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U.S. Forces Japan begins first wave of COVID-19 vaccinations – SaltWire Network

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TOKYO (Reuters) – The United States military has begun its first wave of COVID-19 vaccinations in Japan, prioritising frontline medical workers.

Inoculations began on Monday at the Yokota Air Base, Lt. Stuart Thrift confirmed to Reuters. U.S. Forces Japan last week took delivery of just under 8,000 doses, a military spokesman said during a FaceBook Live event on Tuesday.

The U.S. government and its partners will distribute 4.67 million doses of Pfizer Inc vaccine and that of Moderna Inc, U.S. Army General Gustave Perna said last week.

(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine – Canada News – Castanet.net

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A cabinet minister says a couple from outside Yukon travelled to a remote community in the territory this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Community Services Minister John Streiker says he’s outraged the man and woman allegedly chartered a flight to Beaver Creek, the most westerly community in Canada near the border with Alaska, to get the shots.

Streiker says he heard Thursday night that the Canadian couple arrived in Yukon on Tuesdayand declared they would follow the territory’s mandatory two-week self-isolation protocol, but instead travelled to Beaver Creek.

He says the two people have been charged under Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for failure to self-isolate and failure to behave in a manner consistent with their declaration upon arrival.

Streiker says the couple allegedly presented themselves as visiting workers, misleading staff at the mobile vaccination clinic in Beaver Creek.

He says territorial enforcement officers received a call about the couple, who were later intercepted at the Whitehorse airport trying to leave Yukon.

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail.

The RCMP have been notified, he said in an interview on Friday.

Streiker hadn’t confirmed where the couple are from, but he said they didn’t show Yukon health cards at the vaccination clinic.

Yukon has two vaccination teams that are visiting communities throughout the territory with priority going to residents and staff of group-living settings, health-care workers, people over 80 who aren’t living in long-term care, and Yukoners living in rural, remote and First Nation communities.

Beaver Creek was chosen as a priority community to receive doses of COVID-19 vaccine because it’s a remote border community, he said.

Yukon’s chief medical officer of health has indicated he believes the risk to the community as a result of the couple’s visit is low, Streiker added.

Streiker said there may be more scrutiny at vaccine clinics when people show up from outside Yukon, but officials are still working through options to prevent such a situation from happening again.

“I find it frustrating because what that does is it makes more barriers,” he said. “We’ve been trying to remove all barriers to get the vaccine for our citizens and so if there’s another sort of layer of check, I just don’t want it to make it harder for Yukoners to get their vaccines.”

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Alberta records its youngest COVID-19 death to date, online searches for vaccines spike – Edmonton Journal

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The Alberta government has said the vaccination timeline for seniors 75 years or older not living in long-term care as well as those 65 and older living in First Nation communities is subject to change depending on vaccine supply. Those vaccinations were originally scheduled for February.

Elsewhere in Canada there are signs people may be starting to take matters into their own hands. The CBC reported that a Vancouver pair has been charged after allegedly flying to the Yukon, not following the isolation requirements, and travelling to a community 450 kilometres northwest of Whitehorse in a chartered plane where they managed to get themselves vaccinated at a mobile clinic.

Searches by Canadians looking online for COVID-19 vaccines have nearly tripled in popularity in January compared to the month before, according to one cybersecurity company, suggesting some Canadians could be vulnerable to COVID-related scams.

NordVPN used search volumes reported by Google from Oct. 1 to Jan.15 for the term “Covid vaccines online” and found that the popularity of the search jumped 264 per cent in January compared to December.

“Wherever there is demand, fraudsters’ reaction is swift. Sadly, those who will try to get the COVID-19 vaccine under the counter will fall victim to a scam,” Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN said in a statement.

For the first half of January, most searches for “covid vaccine online” were coming from Alberta and Saskatchewan, said spokesperson Vita Zaliauskiene. When data up to last Thursday was included, Alberta dropped to fourth, she said.

