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Vaccine Candidate Delivers Protection In A Single Shot (In Monkeys) – WBFO

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Nobody is eager to be stuck by a needle twice, so naturally many would view a COVID-19 vaccine that provides disease protection after a single injection as a good thing.

Two new studies released Thursday suggest that might be possible.

Both studies involved rhesus macaque monkeys. In one study, researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and pharmaceutical company Janssen injected the animals either with a vaccine candidate or an inert placebo. Six weeks after they were injected, the researchers exposed the animals to the coronavirus, both by putting it in their noses and down their throats.

All 20 of the animals receiving the inert, placebo injection showed signs of infection in both their lungs and noses after being exposed to the virus. But one of the vaccine candidates seemed quite effective in preventing infection. In the six animals vaccinated with this particular candidate, none had signs of infection in their lungs, and only one had a sign of infection in the nose.

Candidate Janssen’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson, has decided to start testing in humans. Initial trials started this week.

The vaccine is what’s known as a viral vector vaccine. It uses a harmless virus to transfer genetic material from the coronavirus into the person being vaccinated. It’s an approach the company has been using for years.

“We have now vaccinated 80,000 people with the vector in different diseases,” said Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer of Johnson & Johnson. And it’s known to be safe.

In the other study, researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases tested another viral vector vaccine, this one developed by the University of Oxford. Some animals receive a single vaccination; some received two. As in the other study, researchers challenged the monkeys with the virus and waited to see what happened.

None of the vaccinated monkeys developed disease, but all of them still showed signs of active infection in their upper airways.

As of July 1, about 8,000 human volunteers had participated in a study of the Oxford vaccine. If it is shown to prevent disease in humans, that of course would be a good thing. But if it doesn’t prevent infection of the upper airway, it means a vaccinated person could still spread the disease.

A third study published earlier this week, also involving macaques, suggested a vaccine being developed by the National Institutes of Health and the biotech company Moderna shows evidence that it too could prevent COVID-19.

“I think it’s encouraging,” said Carlos del Rio, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Emory University School of Medicine, of the studies in macaques. “But at the end of the day, it’s only animal models.”

He said only when the human trials have results will we know for sure if any of the vaccines being tested will actually work.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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'Cautious consumer' to remain until COVID-19 vaccine, Indigo CEO says – Airdrie Today

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TORONTO — Canadian customers likely won’t start frequenting stores for items not on their shopping list until there’s a vaccine for COVID-19, Indigo Books & Music Inc. founder and chief executive said Friday.

“I think our own view is that customers will continue well, well into the months ahead to make shopping an activity they do when they have something specific to buy,” Heather Reisman said during a conference call with analysts. The company released its first-quarter financial results after markets closed Thursday.

Foot traffic is “still way down” for the book retailer, which shuttered all its stores to help stop the spread of the coronavirus and only reopened nearly all 182 of its locations by the end of its most recent quarter.

The Toronto-based company’s revenue for the 13 weeks ended June 27 fell to $135.1 million from $192.6 million due to store closures. It recorded a net loss of about $31.6 million or $1.15 per common share compared with a loss of about $19.1 million or 69 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

Since reopening, retail store sales have tracked at about 72 per cent of sales at the same time last year, said chief financial officer Craig Loudon.

However conversion and average transaction size are both “way up,” noted Reisman.

“So, that’s saying that you’ve got a deliberate customer and we think that that’s going to remain, frankly, until there’s a vaccine.”

In Canada, people watch the news and are afraid of the virus, she said.

“So, all in all, we predict that the retail consumer will remain a cautious consumer,” she said.

The company is working to make the shopping experience easy and safe and is planning for the important holiday shopping season although it remains to be seen how consumers behave during a usually busy period.

The company accelerated efforts during the first quarter to help serve customers safely during the holiday season, including “a robust click-and-collect capability and Instacart service,” said Reisman. These efforts should be implemented in the current quarter.

The company’s e-commerce revenue grew threefold, jumping up 214 per cent for the quarter compared with last year. That demand “has moderated, but remained strong” as stores reopened, said Loudon.

Indigo’s shares, which have plunged from a high of $8.06 last August, surged 19 per cent or 20 cents at $1.25 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 7, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:IDG)

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'Cautious consumer' to remain until COVID-19 vaccine, Indigo CEO says – Thompson Citizen

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TORONTO — Canadian customers likely won’t start frequenting stores for items not on their shopping list until there’s a vaccine for COVID-19, Indigo Books & Music Inc. founder and chief executive said Friday.

“I think our own view is that customers will continue well, well into the months ahead to make shopping an activity they do when they have something specific to buy,” Heather Reisman said during a conference call with analysts. The company released its first-quarter financial results after markets closed Thursday.

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Foot traffic is “still way down” for the book retailer, which shuttered all its stores to help stop the spread of the coronavirus and only reopened nearly all 182 of its locations by the end of its most recent quarter.

The Toronto-based company’s revenue for the 13 weeks ended June 27 fell to $135.1 million from $192.6 million due to store closures. It recorded a net loss of about $31.6 million or $1.15 per common share compared with a loss of about $19.1 million or 69 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

Since reopening, retail store sales have tracked at about 72 per cent of sales at the same time last year, said chief financial officer Craig Loudon.

However conversion and average transaction size are both “way up,” noted Reisman.

“So, that’s saying that you’ve got a deliberate customer and we think that that’s going to remain, frankly, until there’s a vaccine.”

In Canada, people watch the news and are afraid of the virus, she said.

“So, all in all, we predict that the retail consumer will remain a cautious consumer,” she said.

The company is working to make the shopping experience easy and safe and is planning for the important holiday shopping season although it remains to be seen how consumers behave during a usually busy period.

