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Today’s coronavirus news: Heavy police presence expected across Quebec as 8 p.m. curfew kicks off; Canada’s first case of South Africa COVID-19 variant found in Alberta – Toronto Star

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The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

8:11 a.m.: The few hours it took to give the first coronavirus vaccine shots to 14 residents of the John XXIII nursing home — named after a pope and not far from the birthplace in eastern France of vaccine pioneer Louis Pasteur — took weeks of preparation.

The home’s director, Samuel Robbe, first had to chew his way through a dense 61-page vaccination protocol, one of several hefty guides from the French government that exhaustively detail how to proceed, down to the number of times (10) that each flask of vaccine should be turned upside down to mix its contents.

“Delicately,” the booklet stipulates. “Do not shake.”

As France tries to figure out why its vaccination campaign launched so slowly, the answer lies partly in forests of red tape and the decision to prioritize vulnerable older people in nursing homes. They are perhaps the toughest group to start with, because of the need for informed consent and difficulties explaining the complex science of fast-tracked vaccines.

Claude Fouet, still full of vim and good humour at age 89 but with memory problems, was among the first in his Paris care home to agree to a vaccination. But in conversation, it quickly becomes apparent that his understanding of the pandemic is spotty. Eve Guillaume, the home’s director, had to remind Fouet that in April he survived his own brush with the virus that has killed more than 66,000 people in France.

“I was in hospital,” Fouet slowly recalled, “with a dead person next to me.”

Guillaume says that getting consent from her 64 residents — or their guardians and families when they are not fit enough to agree themselves — is proving to be the most labour-intensive part of her preparations to start inoculations later this month. Some families have said no, and some want to wait a few months to see how vaccinations unfold before deciding.

“You can’t count on medicalized care homes to go quickly,” she says. “It means, each time, starting a conversation with families, talking with guardians, taking collegial steps to reach the right decision. And that takes time.”

At the John XXIII home, between the fortified town of Besancon and Pasteur’s birthplace in Dole, Robbe has had a similar experience.

After the European Union green-lighted use of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine in December, Robbe says it took two weeks to put together all the pieces to this week vaccinate 14 residents, just a fraction of his total of more than 100.

Getting consent was the biggest hurdle for a doctor and a psychologist who went from room to room to discuss vaccinations, he says. The families of residents were given a week over the December holidays to approve or refuse, a decision that had to be unanimous from immediate family members.

When one woman’s daughter said yes but her son said no, a shot wasn’t given because “they can turn against us and say, ‘I never agreed to that,’” Robbe explained. “No consensus, we don’t vaccinate.”

Only by cutting corners and perfunctorily getting residents to agree could the process go quicker, he says.

“My friends are saying, ‘What is this circus? The Germans have already vaccinated 80,000 people and we’ve vaccinated no one,'” he says. “But we don’t share the same histories. When you propose a vaccine to Germans, they all want to get inoculated. In France, there is a lot of reticence about the history of vaccinations. People are more skeptical. They need to understand. They need explications and to be reassured.”

France prioritized nursing homes because they have seen nearly one-third of its deaths. But its first vaccination on Dec. 27, of a 78-year-old woman in a long-term care facility, quickly proved to have been only the symbolic launch of a rollout that the government never intended to get properly underway before this week.

Only on Monday, as scheduled, did authorities launch an online platform where health workers must log all vaccinations and show that those inoculated got an obligatory consultation with a doctor, adding to the red tape.

In some countries that are moving faster than France, the bureaucracy is leaner. In Britain, where nearly 1.5 million have been inoculated and plans are to offer jabs to all nursing home residents by the end of January, those capable of consenting need only sign a one-page form that gives basic information about the benefits and possible side effects.

No doctor interviews are needed in Spain. It started vaccinating the same day as France but administered 82,000 doses in the first nine days, whereas France managed just a couple of thousand.

Germany, like France, also mandates a meeting with a doctor and is prioritizing shots for care home residents, but it is getting to them quicker, using mobile teams. At its current rate of nearly 30,000 vaccinations per day, Germany would need at least six years to inoculate its 69 million adults. But while the German government is facing criticism for the perceived slow rollout, France made an even more leisurely start, at least in numerical terms, but has pledged to reach 1 million people by the end of January.

