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Trudeau says Pfizer vaccine could be 'light at the end of the tunnel,' but hurdles remain – Sarnia and Lambton County This Week

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Canada bought access to 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, because the vaccine requires two doses to be effective, the early supply will be enough to inoculate roughly 10 million people

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described promising vaccine results as a potential “light at the end of the tunnel,” Monday, but he also urged caution, because there are still several hurdles to mount before the vaccine is widely available.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced Monday the vaccine it was developing with BioNTech was showing strong results. In addition to being safe, the vaccine was proving to be more than 90 per cent effective in preventing people from getting sick with the virus.

The data has yet to be independently verified, but the trial included a total of 43,538 people across multiple countries and from a wide range of ethnicities.

Trudeau said the news was encouraging, but said Canadians can’t ease up yet and still have to limit their social contacts, wear a mask when social distancing isn’t impossible and take other steps to reduce spread of the virus.

“We hope to see vaccines landing in the early next year, but between now and then it is really important that we double down on our efforts,” he said. “We need to do our part. We need to stay strong and hang in there a few more months.”

He stressed the early results from the vaccine are positive, but until it is administered it can’t help people.

“If you catch COVID in the coming days or weeks a vaccine won’t help you.”

Dr. Zain Chagla, a professor of medicine at McMaster University and expert in infectious diseases said society will still have to wait for the peer-review of the company’s research and for more safety data, but if that holds up this could be the beginning of the end of the pandemic.

“If this is the real deal signal, this is one good tool in the chest, and definitely something that starts the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

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Canada bought access to 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, because the vaccine requires two doses to be effective, the early supply will be enough to inoculate roughly 10 million people, about a quarter of Canada’s 38 million people. When it announced the initial purchase in August, the government said it would be pursuing options to buy more than the initial 20 million, but those deals have not yet materialized.

The U.S. has ordered 100 million initial doses with options for another 500 million doses from the company as part of its large vaccine purchase. The company has said it can produce 50 million doses in 2020 and another 1.3 billion in 2021.

Canada has bought access to several vaccines and Trudeau said part of their strategy has always been to look for multiple options.

“Canada is one of the countries around the world with the very best portfolio of potential vaccines because we know that there is a certain amount of uncertainty as to which vaccines will land first,” he said.

Chagla said even if the other vaccine candidates aren’t successful, the 10 million doses from Pfizer would be a good start.

“There’s definitely a lot you could do with 10 million doses, even if it’s only a quarter of the population,” he said. “You can definitely at least reduce the risk of hospitalization and death for the most vulnerable. You can protect the people taking care of them and then you can try to make a dent in community transmission.”

Abacus Data released new polling on Monday as well, showing that hesitancy will be another one of the challenges for a vaccine roll out.

The firm surveyed 1,500 Canadians and found 33 per cent were eager to take a vaccine, while 42 per cent would do so eventually, but wanted to wait. A further 14 per cent say they would have to be convinced and 11 per cent say they won’t take the shot under any circumstances.

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The vaccine news is coming as COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the country, with high case counts in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. Hospitals in some parts of the country are starting to feel strained and deaths are continuing to mount.

Pfizer’s vaccine candidate is one of three that have already started providing evidence to Health Canada as part of the regulatory process. In a press release, the company said they hoped to have more data in late November and could submit information to regulators in the U.S. then.

The company’s vaccine has to be kept at temperatures below – 80 degrees Celsius and that will add to the complexity of its rollout should it be successful. The government has a tender underway for a logistics firm to manage the delivery and storage of vaccines.

Pfizer is set to handle delivery to provinces and territories in Canada, but the government is looking for a company to deliver large quantities of dry ice in order to keep the vaccines cold.

Chagla said that is one of the vaccine’s challenges.

“It’s not going to be an easy vaccine to roll out in pharmacies or family doctors’ offices,” he said.

All of the other potential candidates Canada has invested in have to be kept frozen or cool, but not at such low temperatures and they could be stored in commercial refrigerators and freezers.

