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US clears child-size doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
Canada is watching the U.S. Food and Drug Administration closely now that it has approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11.

The FDA approved the vaccine for emergency use on Friday afternoon, citing data that shows the shot is 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19 in children and there have been no serious side-effects.

The FDA advisory committee recommended in favour of approving the vaccine after hours of testimony from experts Tuesday.

Health Canada officials attended that meeting and are watching the process in the U.S. carefully as Canada makes its own decision about the pediatric vaccine.

“Those deliberations and the discussions will be inputs into our review as well,” said chief Health Canada medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma at a briefing Friday.

Health Canada received Pfizer-BioNTech’s submission for approval and associated data slightly later than the FDA, and Canadian officials are still reviewing it.

“Our scientists are in the process of looking at not only the results from the clinical trials and the studies that were done, but also the details on the new formulation,” Sharma said.

The pediatric COVID-19 vaccine differs slightly from Pfizer-BioNTech’s adult formulation. For that reason, the company will need to deliver new vials of the vaccine before Canadian kids can get their shot.

Canada is expecting 2.9 million child-size doses of the new formulation if it is approved, enough for every child to get their first dose.

But Sharma said it could still be a few weeks until Health Canada makes a final decision.

“We’ve received some additional information just last week that we’re looking through,” Sharma said.

“I think it’s going it’s going very well. I can’t see a decision before mid to the end of November.”

The FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be monitoring the rollout of the children’s’ vaccines for any adverse effects, and Canadian public health officials will be keeping an eye on that data as well.

The CDC will meet next week to discuss clinical recommendations in the administration of the children’s vaccine in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Health Canada is expecting more submissions for pediatric vaccines in coming weeks.

Moderna will be submitting an application for a pediatric vaccine “soon,” according to Patricia Gauthier, the general manager of Moderna Canada.

Moderna’s interim data for its vaccine for kids six to 11 shows a strong safety profile as well as a strong immune response, Gauthier said at a public event hosted by The Canadian Club on Tuesday.

“We now need to have like future analysis, but this is very positive which now leads us to be able to have conversations with Health Canada and start thinking about that submission,” she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2021.

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Shoppers taking advantage of Black Friday deals in Ottawa – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Shoppers rushed to the stores in Ottawa on Black Friday, hoping to get the best deals of the year heading into Christmas. 

Some have even come from other countries for these sales like Elizabeth Elnakla, who is here from Scotland visiting her daughter Reem Almaqla. 

Elnakla is what you might call, a Black Friday newbie. 

“This is my first Black Friday. I’m super excited, it is so busy,” says Elnakla. 

She’s looking to snag all the deals she can before she heads back home in three days.

“Shopping back home, I live in a small town called Dundee and it’s not very large,” says Elnakla. “So the shopping is never crazy. It’s quite quiet.”

Last year, many were stuck doing their Black Friday and Boxing Day shopping online. This year, back to the in-person busyness.

Tanger Outlets

“We missed Black Friday last year,” says Almaqla, who wanted to show her mom what Black Friday was all about. “I just want her to go through this experience. To see what Black Friday is like here.”

Tanger Outlets in Kanata was packed for Black Friday sales all week, but nothing like today. 

“There’s nothing like a good sale, right? We all love the deal,” says shopper Josie Mousseau. “It’s just nice being outside in the fresh air. At least you get a little bit of an escape with your mask. You can take it off occasionally whereas when you’re confined to a mall, you really can’t.”

Monika Mehl describes the amazing deal she got on a Michael Kors purse. 

“I got it for 70 per cent off, and then an additional 15 per cent off. And because everything totalled over $300, I got another 10 per cent off.”

Stores at Tanger opened at 7 a.m. Friday. Maria Argyriou left Montreal at 5 a.m. to make sure she got here on time. 

“We went to all the sports stores and they’re all basically 50 per cent off,” says Argyriou.

Montreal is known for its shopping, but she wanted to try her luck in Ottawa.  

“There’s a lot of people [in Montreal]. Here there’s less people, and we can get better deals,” says Argyriou.

With lineups at dozens of stores, shoppers stood in line for up to 30 minutes, braving the rain and cold to get deals only available once a year.

All day, bags of items flew off the shelves. And with supply chain issues this year, many of these shoppers know that once it’s gone, it’s gone.

“So you better get your shopping done honey,” laughs Mousseau.

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N.B. COVID-19 roundup: First children get pediatric COVID vaccine, outbreaks at Saint John hospital – CBC.ca

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Ninety-nine new cases of COVID-19 were reported Thursday as the province began vaccinating children five to 11 years old to try to slow the spread of the virus.

In Fredericton, brothers Max and Luc Corman were the first to receive their first doses of the pediatric vaccine.  

About 9,300 children have appointments booked to get vaccinated, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard told reporters at the legislature Friday morning.  

“I am heartened that so many young New Brunswickers have received their first dose of vaccine and that even more have appointments to do so in the coming weeks,” Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, said in a statement. 

