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Vaccination clinics across WR to accept walk-ins for first and second doses – KitchenerToday.com

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NEWS RELEASE
REGION OF WATERLOO
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Waterloo Region – Starting tomorrow, it will be easier for residents to get a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Waterloo Region as appointments are no longer required. All public vaccination clinics will be accepting walk-ins for both first and second doses of the vaccine. Although members of the public still have the option of scheduling an appointment, walk-ins will be welcome as long as sufficient vaccine is available at the vaccination clinic.

Since early June, when the Province identified Waterloo Region as a Delta hotspot, accelerating the administration of second doses has been an important priority for the Waterloo Region Vaccine Distribution Task Force. Due to the hard work of everyone involved in the vaccine rollout, the Task Force is now able to support all residents to get their second dose of the vaccine at a shortened interval.

As vaccine rollout has accelerated, all residents are able to get their second dose this summer. Residents with September and October appointments are asked to rebook an earlier appointment or walk-in to any regional vaccination clinic for their second dose. To maximize clinic capacity this summer, appointments that fall more than 40 days after a first dose will be cancelled with information on how to access an earlier second dose now.

“With more vaccine available, and fewer people contending for appointments, we’re now able to accommodate walk-ins for both first and second doses,” said Shirley Hilton, Deputy Chief for Waterloo Regional Police Service and head of the Waterloo Region Vaccine Distribution Task Force. “We’re pleased to be able to make it easier for residents to complete their vaccine series as soon as possible.”

Anyone in the community who is 12+ is encouraged to get their second dose as long as it has been at least 28 days since their first dose (of Moderna or Pfizer). Find a vaccination clinic on the Region of Waterloo website: Clinic locations and information

Vaccines are also available at many family doctors’ offices (for their patients) and local pharmacies. Call ahead to find out if appointments are required.

Residents are urged to complete their vaccination series as soon as they can to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant in the community. The more people who are fully immunized against COVID-19, the harder it will be for the virus to spread.

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Calgary councillor pushing for emergency council meeting on COVID-19 data – Globalnews.ca

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With Alberta’s health measures set to be scaled back in two weeks, a Calgary city councillor wants her colleagues to step up to look into what options the City of Calgary has in terms of its own health measures.

Testing and isolation requirements implemented by the province during the COVID-19 pandemic are among the health protocols being lifted on Aug. 16.

“That data is essential. That data is all we have,” University of Calgary developmental biologist Dr. Gosia Gasperowicz said.

“If we know how fast the virus is growing, we know how fast we should react.”

Speaking at a fourth-straight day of protests against the public health changes outside McDougall Centre in Calgary, Ward 3 councillor and mayoral candidate Jyoti Gondek said she’d like to see the city take action on COVID-19 data collection and to look at other options.

“We’re not doctors but we are in fact able to understand what the evidence and the data is telling us,” Gondek said.

“To deny the public, and to deny policymakers access to the data is a big mistake.”

In lieu of COVID-19 testing data, Gondek is calling on the city to begin daily updates through Calgary’s emergency management agency to share data through the University of Calgary’s wastewater sample testing.

Read more:
How your sewage could help track coronavirus in your neighbourhood

The sampling and testing of wastewater began in July 2020, and researchers said the samples can detect areas with a rise in COVID-19 cases faster than provincial testing could.

“That data is awesome information — it’s probably the earliest signal that something is going wrong — so we absolutely should use it,” Gasperowicz said. “Because we’ll know not only if something is going bad in Calgary, we’ll know even where it is because you can trace where the wastewater comes from.”

Rally organizer and emergency room physician Dr. Joe Vipond said the wastewater data is helpful with providing broad data, but isn’t able to provide specific data to pinpoint exactly where there are outbreaks of the virus.

“It does not identify outbreaks,” Vipond said. “You can look at quadrants of the city and how bad it is in different areas of the city, but you can’t say Western Canada High School has an outbreak, that the Agape Hospice has an outbreak, that the McDonald’s on 4 Street has an outbreak.”

If cases continue to rise, Gondek said she will call on Mayor Naheed Nenshi to call an emergency meeting of council to discuss re-establishing some public health measures.

Masks are still required on public transit, in taxis and rideshare vehicles, but those requirements will also be lifted on Aug. 16.

Nenshi said he isn’t recommending bringing back the mask bylaw but would recall council over councillors’ August break to discuss the issue if cases dramatically rise.

“We have the power to continue requesting people to wear masks on transit. We regulate the taxi industry so we have the power to do that,” Nenshi told Global News on Friday. “But if there is a point that I need to recall council from their summer vacation because we have to put back the masking bylaw because we’re looking at an outbreak, I won’t hesitate to do that.”

Read more:
Alberta Medical Association head concerned over province lifting COVID-19 protocols

Other councillors are also in favour of reinstituting some measures, including Ward 7 councillor Druh Farrell, who tweeted that she would would support reinstating the mask bylaw.

