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U.S. confirms it will accept Canadian travellers with mixed vaccines – CBC.ca

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Canadians with mixed vaccines and U.S. travel plans can breathe a sigh of relief tonight. 

Following weeks of speculation, the United States confirmed late Friday it will accept mixed vaccines when new rules kick in on Nov. 8 requiring that foreign travellers entering the U.S. be fully vaccinated. 

Individuals inoculated with any combination of two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization will be considered fully vaccinated, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told CBC News.

WHO-approved vaccines include Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and its Indian-made counterpart, Covishield. So travellers with any combination of these vaccines will be allowed to enter the U.S. 

The CDC does not recognize mixing COVID-19 vaccines but said it updated its guidance to reflect growing global acceptance of the practice. 

“While CDC has not recommended mixing types of vaccine in a primary series, we recognize that this is increasingly common in other countries so should be accepted for the interpretation of vaccine records,” CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund said in an email. 

Ingrid and John Whyte of Toronto are set to fly to Florida to spend the winter at a condo they own in Naples, Fla. The snowbirds are relieved to hear the U.S. will accept their mixed vaccines. (Submitted by Ingrid Whyte)

Millions of Canadians have mixed doses of COVID-19 vaccines. When the U.S. recently announced it would impose a vaccination requirement for travellers entering by both land and air, many Canadians with mixed doses worried they might soon be barred from entering the country. 

“We felt kind of blindsided,” said snowbird, Ingrid Whyte of Toronto. Following Canadian government guidance, she and her husband, John, each got one dose of Covishield and a second dose of Pfizer.

“We did everything that we were supposed to do in terms of getting vaccines,” Whyte said.

The couple had booked a flight to Florida for Nov. 17, but cancelled it due to concerns over their mixed vaccines. They’re now relieved to hear their vaccine combination won’t be an issue when entering the U.S. 

“We are thrilled,” Whyte said. “I wish it could have been a little sooner. It would have allowed people to plan a little bit more effectively. But in the long run, it’s great news.”

It’s also good news for Petar Sesar of London, Ont., who has a mix of Moderna and Pfizer.

Petar Sesar of London, Ont., was relieved to learn his vaccine mix of Moderna and Pfizer wouldn’t bar him from entering the U.S. to visit his fiancée, Mara Bakula, who lives in Cleveland. (Submitted by Petar Sesar)

Sesar’s fiancée, Mara Bakula, lives in Cleveland. Sesar welcomed news this week that the U.S. land border will reopen on Nov. 8 to non-essential travellers, as he prefers to drive instead of fly to Cleveland. 

However, he worried he might have no U.S. travel options come Nov. 8 if the country rejected his vaccine mix. 

“That was a very scary moment,” he said. “It felt like house arrest of sorts, like now I [may] have no option.”

Earlier this year, the CDC stated online that a mix of two mNRA vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer, would be accepted in “exceptional situations.” But Sesar didn’t rest easy until he learned that the CDC had approved his exact combination. 

“It is unbelievable,” he said. “It is such a relief. I share the relief with millions of [Canadians].”

Where does the U.S. stand now on mixed vaccines?

Canada updated its vaccination guidelines in June to recommend mixing COVID-19 vaccine doses based on emerging research that found it was both safe and effective.

Meanwhile, the CDC still maintains that “data on the safety and efficacy of a mixed-product series are limited.”

But that could change. 

The U.S. recently conducted a study exploring the effectiveness of using a different COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot. 

This week, U.S. authorities met to review the data which so far suggests mixing vaccines is safe and effective.

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COVID-19 vaccines: 18% of Ottawa kids 5-11 have 1st doses – Globalnews.ca

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Nearly 14,000 Ottawa kids have gotten their first COVID-19 vaccine shots in their first week of eligibility, according to the local health unit.

Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard reports that 13,887 kids aged five to 11, representing 18 per cent of the total age group in the city, have their initial shots as of Wednesday morning.

Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, said earlier this week that 40 per cent of local kids in this youngest eligible demographic have appointments booked through the provincial vaccination system. This doesn’t account for shots booked at pharmacies or doctors’ offices.

Read more:

No need for new restrictions yet in Ottawa amid Omicron cases, Dr. Etches says

City-wide, 86 per cent of the population aged five and older now have at least one dose.

Meanwhile, OPH reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, surpassing the 32,000-case mark since the start of the pandemic.

The number of active infections held relatively steady at 329 in the latest report.

There are now 11 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Ottawa, two of whom are in the intensive care unit.


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COVID-19: Proof of vaccine now needed to fly in Canada

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KFL&A region records tenth death from COVID-19 – Kingston News – Kingstonist

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Photo by Lucas Mulder.

The Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington region has recorded its tenth death from COVID-19. The deceased was a female in her 70s, according to provincial information.

This is the fourth death in KFL&A associated with COVID-19 this month, after a male in his 60s died on Tuesday, Nov. 23, a female in her 70s died a day later, and a female in her 80s died less than a week later.

KFL&A Public Health continue to investigate the method of transmission.

Yesterday, KFL&A Public Health reported a total of 29 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the total of active COVID-19 cases to 295, down slightly from a high of 301. According to KFL&A Public Health, as of Monday there were 19 local residents hospitalized with COVID-19, with 11 of those in intensive care and six on ventilators.

Nine others have now died from COVID-19 in the region since the beginning of the pandemic: two males aged 90 or over, a male in his 80s, two females in their 80s, a male in his 70s, a female in her 70s, a male in his 60s, and a female in her 50s.

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World AIDS Day kicks off Indigenous AIDS week in Regina – Globalnews.ca

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Dec. 1 is a day of awareness and celebration for those who are impacted with HIV/AIDS worldwide, and a local organization is using World AIDS Day to kick off Indigenous AIDS week in Regina.

All Nations Hope is a network that provides supports and services to those impacted with HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C in the city. The program director said they are dedicating a week to celebrate and focus on those impacted by HIV and AIDS.

“We dedicated each day to a group of people,” said Leona Quewezance. “We will have something special for them every day.”

Read more:

Saskatchewan government apologizes after World AIDS Day tweet draws ire

Quewezance said during the week-long activities, they will also be testing those who wish to be tested.

“We encourage people to get tested, if they wish that,” she said. “We would like access them to link them into care for treatment and support.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was difficult to focus testing on HIV/AIDS in the city. However, All Nations Hope have took it upon themselves to find data within Regina.

“For the past nine months…people had issues accessing testing,” said Quewezance. “We did testings on Wednesdays for the last nine months and the nurse seen approximately 316 people. We had 21 new HIV identifying cases and eight new cases for syphilis.”

In a statement, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health stated in 2019, Saskatchewan had roughly triple the national average of newly-diagnosed HIV cases at 16.4 per 100,000, while the national rate was 5.6 per 100,000 people.

Read more:

History shows COVID-19 may fade out, but likely won’t disappear

“Preliminary data indicates there were 185 cases of HIV identified in 2020, a decrease of seven per cent, down from 199 cases in 2019,” according to the statement.

“However, testing numbers for 2020 are lower, likely due to fewer public HIV testing events, front-line health-care providers being focused on COVID-19 response, and fewer individuals presenting for testing due to the pandemic.”

Work through All Nations Hope will continue to break down the stigma attached to HIV and AIDS and will provide awareness is all year round, not just one day out of the year.

“The people that are living with HIV and AIDS are no different than us,” said Quewezance. “They are no different than people living with diabetes and any other kinds of illnesses. They are people just the same as we are.”

The province said work initiated through the HIV Strategy continues and is supported by annual Ministry of Health funding of approximately $4.86M to support HIV services in the Saskatchewan Health Authority and community-based organizations.


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Saskatchewan government apologizes after World AIDS Day tweet draws ire – Dec 2, 2020

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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