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U.S. health officials recommending all Americans get COVID-19 booster shots – CBC.ca

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U.S. health officials are now planning for all Americans to receive COVID-19 booster shots to shore up their protection while the delta variant is spreading — but not all outside experts agree there’s concrete evidence suggesting that the vaccines’ effectiveness is falling enough to warrant this approach while much of the world waits for vaccines.

The new U.S. plan, as outlined by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other top authorities, calls for an extra dose eight months after people get their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

The doses could begin the week of Sept. 20.

“Our plan is to protect the American people, to stay ahead of this virus,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

In their statement, U.S. officials also said it is “very clear” that the vaccines’ protection against infection wanes over time, and now, with the highly contagious delta variant spreading rapidly, there is emerging evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease.

“Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death could diminish in the months ahead,” they said.

Dr. Mark Mulligan of NYU’s Langone Health centre welcomed the announcement as a “proactive” response to signs that vaccine strength is eroding.

“There are hints that this may become an increasing problem given waning immunity mixed with the delta variant,” he said. “Part of leadership is being able to see around the corner and make hard decisions without having all the data. It seems to me that’s what they’re doing here.”

The U.S. is not alone in its new approach. Israel is already offering booster shots to people over 50 to control its delta surge, and European medical regulators said they are talking with vaccine developers about the idea.

While Canada’s national vaccine advisory committee has not made a formal recommendation on boosters yet, Ontario said Tuesday it will soon roll out additional shots for certain vulnerable segments of the population.

(CBC News)

WHO, outside experts question plan

But top scientists at the World Health Organization (WHO) bitterly objected to the U.S. plan, noting that many countries are not getting enough doses for their initial rounds of shots.

“We’re planning to hand out extra life jackets to people who already have life jackets, while we’re leaving other people to drown without a single life jacket,” said Dr. Michael Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies chief.

And in contrast to U.S. officials, the organization’s top scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, said that the data does not indicate that boosters are needed for everyone.

She also warned that leaving billions of people in the developing world unvaccinated could foster the emergence of new variants and result in “even more dire situations.”

WATCH | WHO calls for temporary moratorium on COVID-19 vaccine booster doses:

WHO calls for temporary moratorium on COVID-19 vaccine booster doses

14 days ago

The World Health Organization is urging wealthy countries to stop administering COVID-19 vaccine booster doses until the end of September to allow those shots to be diverted to countries that don’t have enough vaccines. (Credit: Reuters/Zohra Bensemra) 0:59

In making the announcement on boosters, the CDC released three studies conducted during the delta surge that suggest that the COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective at keeping Americans out of the hospital but that their ability to prevent infection is dropping markedly among nursing home patients and others.

However, the new studies — on their own — fall short of the kind of data that some experts thought would be necessary for a recommendation like that.

Some scientists have been looking for signs that hospitalizations or deaths are increasing, as a necessary indicator that boosters might be needed. The new studies, on the contrary, found no change in vaccine effectiveness against hospitalizations.

The studies “would not be sufficient, in and of themselves, to make the case for a booster” to some leading scientists, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-diseases expert at Vanderbilt University.

3 studies shared by CDC

Just last week, U.S. health officials recommended boosters for only some people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients and organ transplant recipients. Offering boosters to all Americans would be a major expansion of what is already the biggest vaccination campaign in U.S. history.

Schaffner, who is a liaison to an expert advisory panel that helps the CDC form its vaccination recommendations, said members of the committee were surprised when Biden administration officials this week disclosed plans to call for a booster for the general public.

Of the three studies released by CDC on Wednesday, the one that spoke most directly to a possible need for boosters was a look at reported infections in residents of nearly 15,000 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

It found that the effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against COVID-19 infection dropped, from about 74 per cent in March, April and early May to 53 per cent in June and July.

WATCH | Canadian and American health officials suggest third doses for most vulnerable:

Canadian and American health officials suggest third doses for most vulnerable

5 days ago

As a fourth wave of COVID-19 nears, U.S. regulators are suggesting third vaccine shots for the immunocompromised, and Ontario is eyeing a plan for booster shots. 2:03

The researchers said it was not clear how much of the decline is attributable to the delta variant and how much might be due to a more general weakening of immunity that could have occurred against any strain.

The study looked at all COVID-19 infections, with or without symptoms. The researchers said more work is needed to determine if there was a higher incidence of infections that resulted in severe illness.

Another one of the studies looked at hospitalizations at 21 hospitals. It found that vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19-associated hospitalization in inoculated people was 86 per cent at two to 12 weeks after second dose, and 85 per cent at 13 to 24 weeks after.

The third study found that protection against hospitalizations stayed steady at about 95 per cent over the nearly three months studied. But vaccine effectiveness against new laboratory-confirmed infections for all adults in New York state declined from about 92 per cent in early May to about 80 per cent in late July.

The researchers said they are not certain why the decline occurred, but they noted it coincided with the delta variant as well as an easing of physical distancing and mask rules.

U.S. struggling to control outbreaks

The call for booster shots is a stark reminder that nearly 20 months into the outbreak, the U.S. is still unable to contain the virus that has killed 620,000 Americans and disrupted nearly every part of daily life. 