Chagla said he hopes to see more progress on the other vaccine candidates in time, because the Pfizer vaccine will be especially difficult to roll out in the developing world.

• Email: rtumilty@postmedia.com | Twitter:

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Simcoe Manor outbreak declared over according to the health unit – 104.1 The Dock (iHeartRadio)

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The outbreak at Simcoe Manor in Beeton has been declared over, according to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s website.

The two-month-long outbreak at the long-term care home saw more than 70 people test positive for the coronavirus – 43 residents and 32 staff – while ten residents succumbed to the infection since September 29.

The outbreak at the Allandale Station Retirement Residence has also been declared over, however, outbreaks remain in place at both Sunset Manor in Collingwood and Holland Gardens Retirement Residence in Bradford.

Meanwhile, 14 more people tested positive in the city of Barrie as the SMDHU reported 30 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 with the region inching closer to 2,000 total cases.

Thursday’s numbers from the health unit show the region now stands at 1,983 cases – 153 since Monday – with new infections in New Tecumseth (6), Bradford (3), and Springwater (2).

Innisfil, Tiny, Collingwood, and Essa are all reporting one new case, while one case is still pending.

Meanwhile, the province is reporting an uptick in cases, confirming 1,478 more people have tested positive for the virus, up from 1,373 on Wednesday.

Ontario also processed more than 47,000 COVID-19 tests over the last day, with about 53,000 swabs still under investigation.

With files from CTV News Toronto.

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30 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Simcoe Muskoka, local total reaches 1,983 – Global News

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The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed 30 new novel coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the local total number of cases up to 1,983, including 52 deaths.

Fourteen of the new cases are in Barrie, while six are in New Tecumseth, three are in Bradford and two are in Springwater.

The rest are in Collingwood, Essa, Innisfil and Tiny Township.

Read more:
Auditor general highlights Ontario’s ‘confusing,’ indirect communications on COVID-19 in new report

Twelve of the new cases are a result of close contact with another positive COVID-19 case, while seven are community-acquired. Two of the new cases are related to an educational setting outbreak, while on is travel-related.

The rest of the new cases are all under investigation.

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This week, the health unit has reported 149 new coronavirus cases.

Last week, there were 200 new COVID-19 cases in the region, marking the highest number of cases reported in a single week since the start of the pandemic.






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Ontario may not get coronavirus vaccine in early 2021: Health minister


Ontario may not get coronavirus vaccine in early 2021: Health minister

Of the region’s total 1,983 coronavirus cases, 87 per cent — or 1,717 — have recovered, while 13 people remain in hospital.

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There are 13 total COVID-19 outbreaks in the region — at four schools, two long-term care facilities, two congregate settings, two workplaces, one retirement home and two community settings.

The school outbreaks are at St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School, Willow Landing Elementary School and Warnica Public School, all of which are in Barrie, as well as Nottawasaga Pines Secondary School in Angus.

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There has been 61 outbreaks in Simcoe Muskoka since the start of the pandemic — at 20 long-term care facilities, 14 workplaces, 10 retirement homes, eight educational settings, six congregate settings and three community settings.

Read more:
Ontario reports 1,373 new coronavirus cases, 35 more deaths

According to the province of Ontario, 14 schools under the public Simcoe County school board and the Catholic Simcoe Muskoka school board are reporting at least one case of COVID-19.

The affected schools are:

  • Warnica Public School in Barrie
  • Innisdale Secondary School in Barrie
  • Monsignor Clair Catholic School in Barrie
  • St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Barrie
  • Willow Landing Elementary School in Barrie
  • St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School in Barrie
  • Bradford District High School
  • Fieldcrest Elementary School in Bradford
  • Nottawasaga Pines Secondary School in Essa
  • Our Lady of Grace School in Essa
  • Boyne River Public School in New Tecumseth
  • St. Paul’s Catholic School in New Tecumseth
  • Holy Family Catholic School in New Tecumseth
  • Nantyr Shores Secondary School in Innisfil

On Thursday, Ontario reported 1,373 new coronavirus cases, bringing the provincial total to 107,883, including 3,554 deaths.

