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U.S. investigating 5 allergic reactions after Pfizer shot

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NEW YORK —
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating around five allergic reactions that happened after people were administered Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States this week, a top FDA official said late on Friday.

Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said at a press conference that the allergic reactions had been reported in more than one state, including in Alaska.

Marks also said that a chemical called polyethylene glycol (PEG) that is an ingredient in the Pfizer vaccine – as well as the Moderna Inc vaccine authorized on Friday – “could be the culprit” causing the reactions.

Marks said that allergic reactions to PEG could be somewhat more common than previously understood.

The cases in Alaska were similar to two cases reported last week in Britain.

Britain’s medical regulator has said that anyone with a history of anaphylaxis, or severe allergic reactions to a medicine or food, should not be given the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said that most Americans with allergies should be safe to receive the vaccine. It said only people who have previously had severe allergic reactions to vaccines or ingredients in this particular vaccine should avoid getting the shot.

On Friday, the FDA said the Moderna vaccine should not be given to individuals with a known history of a severe allergic reactions to any components of the shot.

The regulator is also requiring that appropriate medical treatments for immediate allergic reactions must be available when the shot is administered in case of an anaphylactic reaction.

Pfizer could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Diane Craft and Daniel Wallis)

 

Source:- CTV News

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Unifor members approve pact that will see GM invest $1B in CAMI plant – CBC.ca

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Unifor members have voted to approve General Motors Canada’s plan to invest $1 billion in an electric vehicle plant in southern Ontario.

The union’s 1,900 Local 88 members voted online Sunday on a tentative deal with the automaker to transform GM’s CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ont., into a hub for producing electric commercial delivery vans.

The union said members voted about 91 per cent in favour of the deal and that work will begin immediately to ready the plant to begin van production in November.

The industry has been hit hard over the last decade as automakers cut jobs in the province and production work flowed to the U.S. and Mexico. Unifor has spent much of the last year striking deals with GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler that will pump $6 billion into Canada’s auto manufacturing industry.

“The stakes going into these negotiations were high with the (Chevrolet) Equinox program ending, and there wasn’t a time during these difficult negotiations that we were not thinking about our members and their families,” said a statement by Mike Van Boekel, chair of Unifor’s master bargaining committee.

Unifor national president Jerry Dias credited the deal to hard work by the local bargaining unit and collaboration with the Ontario and federal governments despite complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To achieve this level of commitment for auto manufacturing shows what can happen when we have a collective vision to secure this sector and create good jobs for Canadians,” Dias said in a statement.

With the Ingersoll plant wrapping up Chevrolet Equinox production in 2023, the plan also comes as GM is trying to transform its business to focus more on electric vehicles.

Last week, the automaker unveiled an updated logo focused on electric vehicles and made headlines at the CES technology trade show. GM Canada president Scott Bell said it was a good sign that Canada was identified as the home of the new electric van just three days after GM announced the new venture.

“GM Canada engineers in Markham and Oshawa were instrumental in the early stages of ideation and testing of this truly innovative solution for the massive global delivery industry,” Bell said in a statement.

“With more than $2 billion in new combined investments announced for Oshawa, St. Catharines and Ingersoll, we are standing up as one of Canada’s most confident investors.”

Bell said the mayors of the Ontario communities, as well as the union and nearby universities, helped move along the Canadian investments. He also said GM’s vision aligns with the Canadian government’s “leadership in addressing electricity prices, industrial taxes.”

Federal Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a statement on Monday that the government will work with the company on the project and that it is “prepared to support the future of Canada’s auto sector.”

The investments from GM and other automakers, said Champagne, “demonstrate clearly that our government’s policies, working alongside our partners in industry and labour, are driving historic private sector investment.”

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Ontario must cut COVID-19 cases to 1,000 daily to lift lockdowns, medical officer says – Global News

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TORONTO — COVID-19 cases in Ontario must fall below 1,000 per day before lockdown measures can be lifted, the province’s top doctor said Monday as he expressed cautious optimism that infection rates may have plateaued.

Dr. David Williams said while the province’s virus rates remain high – with 2,578 new cases reported Monday – he thinks the impact of a provincewide lockdown that started on Boxing Day is beginning to emerge.

Read more:
Toronto COVID-19 vaccination clinic pausing after 5 days due to supply issues

Williams said Ontario’s seven-day case average has dropped to just over 3,000 cases he said, down from the mid-3,000s in recent weeks.

He said he would like to see the province’s new daily case counts move to levels last seen in late October before any pandemic measures are relaxed.

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“It is achievable, we can get back there,” Williams said. “I take that as a sign that Ontarians … are making headway.”

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Williams said he would also like to see the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital intensive care units drop to 150 – from 395 reported Monday – before ending the lockdown.

[embedded content]

“If you get below 150 COVID patients in ICU beds that starts to get you back down to where all the hospitals can start to do their other elective procedures,” he said.

Williams said while people must continue to stay-at-home and follow public health rules, the latest numbers show that Ontario’s per cent positivity has not risen in recent days.

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His comments come less than a week after the province was plunged into its second state of emergency during the pandemic and Premier Doug Ford’s government imposed a stay-at-home order.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Ontario must cut COVID-19 cases to 1,000 daily to lift lockdowns, medical officer says – Global News

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TORONTO — COVID-19 cases in Ontario must fall below 1,000 per day before lockdown measures can be lifted, the province’s top doctor said Monday as he expressed cautious optimism that infection rates may have plateaued.

Dr. David Williams said while the province’s virus rates remain high – with 2,578 new cases reported Monday – he thinks the impact of a provincewide lockdown that started on Boxing Day is beginning to emerge.

Read more:
Toronto COVID-19 vaccination clinic pausing after 5 days due to supply issues

Williams said Ontario’s seven-day case average has dropped to just over 3,000 cases he said, down from the mid-3,000s in recent weeks.

He said he would like to see the province’s new daily case counts move to levels last seen in late October before any pandemic measures are relaxed.

Story continues below advertisement

“It is achievable, we can get back there,” Williams said. “I take that as a sign that Ontarians … are making headway.”

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Williams said he would also like to see the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital intensive care units drop to 150 – from 395 reported Monday – before ending the lockdown.

[embedded content]

“If you get below 150 COVID patients in ICU beds that starts to get you back down to where all the hospitals can start to do their other elective procedures,” he said.

Williams said while people must continue to stay-at-home and follow public health rules, the latest numbers show that Ontario’s per cent positivity has not risen in recent days.

Story continues below advertisement

His comments come less than a week after the province was plunged into its second state of emergency during the pandemic and Premier Doug Ford’s government imposed a stay-at-home order.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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