Just weeks after President Joe Biden declared the country’s “independence” from COVID-19 on July Fourth, emergency rooms in parts of the southern and western states are overloaded again, and cases are now averaging nearly 140,000 per day, quadrupling in just a month.

Health officials said people who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also probably need extra shots. But they said they are waiting for more data.

The overall plan is subject to a Food and Drug Administration evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of a third dose, U.S. officials said.

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More COVID-19 vaccination opportunities planned for Sudbury area – The Sudbury Star

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Public Health Sudbury and Districts staff are determined to get more shots in arms and have planned a series of COVID-19 vaccination opportunities in the region this week.

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Eligible individuals looking to get their first or second dose can book an appointment or visit a walk-in, mobile, or pop-up vaccination clinic.

Vaccination is available every Tuesday at the Carmichael Arena in Greater Sudbury, and every Wednesday at the Espanola Mall.

Vaccination is also available by appointment every Wednesday at the health unit’s Chapleau office and every Thursday by appointment at its Sudbury East office in St. Charles.

This week’s vaccination clinic schedule is:

Tuesday, Sept. 28

  • Mobile clinic at TownePlace Suites located at 1710 Kingsway.
  • Appointment and walk-in clinics at Carmichael Arena. and at Manitoulin Secondary School located at 107 Bay St. in M’Chigeeng.

Wednesday, Sept. 29

  • Mobile clinic at Food Basics located at 1800 Lasalle Blvd.
  • Pop-up clinics at the New Sudbury Centre (centre court) located at 1349 Lasalle Blvd. and at the Salvation Army (Community and Family Services) located at 634 Notre-Dame Ave.
  • Appointment and walk-in clinic at the Espanola Mall (storefront inside the mall) located at 800 Centre St.
  • Appointment-only clinic at Public Health’s Chapleau office.

Thursday, Sept. 30

  • Appointment-only clinic at Public Health’s Sudbury East office.

Friday, Oct. 1

  • Mobile clinics at the Garson Community Centre/Arena located at 100 Church St. and at the Skead Community Centre located at 3971 Skead Road in Skead from 2 to 6 p.m.
  • Pop-up clinic at Valley East Public Library located at 4100 Elmview Dr. in Hanmer.

Article content

Saturday, Oct. 2

  • Appointment and walk-in clinic at Carmichael Arena.

Sunday, Oct. 3

  • Pop-up clinic at the New Sudbury Centre (centre court) located at 1349 Lasalle Blvd.

Everyone born in 2009 or earlier is eligible to receive their first dose of an mRNA vaccine.

Those aged 18 and older can get either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines (these two mRNA vaccine can be safely interchanged).

Those aged 12 to 17 are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine in Canada.

Anyone who received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine more than 21 days ago or the Moderna vaccine more than 28 days ago is eligible to receive their second dose.

Those looking to receive their second dose can attend a walk-in, pop-up or mobile vaccination clinic or book their second dose online at www.covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine or call 705-674-2299 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Public Health reminds people it is possible there won’t be enough doses to offer vaccine to everyone who attends a walk-in, pop-up, or mobile clinic.

More vaccination opportunities may be added throughout the week.

For regular updates, follow Public Health on social media @PublicHealthSD or visit their website at www.phsd.ca/COVID-19/vaccine-clinics.

Visit www.covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations for a list of pharmacies in Ontario offering COVID-19 vaccination and for booking information or contact your primary care provider.

Visit www.phsd.ca/COVID-19 or call Sudbury’s health unit at 705-522-9200 for more information.

The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.

sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @SudburyStar

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Ontario health units preparing for COVID vaccinations of kids aged five to 11 – The Globe and Mail

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School children play in a Toronto public school on April 6.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Ontario health units are developing plans for the vaccination of children aged five to 11 once COVID-19 shots are approved for them.

Toronto Public Health said Monday that it had formed a planning group that includes health partners, school boards, community representatives and the province, while top doctors for Peel Region, Middlesex-London, Hamilton and Ottawa also said they were making arrangements.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said plans are being made now so that young children can be vaccinated as soon as possible after Health Canada authorizes a COVID-19 shot for them.

“This will help keep our kids safe and provide greater protection in our schools and communities across the city,” he said in a statement, noting Toronto was home to approximately 200,000 children in the five-to-11 group.

Peel Region’s top doctor said his public health unit is “ready to deploy a vaccine strategy” for that cohort, pending approval from Health Canada and guidance from the province, and would keep residents informed on a timeline.

The top doctor for the Middlesex-London said his health unit was working with pediatric care providers to ensure clinics were “appropriately designed to support young children and young families.”

“We are working with families and children to make sure that we’ve thought of all of the potential aspects of this,” Dr. Chris Mackie said in a statement. “We very much hope and expect to hit the ground running as soon as that announcement is made.”

Ottawa Public Health said it is working with stakeholders on different scenarios for vaccinating the city’s 77,000 kids in that age group.

Those scenarios, which will depend on timing of vaccine approval, include looking at increasing staffing and clinic locations as well as outreach to children and their families.