Other countries have racked up bigger numbers by offering shots to broader cross-sections of people who are easier to reach and can get themselves to appointments. The large majority of the more than 400,000 doses administered in Italy have gone to health-care workers.

Lucile Grillon, who manages three nursing homes in eastern France, says the many hours invested to prepare vaccinations for 50 residents and staff who got jabs on Friday was time well spent. She worked through the holidays to get ready.

“We can’t wait until we have the doses in our fridge to realize that we’re not ready to vaccinate and then have to throw doses away and say, ‘Rats! I didn’t think of that,’” she adds. “The doses are too precious.”

“It takes us two months to prepare for flu shots. Here, we have been asked to set records, to vaccinate against COVID in under 15 days,” she says. “I don’t see how we could have gone any quicker.”

7:45 a.m.: Dramatic changes will be needed in Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine supply and distribution if there is any hope of meeting the federal government’s goal of vaccinating most Canadians by the end of the year.

A Star analysis shows that the current average speed of vaccinations – about 23,400 per day, according to the latest figures – needs to be about 6.5 times faster to get 70 per cent of Canada’s population fully inoculated by Dec. 31.

That assumes everyone who is vaccinated will need two shots and that a small portion of the population, about four million, will either choose not to receive the vaccine or will be unable to. The calculation also takes into account that children are currently not approved to receive any COVID-19 vaccine.

Read the full story here: COVID-19 vaccination rate needs to ramp up dramatically to meet Trudeau’s September goal

4:01 a.m.: Quebecers out in the street after 8 p.m. tonight can expect to be questioned by police as a month-long curfew comes into effect to control the spread of COVID-19.

The province announced earlier this week that the curfew will be in place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., except for those who fall into certain exempted categories, such as essential workers.

Deputy Premier Genevieve Guilbault said earlier this week that the measure is designed to make it easier to catch people who are intent on gathering, in violation of current health orders.

She said in a tweet that the province will send out an emergency alert this afternoon to remind Quebecers of the curfew, and that police will be more visible on the streets over the weekend.

The curfew comes as Quebec’s COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise and hospitals say they’re filling up and risk becoming overwhelmed.

It will last at least four weeks, until Feb. 8, and violators could face fines ranging from $1,000 to $6,000.

Some public health experts have said they believe the curfew will help to reduce people’s contacts and send a message about the seriousness of the pandemic.

But others have questioned whether the measure will be effective, and have expressed concerns it will lead to excessive ticketing of people who are vulnerable or homeless.

Public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda said this week that while he can’t provide proof the curfew will work, it’s part of a series of measures aimed at reducing the possibility of gatherings and of contact between people. “There’s no science that can tell you what measure will have what percentage effect,” he told reporters.

Under the rules, grocery stores and convenience stores will have to close at 7:30 p.m. in order to allow workers and customers to get home. Stores connected to gas stations can stay open to serve essential workers.

The province has also shut down places of worship for all but small funerals, tightened mask-wearing rules for schools, and has extended the closure of non-essential businesses until at least Feb. 8.

Saturday 4:01 a.m.: The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021.

There are 644,348 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Canada: 644,348 confirmed cases (81,670 active, 545,971 resolved, 16,707 deaths).The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.

There were 8,765 new cases Friday from 1,090,196 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.80 per cent. The rate of active cases is 217.27 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 55,408 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 7,915.

There were 129 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 966 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 138. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.37 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 44.45 per 100,000 people.

There have been 15,420,760 tests completed.

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 392 confirmed cases (12 active, 376 resolved, four deaths).

There were zero new cases Friday from 177 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. The rate of active cases is 2.3 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.77 per 100,000 people.

There have been 74,281 tests completed.

_ Prince Edward Island: 102 confirmed cases (eight active, 94 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases Friday from 539 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. The rate of active cases is 5.1 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of six new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people.

There have been 82,541 tests completed.

_ Nova Scotia: 1,526 confirmed cases (29 active, 1,432 resolved, 65 deaths).

There were two new cases Friday from 926 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.22 per cent. The rate of active cases is 2.99 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 29 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is four.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.69 per 100,000 people.

There have been 185,396 tests completed.

_ New Brunswick: 735 confirmed cases (144 active, 582 resolved, nine deaths).

There were 18 new cases Friday from 985 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 1.8 per cent. The rate of active cases is 18.54 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 134 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 19.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 1.16 per 100,000 people.

There have been 119,375 tests completed.