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Health unit reports 29 new COVID cases in Simcoe County today – OrilliaMatters

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The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is reporting 30 new COVID-19 cases in the region today, at least 29 of which are Simcoe County residents. 

Almost half of the new cases reported today are Barrie residents with 14 new cases in the city. 

Of those 14 cases, nine are between the ages of 18 and 34 (one female and eight males). The transmission source is reported as close contact for five of those cases, one community-acquired, and one travel. The rest are still under investigation.

The remaining five Barrie cases include a woman between 35 and 44 years old, and two women and two men between 45 and 64 years old. The transmission sources for those cases include three community-acquired, one close contact, and one under investigation. 

The health unit is also tracking a community setting outbreak in Barrie involving a hockey team. There are at least eight positive cases linked to the outbreak. 

There are three new cases in Bradford West Gwillimbury, all linked to close contact. The cases include two men between 45 and 64 years old and a woman over the age of 80. 

Among the new cases is a Collingwood man aged 65 to 79 years old. His case transmission is still under investigation. This is the fifth local case since Nov. 20, and the other four cases have been linked to close contact or community transmission. 

There is also one new case in Innisfil today, a woman between 65 and 79 years old, and it remains under investigation. 

There are two new cases in Springwater, including a boy under 18 and a man between 35 and 44 years old. The boy’s case is linked to close contact and the man’s case is linked to an educational setting outbreak. 

There are six new cases in New Tecumseth, including one woman and two men between 18 and 34 years old, a man between 35 and 44 years old, and a woman and a man between 45 and 64 years old. The case transmission sources include two close contact, one community-acquired, and one linked to an educational setting outbreak out of the region. The remaining cases are under investigation. 

The health unit has confirmed one new case in Tiny, a man between 18 and 34 years old, which is reported as community-acquired. 

There is one new case in Essa today, a man between 18 and 34 years old, which is reported as community-acquired. 

Lastly, the health unit has reported one case, a man between 35 and 44, whose transmission source and location information is still pending. 

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has reported a total of 1,983 cases of COVID-19, with 1,891 of those in Simcoe County. There are 1,717 cases listed as recovered in the region. Thirteen people are currently hospitalized, all are Simcoe County residents. The health unit has confirmed 52 deaths since March.

The incidence rate for Simcoe County is 358 cases per 100,000 people. With a seven-day average of 29.2 cases per 100,000 people in a week. The region’s reproductive rate shows every person who contracts COVID-19 transmits it to 1.1 other people, and testing data shows 2.1 per cent of people who are tested in the region test positive for COVID-19. 

Case breakdown from Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit by municipality for Simcoe County as of Nov. 26.

Municipality Total cases** Recoveries Deaths In Hospital Last case reported Incidence rate*
Barrie  591 504 15 10 Nov. 26 396
Bradford W-G  347 300 12 1 Nov. 26 808
New Tecumseth  337 289 12 1 Nov. 26 813
Innisfil 179 162 1 1 Nov. 26 439
Orillia 34 27 3   Nov. 23 102
Collingwood 26 21     Nov. 26 104
Wasaga Beach 35 31 1   Nov. 23 152
Clearview 34 32 1   Nov. 23 230
Springwater 40 23 1   Nov. 26 190
Midland 16 16     Nov. 19 89
Oro-Medonte 23 20 2   Nov. 12 99
Adjala-Tosorontio 37 34     Nov. 25 318
Essa 96 88 1 1 Nov. 26 401
Ramara 18 16     Nov. 18 173
Tiny 19 16     Nov. 23 137
Tay 27 23 1   Nov. 23 235
Penetanguishene 19 17 1   Nov. 19 196
Severn 13 12     Nov. 20 87
Georgian Bay 9 8     Nov. 24 319

 *Incidence rate is number of cases per 100,000 people in the local population.

**Total cases includes the number of cases currently recovering at home as well as any that have recovered, died, or are in hospital

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