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BC rolls out COVID-19 Immunization Plan | Columbia Valley, Cranbrook, East Kootenay, Elk Valley, Kimberley, Ktunaxa Nation – E-Know.ca

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News of the COVID-19 vaccine brought light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Today the B.C. government provided marker points up the tunnel with hopes all British Columbians can be immunized by the end of September.

Premier John Horgan; Adrian Dix, Minister of Health; Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer; and Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead for B.C.’s immunization efforts today announced details of the next phases in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan.

The plan will see approximately 7.4 million doses of vaccine administered to every British Columbian who is eligible to receive it between April and the end of September.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us all in extremely difficult ways,” Premier Horgan said. “Together, we have faced this pandemic with strength, courage and compassion, and we are starting to feel optimistic that, one day, COVID-19 will be in our rear view. At every step, our plan puts the health and safety of our most vulnerable people at the centre, and when it’s your turn, I encourage everyone to get their COVID-19 vaccine and help us move forward, together, to a healthier province.”

B.C.’s four-phased COVID-19 Immunization Plan is based on scientific evidence, as well as expert advice and guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, B.C.’s Immunization Committee and B.C.’s public health leadership committee, a joint Office of the Premier and Ministry of Health media release said.

The plan, which got underway in December 2020, starts by first immunizing those who are most vulnerable to severe illness and death, including long-term care residents and the health-care workers who care for them, remote and at-risk Indigenous communities, and seniors.

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our province, with steady guidance by Dr. Bonnie Henry, has made decisions based on science, data and evidence from health experts,” Dix said. “Our plan puts people at the forefront of every decision, and our immunization rollout will guide us through the spring and summer, ensuring that those who are most in need of the vaccine will receive it as soon as possible.”

With each phase, more people in B.C. will be eligible to be immunized.

Phase 1 has had more than 103,000 people in B.C. receiving their first dose of vaccine and second doses are underway. Phase 2, starting in late February, expands immunizations to additional vulnerable populations, Indigenous communities and elders, health-care staff and all seniors over the age of 80. Together, these two phases are focused on people who are most at risk.

As age is the single greatest risk factor for severe illness and death, Phase 3, starting in April, will expand to include people between the ages of 79 to 75 and work backwards in five-year increments to include those age 60 and over. Also included in this phase are people with certain underlying health conditions that make them clinically extremely vulnerable.

It is important to note that no one will lose their place in line. For example, if an elderly relative is in Phase 2 and cannot be immunized at that time, they can be immunized at any point thereafter.

“This is an extraordinary time with what is now the most significant step on our path to protecting our communities and our health-care system,” Henry said. “For many months, British Columbians have been working hard to keep their friends, family and communities safe, and I want to thank everyone for their continued commitment.”

As additional vaccines are approved and become available, people who are front-line essential workers or work in specific workplaces or industries may also be able to start receiving vaccines later in Phase 3.

Phase 4 is anticipated to begin in July 2021 for the rest of the eligible population, starting with people aged 59 to 55 and working backwards in five-year age groups until everyone over the age of 18 who wants a COVID-19 vaccine receives it.

“We’re working closely with our regional health authorities, our colleagues at the BC Centre for Disease Control over these first several weeks of the plan,” Ballem said. “Moving ahead, we will reach out to other community, faith and business leaders throughout the province to ensure that, by working together, the deployment of these vaccines is done quickly and safely. Every immunization for COVID-19 is one step closer to a healthier future for us all, and that is why so much effort and thought has gone into this plan.”

Approximately four million British Columbians are eligible to receive the COVID-19 immunization. Starting in March 2021, pre-registration for the vaccine will begin to open online and by phone for the general public, starting with those aged 79 to 75. Those who are considered “clinically extremely vulnerable” will receive their immunization beginning in April. People who are pre-registered will get a reminder to book their appointment as soon as they are eligible.

Additional details on the registration process, registration timing and availability and immunization clinic locations will be available in the coming weeks.

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