_ Quebec: 223,106 confirmed cases (24,563 active, 189,937 resolved, 8,606 deaths).

There were 2,588 new cases Friday from 1,009,991 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.26 per cent. The rate of active cases is 289.49 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 17,657 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,522.

There were 45 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 295 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 42. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.5 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 101.43 per 100,000 people.

There have been 3,575,548 tests completed.

_ Ontario: 208,394 confirmed cases (28,203 active, 175,309 resolved, 4,882 deaths).

There were 3,799 new cases Friday from 69,144 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 5.5 per cent. The rate of active cases is 193.61 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 23,759 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 3,394.

There were 26 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 301 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 43. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.3 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 33.52 per 100,000 people.

There have been 8,092,822 tests completed.

_ Manitoba: 25,963 confirmed cases (4,582 active, 20,655 resolved, 726 deaths).

There were 222 new cases Friday from 2,279 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 9.7 per cent. The rate of active cases is 334.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,263 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 180.

There were nine new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 59 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is eight. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.62 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 53.01 per 100,000 people.

There have been 424,107 tests completed.

_ Saskatchewan: 17,474 confirmed cases (3,053 active, 14,237 resolved, 184 deaths).

There were 336 new cases Friday from 1,417 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 24 per cent. The rate of active cases is 259.95 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,839 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 263.

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There were seven new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 29 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.35 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 15.67 per 100,000 people.

There have been 310,516 tests completed.

_ Alberta: 109,652 confirmed cases (13,628 active, 94,783 resolved, 1,241 deaths).

There were 1,183 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 311.76 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 6,637 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 948.

There were 24 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 195 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 28. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.64 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 28.39 per 100,000 people.

There have been 1,547,298 tests completed.

_ British Columbia: 56,632 confirmed cases (7,439 active, 48,205 resolved, 988 deaths).

There were 617 new cases Friday from 4,488 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 14 per cent. The rate of active cases is 146.69 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 4,077 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 582.

There were 18 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 87 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 12. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.25 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 19.48 per 100,000 people.

There have been 988,684 tests completed.

_ Yukon: 69 confirmed cases (nine active, 59 resolved, one deaths).

There were zero new cases Friday from 22 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. The rate of active cases is 22.03 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of five new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.45 per 100,000 people.

There have been 6,079 tests completed.

_ Northwest Territories: 24 confirmed cases (zero active, 24 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases Friday from 23 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people.

There have been 8,083 tests completed.

_ Nunavut: 266 confirmed cases (zero active, 265 resolved, one deaths).

There were zero new cases Friday from 205 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.58 per 100,000 people.

There have been 5,954 tests completed.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Jan. 9, 2021.

Friday 11:55 p.m.: Canada’s first case of a new, more infectious variant of COVID-19 that surfaced in South Africa was found in Alberta on Friday, the same day two Atlantic provinces tightened their boundaries and Ontario warned tough new measures may be on the way if surging infection rates aren’t reined in.

Alberta’s chief medical health officer made the announcement about the new variant in a tweet late Friday afternoon. Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the person is believed to have contracted the illness while travelling and is in quarantine.

“There’s no evidence at this time that the virus has spread to others,” Hinshaw said.

“I know any new case is concerning, but we are actively monitoring for these variants and working to protect the public’s health.”

Late Friday, the Public Health Agency of Canada said that it had been in contact with Alberta and the province had confirmed “the first reported case of the South African variant in Canada.”

Federal officials said earlier in the day that the new variant had yet to be detected in the country.

The South African variant, 501. V2, is more infectious than the original COVID-19 virus and has rapidly become dominant in that country’s coastal areas. There have also been concerns among experts in the United Kingdom that vaccines may not be effective against it.

Fourteen cases of a more contagious COVD-19 variant that first surfaced in the U.K. have already been detected in Canada. Six of those were in Ontario, four were in Alberta, three were in British Columbia and one was in Quebec.

The news came as it was announced that, starting Saturday at 8 a.m., people entering Nova Scotia from New Brunswick will be required to isolate for two weeks.

“What we’re saying here is, ‘Do not go to New Brunswick, and New Brunswickers, do not come here, unless it is for essential purposes,'” said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil.

New Brunswick announced it would prohibit all non-essential travel into the province.

“It’s that constant movement of people between cities, provinces, countries that has enabled COVID-19 to spread to every corner of the globe,” said chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell.