Hamilton’s medical officer of health said her health unit was hoping to announce a plan for vaccinating young children as soon as possible.

“We recognize the anticipation and interest community members are feeling as they wait for a potential announcement regarding COVID-19 vaccine approval for this age group, and the peace of mind and strong protection being fully vaccinated would mean to these young people and their loved ones,” Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said in a statement.

Children born after 2009 are currently not eligible to receive any of the COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada. Pfizer has said it intends to seek authorization soon for a vaccine intended for kids aged five to 11.

In Toronto, the city’s top doctor said Monday that public health is aiming to be ready for a November start to their immunizations.

Dr. Eileen de Villa noted that COVID-19 infection rates have been increasing among children aged four to 11 in the last three weeks. Last week, that cohort had the highest rate of infection in the city for the first time since the start of the pandemic, she said, at 64 cases per 100,000 population.

That trend isn’t surprising given that children born after 2009 can’t be vaccinated against COVID-19, de Villa said. But she urged families to get vaccinated to protect those who can’t get the shots.

“It is absolutely key for parents to get vaccinated to help ensure the safer reopening of school and the ability to provide ongoing in-person learning,” she said.

She also flagged that “work that has yet to be done” in vaccinating people between the ages of 30 to 49, many of whom may be parents. She said 25 per cent of that age group in the city is not fully vaccinated.

Ontario health units are responsible for administering COVID-19 shots with guidance from the provincial government.

Provincial data as of Monday showed 80 per cent of youth aged 12 to 17 had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 70 per cent were fully vaccinated.

Vaccination clinics have been run at or near Ontario schools in the weeks since students have returned to classes in an effort to boost vaccination for eligible students, staff and families.

School staff in Ontario must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be regularly tested for the virus.

No such rule is in place for students, but de Villa wrote to the city’s board of health this month, asking that it request the province to require COVID-19 vaccination for eligible students. The board voted in favour of her recommendation Monday.

In her Sept. 13 letter to the board of health, de Villa referenced the nine other diseases covered under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, which students enrolled in school must be vaccinated against.

COVID-19 is currently not one of those designated diseases, and de Villa wrote that the safety and effectiveness of approved vaccines has been proven in children 12 and older.

“Given the current epidemiology of COVID-19 and the need to support the safe reopening of schools, it recommended that the province require COVID-19 vaccination for students who are eligible based on their age/year of birth,” she wrote.

The province’s top public health doctor has said the province is looking into adding COVID-19 vaccinations to the list of those required for students by law, which allows for some exemptions.

– With files from Noushin Ziafati.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

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The Rise Of CBD Oils In Canada

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cbd

Globally, on the whole, CBD hasn’t been legal for long. In Canada, officials legalized CBD on October 17, 2018, to be precise, along with other cannabis products. Since then, the industry has gone from strength to strength. The long-awaited legalization of Cannabis created an unprecedented boom in the industry, as businesses popped up on every corner and consumers rushed to get their hands on the once forbidden fruit.

 

Just one statistic shows that in Canada in 2018, the year of legalization, the CBD gummies market was worth $443.4 million – according to Statista. By the end of 2025, the same CBD gummies market should be worth $3.05 billion, again, according to Statista.

 

That’s just one small portion of Canada’s CBD market, although CBD gummies are one of the most popular products alongside CBD oil. Worldwide, CBD oil is by far the most popular CBD product, so what has contributed to the rise of CBD oils in Canada? Read more below.

 

First, Why Is CBD Oil So Popular?

 

CBD oil can be purchased online, in most health and wellbeing stores, and dispensaries. According to the website 9leave, there is an increasing amount of evidence linked to the effectiveness of CBD oil for treating numerous health problems. Research has already proven CBD is effective at treating multiple ailments, and more are expected to come. Below are some proven benefits:

 

  • Pain relief
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Reduces cancer-related symptoms
  • Can treat acne

 

You can attribute the success of CBD oil to the natural healing powers it has. It’s an alternative to pharmaceutical products. Plus, it’s a great way of caring for the body as part of a holistic approach.

 

Factors Contributing To The Canadian CBD Oil Market Success

 

The main contributing factor to the rise of the Canadian CBD oil market was the legalization and instant marketing of products. Cannabis products were completely illegal and unregulated before 2018, so there was an instant demand as soon as it was legalized. Some companies, such as Invictus, capitalized on that.

 

Then came the needs of the public who want to take a new approach to their own health and wellbeing. A study that looked at pain in Canada found that 25% of people over the age of 15 are living with chronic pain – so it is no wonder people reached for CBD oil for relief. There is a huge demand from people who want to improve their quality of life naturally.

 

There’s also the scope of expansion possible. Many CBD oil brands sell more than just oil – making it a lucrative option because there’s plenty of products to sell. Stores are typically filled with gummies, edibles, tinctures, vapes, and of course, different strength oils. The most popular products are CBD oils and gummies, but other products do sell just as well. Don’t forget – there’s also the option for topicals and creams.

 

The Canadian CBD oil market will continue to rise because there’s such a high demand for it. Some experts are hailing CBD to be a natural miracle. When combined with a healthy lifestyle, there are some incredible physical and mental health effects – whether they’re placebo or not.

 

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