To meet the demand for vaccinations, new clinics have been added in the Moncton and Fredericton region, the province said. 

More than 130 pharmacies will also take part in dispensing doses of the vaccine for children, receiving shipments between Dec. 2 and Dec. 8, the province added.

More information is expected soon on when appointments at the pharmacies will become available.

Horizon Health Network has declared COVID-19 outbreaks in two units of Saint John Regional Hospital. (CBC News file photo)

Outbreaks declared at Saint John Regional Hospital

COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared in two units at the Saint John Regional Hospital, Horizon Health Network said in a news release Friday evening.

Outbreaks were declared in the orthopedic surgery (3CS) and internal medicine (4CN) units after a patient on each unit tested positive for COVID-19, communications advisor Kris McDavid said in the release.

He noted Horizon has implemented “comprehensive infection prevention and control precautions” as well as contact tracing to protect the health of patients and staff.

“Patient and staff in affected units are being tested,” McDavid said. “So far, no further cases have been identified. Inpatients are being screened for COVID-19 symptoms … every 12 hours.”

There will be no patient admissions or transfers to and from these units during this time and the Designated Support Person (DSP) program will be temporarily suspended on these units.

Surgeries, labour and birth services, ambulatory care and professional services appointments will continue, McDavid said in the release. 

787 active cases across province

Along with the 99 new cases of COVID on Friday, Public health reported 55 more recoveries, putting the province’s active case count at 787, up from 743.

Fifty-six people are in hospital with COVID-19, including 18 in intensive care, according to the daily news release. 

The one person under 19 who has hospitalized because of COVID-19 Thursday is no longer in hospital. 

A total of 87.8 per cent of New Brunswickers aged 12 or older are now fully vaccinated, up from 87.7 per cent, and 93.5 per cent have received their first dose, unchanged from the last update. 

New Brunswick has had 8,087 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, including 7,176 recoveries and 123 COVID-related deaths.

Moncton region still leading in new cases

(CBC News)

The new cases break down this way:

Moncton region, Zone 1 — 48 cases:

  • 19 people 19 and under
  • Seven people 20 to 29
  • 10 people 30 to 39
  • Three people 40 to 49
  • Five people 50 to 59
  • Two people 60 to 69
  • Two people 70 to 79

Thirty-one  are under investigation and 17 are the contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Saint John region, Zone 2 — 23 cases:

  • Seven people 19 and under
  • Three people 20 to 29
  • Five people 30 to 39
  • Two people 40 to 49
  • Three people 50 to 59
  • Two people 60 to 69
  • A person 70 to 79

Twelve cases are the contacts of previously confirmed cases and 11 are under investigation.

Fredericton region, Zone 3 — 15 cases:

  • Three people 19 and under
  • Three people 20 to 29
  • A person 30 to 39
  • Four people 40 to 49
  • Three 50 to 59
  • A person 60 to 69

Eight cases are under investigation and seven are the contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Campbellton region, Zone 5 — two cases:

  • A person 20 to 29
  • A person 50 to 59

Both remain under investigation.

Bathurst region, Zone 6 — three cases:

  • A person 19 and under
  • A person 40 to 49
  • A person 50 to 59

Two cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and one is travel-related.

Miramichi region, Zone 7 — eight cases:

  • Five people 19 and under
  • A person 30 to 39
  • Two people 50 to 59.

Two cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and six are under investigation.

More cases at the Moncton Hospital

A total of 23 patients and five staff have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Moncton Hospital as of Friday, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard says. 

“All the patients effected are being tested again today and staff will be tested early next week,” she said. 

On Wednesday, the cases at the hospital totalled 20, including three in intensive care.

7 schools currently affected 

Nine new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at seven schools, the COVID-19 dashboard shows.

Thirty-six schools are currently impacted.

Three schools joined the list Thursday, including Millerton Elementary and Junior High School in the Miramichi region, and Centennial School and Bayview School in the Saint John region.

The four other schools with active cases are Gretna Green School in the Miramichi region, École Le Sommet in the Monction region, Devon Middle School in the Frederiction region, and Forest Hills School in the Saint John region. 

A total of 495 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at 141 schools since the beginning of the school year.

A case has also been confirmed at the Boys & Girls Club of Saint John After School in the Saint John region. 

New cases have also been confirmed at a several previously impacted facilities including Origins Natural Learning Centre in the Saint John region, Spring Roots Early Learning and Childcare Centre inthe Fredericton region, Northend Learning Center and Causerie Amicale in the Moncton region.

“If you or a family member have been in close contact with a case, you will be notified by Public Health or the facility for contact tracing,” Public Health said. “If you are not notified directly, you have not been identified as a close contact.”