Nova Scotia reported two new cases, while New Brunswick had 18.

Meanwhile, the Manitoba government extended its COVID-19 restrictions, which were to expire Friday at midnight, for another two weeks to keep the demand on hospitals in check.

Since mid-November, restaurants and bars have been limited to takeout and delivery, and non-essential stores have shuttered except for curbside pickup. Public gatherings have been limited to five people and most social gatherings inside homes are forbidden.

The Prairie province reported 221 new COVID-19 cases Friday and nine additional deaths.

B.C. reported 617 new cases and 18 more deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 fatalities in the province to 988.

Ontario reported 4,249 new cases, still a record-breaking figure factoring in 450 earlier infections which were delayed in the tally. The province had 26 more deaths.

“If these basic measures continue to be ignored, the consequences will be more dire,” Premier Doug Ford warned. “The shutdown won’t end at the end of January. And we will have to look at more extreme measures.”

He did not provide further details on the nature or timing of any added restrictions.

Ford has warned in recent days that the province is going to run out of vaccine if it does not receive another shipment soon. Federal Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner said in a statement that the Liberal government has had months to take a leadership role.

But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed confidence that Canada will have enough vaccine by the fall for everyone who wishes to be inoculated.

Trudeau said he and Canada’s premiers discussed the vaccine rollout Thursday during a conference call.

“We agreed that it is vital that we work together as Team Canada to get vaccines delivered, distributed and administered as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Trudeau said more than 124,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were delivered to 68 sites across the country this week, and 208,000 more are to be delivered weekly for the rest of this month.

And, by the end of next week, more than 171,000 Moderna vaccine doses are expected to be delivered to provinces and territories.

In all, Trudeau said, Ottawa is on track to deliver about 1.3 million doses of both vaccines by the end of January, with quantities scaling up in February.

Those in charge of Canada’s vaccine portfolio and the delivery schedule are confident that vaccines will be offered to all Canadians by September, he said.

“That will be significant in terms of getting through this pandemic and making sure that next winter looks very different from this one.”

Read about Friday’s updates here.

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Ontario reports 994 new coronavirus cases; 10 more deaths – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Ontario reported 994 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and 10 additional deaths, as public health laboratories confirmed their largest count of additional cases involving variants of concern to date.

Across the GTA, Toronto reported 298 new cases, York Region reported 64, and Peel reported 171.

Ontario reported 958 new cases on Wednesday, 966 on Tuesday and 1,023 on Monday.

The seven-day rolling average of daily cases now stands at 1,063, down from 1,084 on Wednesday.

Two of the ten new deaths reported involved residents of long-term care homes.

Provincial labs processed 65,643 test specimens in the past 24 hours, generating a positivity rate of at least 2.1 per cent.

Another 42,723 specimens remain under investigation.

Using whole genomic sequencing, labs also confirmed another 92 new coronavirus cases involving variants of concern over the past day, bringing the total confirmed number of variant cases to 678, including 644 cases of the more highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant.

It’s the largest increase in confirmed variant cases reported in Ontario in 2021, though thousands more samples that have screened positive during initial PCR testing still await full confirmation.

Ontario’s Ministry of Health says the number of patients in hospital due to COVID-19 fell over the past 24 hours.

They say there were 649 patients in hospital receiving treatment on Thursday, down from 668 on Wednesday. Of those, 281 were in intensive care and 183 were breathing with the help of a ventilator.

But data from Critical Care Services Ontario obtained by CP24 on Thursday showed there were 326 people in intensive care on Thursday.

Elsewhere in the GTA, Halton Region reported 33 cases, Durham Region reported 23 new cases and Hamilton reported 40 new cases.

The province said it set a new record for administering COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday, administering more than 30,000 shots.

The Ministry of Health says 784,828 doses have now been administered, and 268,100 people have completed a full two-dose inoculation.

Going forward, growth in the number of full inoculations may slow as Canadian provinces move to space out doses of COVID-19 vaccines up to four months apart.

The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.

