space and gear are finite resources; even after a candidate clears the hurdle of a phase 3 clinical trial, it could take months for these factories to catch up with demand. The US’s Operation Warp Speed initiative bought first dibs on 300 million doses of potential Covid-19 vaccines in anticipation of this bottleneck.
What’s not yet clear is who will be first in line to get these doses once they’re available—which should be within 24 hours of getting the green light from the FDA. Those who work in healthcare and have the highest risk of exposure are likely to be first in line. After that, cities and states are likely to prioritize the elderly and immunocompromised, who are at the greatest risk of developing severe complications from Covid-19, but their vaccine deployment plans are still under review by the federal government.
Ontario parents can now apply for second COVID-19 payout. Here's how – CTV Toronto
Just in time for the holidays, Ontario parents can now apply for their second COVID-19 payment from the provincial government.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the announcement during a news conference on Monday, saying the funds aim to help parents struggling due to additional learning and child-care costs amid the pandemic.
“There are thousands of families out there who have made sacrifices, who’ve taken seriously the public health advice, and who have gone that extra mile to make sure their child can learn safely,” Ford told reporters.
“We will always be there to support each and every single person in this province. That’s why I’m proud to announce that starting today the portal is open for applications for the ‘Support for Learners’ program.”
Parents of children aged 12 or younger will be able to receive a one-time payment of $200 per child, and $250 for children 21 years of age or younger with special education needs.
The portal is open to all eligible parents in Ontario, whether their children attend school in-person, online, or both.
“This financial support will help families cover the unexpected costs of school supplies, and other learning resources, especially for our youngest learners,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce told reporters.
“The money will be deposited directly into your accounts within roughly two weeks following your verification.”
The province said the application for the “direct one-time payments” can be submitted online and parents have until Jan. 15 of next year to apply.
This is the second payout from the province to Ontario families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first payout came in the spring. The government said it will spend $380 million on the second payout to parents, on top of the $378 million from the first round.
Winnipeggers in 30s, 40s among new COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba – CBC.ca
A Winnipeg man in his 30s and a Winnipeg woman in her 40s are among 11 new COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba, health officials say.
Manitoba hit a new record high for COVID-19 hospitalizations with 342 people in hospital on Monday, as the province added 343 new cases to its total. There are 43 positive patients in intensive care units, down one from Sunday.
Seven of the deaths are connected to outbreaks at long-term care homes, including a man and a woman in their 80s at Fairview Personal Care Home.
The deaths also include a woman in her 70s linked to the outbreak in the GA3 unit at Health Sciences Centre, a man in his 80s linked to the Villa Youville personal care home, a man in his 80s linked to the Charleswood Care Centre, a man in his 80s linked to Golden Links Lodge, a woman in her 90s linked to St. Norbert Personal Care Home, a man in his 90s linked to the Bridgepark Manor assisted living facility, and a Winnipeg woman in her 90s.
Manitoba’s test-positivity rate is 13.4 per cent, a slight increase of 0.1 percentage points from Sunday but still lower than at any other point last week.
Outbreaks at the Women’s Correctional Centre in Headingley and the Keeyask Generating Station near Thompson have been declared over.
New outbreaks have been declared at the Lakeshore General Hospital in Ashern and West Park Manor Personal Care Home in Winnipeg.
The Winnipeg health region produced the majority of new cases, with 207 confirmed infections, while the Southern Health region had the second most, with 53. The rest of the cases were in the Northern Health region (46), Interlake-Eastern health region (23) and Prairie Mountain Health region (14).
Manitoba has now had 16,825 confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, with 9,260 reported as still active, although that number is likely inflated due to a backlog in clearing recovered cases.
A boy under 10 is the youngest person to die of COVID-19 in Manitoba, health officials announced on Saturday.
Two Manitoba churches, Church of God and Springs Church, held drive-in services on the weekend, in violation of public health orders capping gatherings at five people and ordering religious services to move online.
Winnipeg School Division teachers will walk thousands of students through an in-class exercise on Tuesday that’s meant to simulate what it could be like if the entire school system is suddenly forced to learn remotely.
57 cases of COVID-19, one death reported in Niagara after the weekend – ThoroldNews.com
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Niagara increased by 57 over the weekend, counting Monday’s numbers, but without making a significant impact on the number of active cases across the region, which right now sits at 204.
The daily breakdown:
The region said Monday’s number is not complete, as the reporting had left some cases out, and cautions that Tuesday’s numbers therefore might look higher.
NRPH also reports one new COVID-19-related death on Monday, bringing the region’ss death toll to 84.
One outbreak in a health-care facility was also declared over.
There are 7 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities and 11 other outbreaks.
Public Health Ontario has confirmed 1,746 new cases of COVID-19 today, which is 38 fewer than yesterday. There were more than 1,700 cases reported on both Saturday and Sunday.
Of today’s new cases, most are confined to the Greater Toronto Area. There are 390 new cases confirmed in Peel Region, 622 cases in Toronto and 217 in York Region; that represents 1,229 — or 70 per cent — of the new lab-confirmed cases reported over the past 24 hours.
The agency also reported eight more deaths related to the coronavirus over the past 24 hours. Yesterday, 24 deaths were reported.
More than 1,320 cases have been resolved since yesterday.
Over the past 24 hours, 39,406 tests were completed, which is about 14,600 fewer than the record number of tests processed Friday.
According to today’s data, the positivity rate is 4.4 per cent; that means 4.4 people out of every 100 people tested have the coronavirus.
Since the start of the pandemic, public health labs in Ontario have processed more than 6.2 million COVID-19 tests.
Throughout Ontario, there are 618 people currently hospitalized with the coronavirus, but the agency notes that a number of hospitals (approximately 40) did not submit data for Nov. 28.
Sponsored | Ask David: Improving your credit score, and more real estate news – TheRecord.com
Ontario reports 1,746 new cases of COVID-19 as Toronto sees new one-day high – CityNews Toronto
Ontario parents can now apply for second COVID-19 payout. Here's how – CTV Toronto
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