A total of 90 early learning child-care centres have had confirmed cases of COVID-19 since Sept. 7

New public exposure notices

Public Health shared new public exposure notices on Friday:

Saint John region, Zone 2:

  • Nove. 23 between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – Giant Tiger (100 Prince Edward St., Saint John)
  • Nov. 20 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. – Brilliant Smoke Shop (122 Lansdowne Ave., Saint John)
  • Nov. 20 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. – JJ’s Diner (216 Roachville Rd., Sussex)
  • Nov. 18 and 19 between 2 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. – Brilliant Smoke Shop (122 Lansdowne Ave., Saint John)
  • Nov. 13 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. – Vito’s (324 Rothesay Ave., Saint John)

Acadie-Bathurst region, Zone 6:

  • Nov. 23 between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. – Atlantic Superstore (3455 Main St., Tracadie-Sheila)

Nov. 14 between 6 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. – Knights of Columbus (4293 Beauregard St., Tracadie-Sheila

For the full list of new and previous public exposure notices, please visit the provincial government’s website.

People who have not been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to a possible exposure and who have symptoms should get a COVID lab test. They can book an appointment online or call Tele-Care 811 and must isolate while waiting for their test result.

People who are not fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms are now being instructed to pick up an At-Home COVID-19 Rapid Point of Care Test (Rapid POCT) screening kit. They do not need to isolate if they have not been directed by Public Health to do so.

All positive point-of-care test results must be confirmed with a laboratory polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test.

It can take up to 14 days to test positive after being exposed to COVID-19, so even if results come back negative, people should continue to self-monitor for any symptoms and get tested immediately if any develop.

They should also avoid visiting settings with vulnerable populations, such as nursing homes, correctional facilities and shelters during that 14-day period.

For people who have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to a possible exposure, Public Health recommends they monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the possible exposure and get a COVID lab test if symptoms develop.

They do not need to isolate while they wait for their test results.

If they do not have symptoms, they can pick up a rapid test kit and do not need to isolate.

What to do if you have a symptom

People concerned they might have COVID-19 can take a self-assessment test online.

Public Health says symptoms of the illness have included a fever above 38 C, a new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, a new onset of fatigue, and difficulty breathing.

In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.

People with one of those symptoms should stay at home, call 811 or their doctor and follow instructions.

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Black Friday draws U.S. shoppers but many shun stores for online

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Bargain hunters ventured out in chilly weather to buy Christmas gifts on Black Friday only to discover that many U.S. retailers offered smaller price markdowns this year amid tight supplies.

COVID fears and fewer “doorbuster” sales thinned crowds the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, which kicks off the year-end holiday shopping season.

On the same day, the World Health Organization named the newly identified omicron variant of the coronavirus as a “variant of concern,” triggering worldwide alarm and a selloff in the U.S. stock market.

Stores on Black Friday had the lowest level of clearance goods for sale in five years or more, Cowen analysts said in a note. Many shoppers chose to pick up merchandise curbside rather than venturing inside stores.

Black Friday retail sales are up 29.8% versus 2020 through 3 p.m. ET, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.

Consumers spent $6.6 billion up until 9 p.m. ET on Friday, according to Adobe Digital Economy Index, which expected total spending of between $8.8 billion and $9.2 billion for the day.

Walmart and Target stood to outperform other retailers in part because of their buy-online-pick-up-at-store services, Cowen said. Target added more than 18,000 “drive-up” parking spaces, more than doubling spots versus last year. The company said its most popular Black Friday deals included $219.99 for a KitchenAid professional stand mixer that regularly sells for $429.99, and savings of up to $60 on Apple Watches and AirPods.

Several retailers – including Walmart, Target and Best Buy – are expected to post lower fourth-quarter profit margins because of tight inventory and higher costs for raw materials, freight and labor. “Even though the holiday season should be okay from a sales standpoint — because retailers are discounting less — the margins won’t necessarily be higher because of inflation,” said Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Kodali.

U.S. consumers are entering the holiday season flush with cash thanks to a still-hefty pile of savings from multiple rounds of government pandemic relief and double-digit wage increases as businesses compete for workers. Yet retailers had lured shoppers to make holiday purchases as early as September this year, because the supply chain logjam https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/containergeddon-supply-crisis-drives-walmart-rivals-hire-their-own-ships-2021-10-07 has prevented them from quickly replenishing year-end merchandise.

A Deloitte survey showed people had spent 80%-85% of their holiday gift budgets even before Black Friday. For November and December, online sales are estimated to hit a record $207 billion, up 10% from last year, according to Adobe Digital Economy Index. The National Retail Federation has forecast combined brick-and-mortar and online holiday sales to reach between $843.4 billion and $859 billion, 8.5% to 10.5% higher than last year.

Elver Gomez, a 21-year-old student in Chicago, said he didn’t find the Apple and Microsoft laptops he wanted while shopping at a Best Buy store Friday morning. “It seems like this year it’s either out of stock” or for sale at what he said was “not that great of a price.” Best Buy added a message to its website warning of “limited qualities” and “no rainchecks.”

Electronics – in short supply due to a global chip shortage – had the highest out-of-stock levels, followed by personal care, and home and garden, according to Adobe. Through most of November, out-of-stocks were up 261% versus 2019.

 

(Reporting by Richa Naidu and Arriana McLymore; Additional reporting by Lisa Baertlein and Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Leslie Adler)

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