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U.S. drug company Novavax signs deal to supply 76 million doses of possible COVID-19 vaccine to Canada

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Canada’s federal government has signed an agreement in principle to acquire up to 76 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by an American company.

Maryland-based biotechnology company Novavax announced in a press release Monday that it has struck a deal to produce a vaccine it is working on for the Canadian government, should the vaccine ever get Health Canada approval.

The company’s vaccine is one of more than 100 in development around the world, each of which targets the virus that causes COVID-19 in a different way.

At last count, the virus has killed more than 846,000 people around the world since the start of this year.

Novavax’s vaccine is known as a “protein subunit” vaccine, which has the advantage of being manufactured faster than some other types of vaccine but generally doesn’t produce as strong an immune response as some other potential options.

The company released promising results of a very small clinical trial earlier this month, which showed it produced higher levels of the antibodies in healthy volunteers after two doses than those found in recovered COVID-19 patients.

The initial trial tested 106 subjects aged 18 to 59 with the vaccine, along with 25 people who received a placebo. The next phase of testing will include many more people, and at least half of them will be between the ages of 60 and 84, an age bracket of people who face the highest risk of having the worst outcomes from being infected, based on what we know about the virus.

Potential rollout in spring

The company plans to start much larger late-stage clinical trials soon, and told Reuters last month that if all goes well, they expect they could obtain regulatory approvals as early as December. The company said Monday the vaccine, should it work and be safe, would be available to Canadians as early as the second quarter of 2021.

“We are pleased to work with the Canadian government on supply of our COVID-19 vaccine, an essential step to ensure broad access of our vaccine candidate,” said CEO Stanley C. Erck in a release.

“We are pleased to announce this agreement with Novavax, which will give Canadians access to a promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate,” Canada’s minister of public services and procurement, Anita Anand, said in a news release.

“This is an important step in our government’s efforts to secure a vaccine to keep Canadians safe and healthy, as the global pandemic evolves.”

Novavax has signed similar deals with the United Kingdom, India, the Czech Republic, South Africa and Japan to supply doses of the potential vaccine.

Source: – CBC.ca

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London officials to Queen's Park: Tighten rules on social gatherings here – London Free Press (Blogs)

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Article content continued

Premier Doug Ford indicated his willingness to grant the request by London officials.

He said his cabinet will discuss requests from mayors and medical officials from other areas of the province to extend restrictions.

“We’re going to be rolling (it) out to other areas across the province from the request of the mayors,” Ford said in Ottawa. “I listen to the medical experts. I’ll base this on the health and science.”

He also promised that his plan to address a possible second wave this fall will be released by the province next week.

Under the province’s enhanced restrictions, the fine for hosting a rule-breaking party starts at $10,000.

Mackie is anticipating the province will expand its gathering size restrictions to include the London-area in time for the weekend.

If the province doesn’t act immediately, the health unit is not ruling out issuing an order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to restrict private gathering sizes, but the move would take up to a week to come into effect, Mackie said.

The decision to issue a Section 22 order would come Monday or Tuesday of next week if the province’s restrictions are not in place, Mackie said.

The health unit has reported 47 new COVID-19 cases, including 39 among Western students, in the last week and declared three outbreaks.

One outbreak is connected to post-secondary students and the downtown party scene, including the bar Lost Love. The second outbreak is linked to a large student party this past weekend that drew “dozens,” Mackie said. The third involved staff at the Walmart store in Hyde Park.

None of the 39 Western students who tested positive have required hospitalization, Mackie said.

The health unit reported 13 new cases Friday, bringing the total number of new cases in the area to 24 over the past two days — nearly the same number reported in the entire first two weeks of September.

For weeks, the daily growth in new London-area cases had held steady at about one to two each day.

The Thursday-Friday case increases are the biggest two-day jump since April 18 and 19, when the health unit reported 17 new cases each day.

“Depending on how we fare over the weekend, this could become the worst stretch of cases in London-Middlesex since the pandemic’s onset,” Mayor Ed Holder said Friday.

“Please wear a mask, physically distance, avoid large crowds. . . . We can do this, we just need more of us to do a little better.”

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Canadian police charged a Tesla owner for sleeping while driving – Engadget

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Police in Canada say they recently charged a Tesla Model S owner with driving dangerously for sleeping at his car’s wheel. In July, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) say they responded to a speeding complaint on Highway 2 near Ponoka — a town in Alberta, south of the province’s capital of Edmonton. Those who saw the car report it was traveling faster than 140 kilometers per hour (86MPH), with the front seats “completely reclined,” and both the driver and passenger seemingly asleep. When a police officer found the 2019 Model S and turned on their emergency lights, the vehicle accelerated to 150 kilometers per hour (about 93MPH) before it eventually stopped.

Police initially charged the driver, a 20-year-old man from the province of British Columbia, with speeding and handed him a 24-hour license suspension for driving while fatigued. He was also later charged with dangerous driving and has a court date in December.

It’s unclear how the Model S driver misused Autopilot in the way that they did. The incident occurred before Tesla updated the system to give it the ability to detect speed limit signs using a vehicle’s cameras. However, as The Verge notes, Tesla has said Autopilot will only work when it detects that the driver has their hands on the steering wheel. If that’s not the case, the car will try to get the driver’s attention with visual and audio warnings before disabling Autopilot.

But the fact that drivers can disengage from Autopilot is something that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the US has criticized Tesla over repeatedly. In March, the agency published a report that said a Model 3 driver’s overreliance on the system — in a situation it wasn’t designed to handle — led to a deadly crash in Delray Beach, Florida in 2019.

In this latest incident, the RCMP similarly warned against overlying on Autopilot. “Although manufacturers of new vehicles have built in safeguards to prevent drivers from taking advantage of the new safety systems in vehicles, those systems are just that — supplemental safety systems,” said Superintendent Gary Graham of Alberta RCMP Traffic Services. “They are not self-driving systems, they still come with the responsibility of driving.”

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Canadian retail sales slow after surpassing pandemic losses – BNN

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Gains for Canadian retailers slowed sharply in July and August, suggesting pent-up demand from prior months has been largely extinguished.

Sales grew 0.6 per cent in July, versus 23 per cent in June and 21 per cent in May, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. Excluding vehicles, receipts unexpectedly dropped 0.4 per cent, versus a forecast gain of 0.5 per cent. Preliminary estimates from the agency show receipts climbed 1.1 per cent in August, suggesting the weaker trend will continue.

The report reinforces warnings that the pace of the recovery will slow in the second half of the year, after a strong V-shaped rebound through the early summer.

“All in all, the numbers imply that retail activity is normalizing after the whipsaw of a huge downturn and recovery,” said Scotiabank economist Brett House in a note.

Core retail sales, or those excluding vehicles and gasoline, dropped 1.2 per cent.

Still, the rebound has been impressive. In July, retail sales were up 2.7 per cent compared with year earlier levels.

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