“I also support reinstating the mask bylaw,” Ward 9 councillor Gian-Carlo Carra tweeted. “Unfortunately, we will need to wait for the numbers to get worse before we’ll have the political support on (city council) to get it over the line.”

Meanwhile, Ward 13 councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart tweeted that she would be opposed to bringing back the mask bylaw, and added that it wouldn’t be enforcible.

Mayoral candidate and Ward 6 councillor Jeff Davison also took to social media to weigh in on the province’s decision to scale back measures.

“Are we really about to become the first place in the world to abandon test-trace-isolate practices?” Davison tweeted Monday. “Getting the world to take us seriously is hard enough — I worry this policy by the province is about to do us irreparable harm.”

City council is currently on summer break until September.

Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal University, said due to the lack of power the city has in terms of health measures,  the Oct. 18 municipal election should be noted when analyzing what council decides to do with health measures.

“When we look at the COVID restrictions that the city has the capacity to do, they can’t be viewed independently of that ongoing election,” he said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Spahn wants to offer supplementary vaccinations – The Germany Eye

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Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) wants to enable booster vaccinations for groups particularly at risk from the coronavirus from September onwards. In addition, all those who have been fully vaccinated and have received vaccines from Astra Zeneca or Johnson&Johnson in recent months will also be able to receive a booster with an mRNA vaccine from Biontech or Moderna from September. This is provided for in a draft resolution of the Federal Ministry of Health for the conference with the health ministers of the states, which will take place this Monday. The paper has been made available to the South German Newspaper.

Study results indicated “that there may be an increased incidence of a reduced or rapidly declining immune response in certain groups of people after a full COVID-19 vaccination,” the health ministry’s draft states. This applies in particular to the group of relevantly immunocompromised patients as well as the very elderly and those in need of long-term care. For this reason, the states are to send mobile teams to nursing homes, institutions providing integration assistance and other facilities with so-called vulnerable groups. For vulnerable persons still living at home, family physicians should offer appropriate vaccinations.

The health ministers also want to pass a resolution on the vaccination of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17. This issue has recently been the subject of intense debate between politicians and the Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko). It is true that the mRNA vaccines from Biontech and Moderna have now been approved in the European Union for this age group. However, the Stiko has so far refused to issue a general recommendation for immunization of adolescents aged 12 years and older due to insufficient data. Recently, Health Minister Jens Spahn and Bavaria’s Minister-President Markus Söder (CSU) had clashed with the Stiko because they feared an unnecessary delay in the vaccination campaign. The Stiko, in turn, had defended itself against political pressure.

In the draft resolution for the conference with the states, the Ministry of Health now refrains from making a clear recommendation for the vaccination of adolescents and thus opposes the Stiko. Instead, it simply states, “All states will now offer vaccinations for 12- to 17-year-olds at vaccination centers.” Medical information, as well as a necessary agreement of the custodial parents, would be ensured thereby. In addition, children and adolescents could also be vaccinated by pediatricians and family doctors in private practice, as well as by company physicians.

Anyway, the inoculations of young people come in the meantime apparently well forward. As Spahn announced on Twitter over the weekend, 900,000 of the 4.5 million young people in this age group, i.e. around 20 percent, have already received at least one initial vaccination since the Biontech vaccine was released for young people exactly two months ago.New entry regulations have also been in place at German borders since Sunday. Drivers and train passengers must now also show proof of vaccination or testing. However, these are only checked on a random basis.

Image by Gerd Altmann

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Canada to receive 2.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses this week – paNOW

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Speaking to reporters on Friday, Dr. Theresa Tam said an updated national modelling for the pandemic trajectory suggests that the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 could drive a fourth wave of infections.

“The trajectory will depend on ongoing increase in fully vaccinated coverage and the timing, pace and extent of reopening,” Tam said.

“While some resurgence is expected as measures are eased, this updated model shows that if we maintain current levels of community-wide contacts, we would expect to see a modest increase in cases.”

Tam said the country could see a high increase of COVID-19 infections if reopening continues quickly before enough people are fully immunized.

“We could expect to see a sharp resurgence by the end of the summer,” she said.

She said the new forecast “reaffirms the need to take a cautious approach to relaxing public health measures to remain vigilant and responsive to signs of resurgence and to continue to increase first and second dose vaccine coverage.”

Canada reported an average of 640 new cases over the past seven days, she said, which is still 93 per cent lower than the peak of the third wave.

As of Friday, 80.3 per cent of those eligible had received a first dose, while 63.7 per cent are now fully vaccinated.

Tam said the country has made “great progress” on vaccinating those who are eligible over the last month, but there is a need to increase numbers of vaccinated even more.

“This means increasing fully vaccinated coverage above 80 per cent across all age groups and particularly in younger age groups where most of the transmission is occurring.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 2, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press

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