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Modified COVID-19 vaccines for variants to be fast-tracked Français – Canada NewsWire

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Future vaccine modifications that respond to new variants of COVID-19 to be made available quickly to Canadians without compromising safety, efficacy or quality   

OTTAWA, ON, March 4, 2021 /CNW/ – Health Canada announces new guidance issued today by the Access Consortium—a coalition of regulatory authorities from Canada, the U.K., Australia, Singapore and Switzerland. The guidance, developed by Health Canada in consultation with its Access partners, lays out what information regulators would need to approve any modifications to authorized COVID-19 vaccines, should virus mutations make them less effective at preventing COVID-19. With this guidance, authorized COVID-19 vaccines that are modified in response to new variants will need to be reviewed and authorized.

According to the guidance, vaccine manufacturers would need to provide evidence that the modified vaccine produces an immune response in a sufficient number of people, but clinical studies would not be needed since they do not add to the regulatory understanding of a vaccine’s safety, efficacy or quality. 

This is because researchers are now better able to measure protection by looking at antibodies in the blood following vaccination, reducing the need to determine whether people in a trial develop the disease. This would reduce the length of time needed for a modified vaccine to be ready for use. 

Along with data on the immune response, the vaccine manufacturer would also be expected to provide evidence of the modified vaccine’s safety and quality. Data from the original clinical trials and the ongoing studies on real-world use in millions of people can be used to support any decision by the regulators.   

This approach is based on established regulatory processes used for seasonal flu vaccines, for which annual modifications are needed to match the strains circulating each year.  

The Access Consortium began as the Heads of Agencies Consortium in 2007. Health Canada was a founding member of this group. The Consortium’s goal is to maximize international cooperation between partners in the Consortium, reduce duplication and increase each agency’s capacity to ensure patients have timely access to high quality, safe and effective therapeutic products, including vaccines, drugs and medical devices.  

SOURCE Health Canada

For further information: Media Relations, Health Canada, 613-957-2983, [email protected]; COVID-19 public enquiries: 1-833-784-4397

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EU to extend vaccine export control measures to end of June, sources say – Global News

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The European Union is planning to extend its export authorization scheme for COVID-19 vaccines to the end of June, two EU sources told Reuters on Thursday, in a move that could reignite tensions with countries who rely on shots made in the EU.

The mechanism was set up at the end of January as a reaction to vaccine makers’ announcements of delays in the deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines to the EU.

Read more:
EU to propose ‘digital green pass’ as proof a person has been vaccinated

It is due to expire at the end of March, but the European Commission wants to extend it through June, the two officials said.

“The Commission will propose its extension into June. And that was greeted by the member states with approval, not necessarily enthusiasm, but there is a feeling that we still need that mechanism,” one senior EU diplomat said.

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The second official added that at a meeting with EU diplomats on Wednesday, many countries supported the measure, including heavyweights Germany and France.

The EU Commission was not immediately available for comment.






1:15
Coronavirus: Canada received ‘strong assurances’ from EU leadership on vaccine deliveries, Trudeau says


Coronavirus: Canada received ‘strong assurances’ from EU leadership on vaccine deliveries, Trudeau says – Feb 2, 2021

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has also called for sanctions on companies that do not respect their contractual obligations with the EU.

When the EU’s export control mechanism was introduced in late January it triggered an outcry from importing countries who feared their vaccine supplies might have been hampered.

Under the scheme, companies must get authorization before exporting COVID-19 shots and may have export requests denied if they do not respect their supply commitments with the EU.

However, the EU has authorized all requests for export since the scheme’s debut on Jan. 30 to Feb. 26, which amounted to 150 requests for millions of shots to 29 countries, including Britain, the United Arab Emirates and Canada, an EU Commission spokeswoman said.

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Read more:
AstraZeneca backtracks, says it will meet EU supply for Q2 after reporting shortfall

She added, however, that at least one request was withdrawn by an exporting company. She declined to elaborate.

Export requests mostly concern the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which is manufactured in Belgium. AstraZeneca and Moderna shots have also been exported from the EU.

Since Jan. 30 more than eight million vaccines were shipped from the EU to Britain, a third EU source said.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Trudeau questioned on EU export controls over vaccine production'



3:02
Coronavirus: Trudeau questioned on EU export controls over vaccine production


Coronavirus: Trudeau questioned on EU export controls over vaccine production – Feb 2, 2021

Britain has so far prevented the export of AstraZeneca vaccines to the EU, using a U.K.-first clause in its supply contract with the Anglo-Swedish firm, EU officials have said.

The United States also has regulations that effectively ban vaccine exports, the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen told a news conference last week.

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