The company accelerated efforts during the first quarter to help serve customers safely during the holiday season, including “a robust click-and-collect capability and Instacart service,” said Reisman. These efforts should be implemented in the current quarter.

The company’s e-commerce revenue grew threefold, jumping up 214 per cent for the quarter compared with last year. That demand “has moderated, but remained strong” as stores reopened, said Loudon.

Indigo’s shares, which have plunged from a high of $8.06 last August, surged 19 per cent or 20 cents at $1.25 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 7, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:IDG)

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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, Aug. 9 – CBC.ca

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Recent developments:

  • Ottawa Public Health reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the city’s total to 2,623.
  • Some private cannabis retailers in Ottawa say Ontario’s move to Stage 3 has meant a drop in their sales. 
  • The Nunavut government is spending millions to have their residents self-isolate in an Ottawa hotel before returning to the territory.

What’s the latest?

On Saturday, Ottawa Public Health reported 13 new cases of COVID-19, the fourth day of double-digit increases since an earlier drop in the number of new cases early last week. 

Ontario also reported fewer than 100 cases of COVID-19 for the sixth straight day. There were only 70 new cases across the province Saturday.

The Government of Nunavut has spent nearly $5 million since the end of March to house more than 1,200 of its residents at an Ottawa hotel so they can self-isolate before returning home. The territory is taking these steps to keep its COVID-19 case count at zero.

Some cannabis retailers in Ottawa are decrying the province’s move to halt home deliveries late last month. They said they’ve seen a drop in sales they attribute to the province’s decision.

How many cases are there?

There have been 2,623 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the pandemic began. The number of deaths is at 264.

The majority of cases in the city — 2,204 — are classified as resolved.

In all, public health officials have reported more than 4,000 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 3,400 cases resolved.

 

COVID-19 has killed 102 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 17 in other parts of eastern Ontario and 33 in the Outaouais.

Experts analyzing blood tests said last week the number of people infected with the coronavirus in Ontario could be four times more than previously confirmed and in Quebec, more than twice as many.

What’s open and closed?

Ottawa is now in Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan, which means many more businesses are allowed to reopen, including dine-in restaurants and movie theatres.

Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 are now allowed in that province but attendees must adhere to physical distancing guidelines.

Quebec has similar rules, with its cap on physically distanced gatherings in public venues now up to 250 people, allowing smaller festivals.

A customer puts on a mask as they arrive at a store in Ottawa in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum opened to the public this weekend.

Most Ottawa Public Library branches will be open for in-person browsing and computer use Aug. 17.

Elementary students in Ontario will be heading back to school full time come September, while most high school students will split their time between the classroom and online learning, depending on the board. 

Quebec’s back-to-school plans will bring students to classrooms again this fall.

WATCH | Current back-to-school plan a ‘huge collapse of the imagination,’ MPP says

MPPs Stephen Blais and Joel Harden say the provincial government is not providing enough funding for schools to be able to decrease class sizes and prevent COVID-19 outbreaks upon students’ return in the fall. 1:30

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes on another person or object. People don’t need to have symptoms to be contagious.

That means physical distancing measures such as working from home, meeting others outdoors as much as possible and keeping distance from anyone they don’t live with or have in their circle, including when you have a mask on.

A girl walks in the shallow waters of the Rideau River near the Adàwe Crossing in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Masks are now mandatory in indoor public settings in all of eastern Ontario and Quebec, where transit officials and taxi drivers are now required to bar access to users over age 12 who refuse to wear one.

Masks are also recommended outdoors when you can’t stay the proper distance from others.

Anyone who has symptoms or travelled recently outside Canada must self-isolate for at least 14 days.

Anyone waiting for a COVID-19 test result in Ontario must self-isolate at least until they know the result. Quebec asks people waiting to only self-isolate in certain circumstances.

People in both provinces should self-isolate if they’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive or is presumed to have COVID-19.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly urges self-isolation for people with weakened immune systems and OPH recommends people over 70 stay home as much as possible. 

Top medical officials say people should be prepared for the possibility COVID-19 restrictions last into 2022 or 2023.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a dry cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. 

Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pinkeye. Children can develop a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Where to get tested

In eastern Ontario:

In Ottawa any resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptoms, can be tested at one of three sites.

Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.

A bottle of hand sanitizer sits on a cart at an elementary school in the United States. (Charlie Neibergall/The Associated Press)

In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area, there is a drive-thru centre in Casselman that can handle 200 tests a day and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don’t require people to call ahead.

Others in Alexandria, Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.

In Kingston, the Leon’s Centre is hosting the city’s test site. Find it at Gate 2.

Napanee‘s test centre is open daily for people who call for an appointment.

You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre and in Picton by texting or calling.

WATCH | Mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic | The Doctors

Two mental health professionals weigh in on how Canadians are handling mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. 5:22

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.

It has a walk-in site in Brockville at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.

Residents in Renfrew County should call their family doctor and those without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 to register for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents now can get a walk-in test in Gatineau five days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond and at recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.

They can call 1-877-644-4545 to make an appointment or if they have other questions.

First Nations:

Local communities have declared states of emergency, put in a curfew or both.

Akwesasne has had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Most are linked back to a gathering on an island with a non-resident who wasn’t showing symptoms at the time.

Residents in eastern Ontario can visit a number of COVID-19 testing centres across the region if they’re concerned they could have the virus. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

It has a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who’s been farther than 80 kilometres away is asked to self-isolate for 14 days. It’s 100 miles or 160 kilometres away on the American side.

Anyone in Tyendinaga who’s interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse. Face coverings are now mandatory in its public buildings.

People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259.

Kitigan Zibi is planning for an Aug. 29 election with changes depending on the status of the pandemic at that time. It plans on starting to open schools and daycares next month.

For more information

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