Article content continued
Furey also said the province expects another shipment of the vaccine later in the month.
Prince Edward Island
In Charlottetown, a physician, a resident-care worker and a registered nurse were among the first people vaccinated on Prince Edward Island on Dec. 16.
Dr. Heather Morrison, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said a few hundred people would be vaccinated each day until Dec. 19.
P.E.I. received 1,950 doses of the vaccine in its first shipment.
The owner of a bluefin tuna exporting company in the eastern part of P.E.I. has offered up two freezers to the provincial government to aid in the effort to store the vaccine.
The province held its first COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Miramichi Regional Hospital on Saturday (Dec. 19).
Pauline Gauvin, an 84-year-old resident of Shannex Losier Hall in Miramichi, was the province’s first recipient of the vaccine.
New Brunswick’s health minister had said a shipment of 1,950 doses of the Pfizer vaccine would be used to inoculate long-term care residents and staff, staff from rapid COVID-19 response teams, ambulance workers, health-care workers involved in COVID units, seniors 85 and older and First Nations nurses.
Dorothy Shephard said the vaccine plan was being carried out by the provincial Emergency Measures Organization.
The first round of vaccinations were being done at the Miramichi Regional Hospital, starting on Dec. 19 and continuing the following day. The hospital has an ultralow-temperature freezer to store the vaccine.
Pfizer-BioNTech delaying vaccine deliveries to Canada due to production issues – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, January 15, 2021 10:13AM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 15, 2021 2:47PM EST
OTTAWA – Canada faces an “unfortunate” delay in vaccine deliveries due to Pfizer production issues in Europe, federal officials revealed Friday, chalking it up to the challenges of an unprecedented mass immunization effort while insisting most Canadians will still be vaccinated by fall.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa was “working day in and day out to get vaccines delivered as quickly as possible” but acknowledged that Pfizer-BioNTech doses have been derailed in the short-term.
Trudeau said this is why Canada has one of the most diverse vaccine portfolios in the world, pointing to seven bilateral agreements he says ensure “flexibility when it comes to supply chains.”
“I want to be very clear: this does not impact our goal to have enough vaccines available by September for every Canadian who wants one,” Trudeau said from outside Rideau Cottage.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand said earlier Friday that production issues will temporarily reduce promised doses to Canada, as well as all countries that receive vaccines from Pfizer’s European facility.
While the company assured Canada it will still be able to deliver four million doses by the end of March, Anand acknowledged that is no longer guaranteed.
“This is unfortunate. However such delays and issues are to be expected when global supply chains are stretched well beyond their limits,” Anand said at a news conference.
“It’s not a stoppage.”
The immediate impact on Canada’s Pfizer-BioNTech supply was unclear.
According to the government’s website, more than 200,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were expected in each of the next two weeks and 1.4 million doses were expected in February.
Canada has received about 380,000 doses of the vaccine so far.
Pfizer Canada spokeswoman Christina Antoniou said the production facility in Puurs, Belgium is undergoing some modifications in the coming weeks to increase the number of doses it can pump out.
Pfizer hopes to double its 2021 production to two billion doses.
“Pfizer Canada will continue to pursue its efforts in anticipation that by the end of March, we will be able to catch up to be on track for the total committed doses for Q1,” Antoniou said.
The news comes as Ottawa released federal projections that suggest the pandemic may soon exceed levels seen in the first wave, rising to 19,630 cumulative deaths and 10,000 daily infections in a little over a week.
The modelling shows total cases could grow to nearly 796,630 from about 694,000, and that another 2,000 people could die by Jan. 24.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam urged sustained vigilance as a long-range forecast suggested rapid growth would continue without “quick, strong and sustained” measures.
Tam said that’s especially so in national hot spots of Quebec and Ontario, where a steady increase in hospitalizations has strained the health system’s ability to keep up with critical care demands. The projections do not take into account Quebec’s recently implemented four-week curfew or Ontario’s new stay-at-home orders.
Tam emphasized the need to reduce community spread to help relieve some of the pressure on hospitals and long-term care homes.
“The vaccine alone is not going to make a dent in some of that,” she said.
“As the older population in long-term care receive the vaccines we’re going to look very carefully to see if the serious illnesses and the deaths go down, but that’s also a factor of what’s happening in the community.”
It was an especially deadly day in Ontario, which reported 100 deaths linked to COVID-19, although that took into account a difference in database reporting between one of its health units and the province.
The province’s newly resolved tally added 46 deaths from Middlesex-London that occurred earlier in the pandemic.
Ontario also reported 2,998 new cases of COVID-19 with 800 of those new cases in Toronto, 618 in Peel Region and 250 in York Region.
Quebec reported 1,918 new COVID-19 cases and 62 more deaths, including nine that occurred in the past 24 hours.
Concern also remained in Atlantic Canada’s hot spot of New Brunswick, which reported 25 new cases and remains at the province’s second-highest pandemic alert level.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021.
Pfizer-BioNTech cutting back vaccine deliveries to Canada due to production issues – 680 News
OTTAWA — Procurement Minister Anita Anand says production issues in Europe will temporarily reduce Pfizer-BioNTech’s ability to deliver vaccines to Canada.
Anand says the U.S. drug-maker is temporarily reducing deliveries because of issues with its European production lines.
She adds that while the company says it will still be able to deliver four million doses by the end of March, that is no longer guaranteed.
“This is unfortunate. However such delays and issues are to be expected when global supply chains are stretched well beyond their limits,” Anand said at a news conference Friday. “It’s not a stoppage.”
Canada has received about 380,000 doses of the vaccine so far, and was supposed to get another 400,000 this month and almost two million doses in February.
The news comes as Ottawa released federal projections that suggest the pandemic may soon exceed levels seen in the first wave, rising to 19,630 cumulative deaths by Jan. 24.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam urged sustained vigilance as a long-range forecast suggested rapid growth in infections will continue without “quick, strong and sustained” measures.
Tam says that’s especially so in national hot spots of Quebec and Ontario, where a steady increase in hospitalizations has strained the health system’s ability to keep up with critical care demands.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021.
The Canadian Press
Norway warns of vaccination side-effects, deaths in some patients over 80 – Global News
Norwegian officials have adjusted their advice on who gets the COVID-19 vaccine in light of a small number of deaths in older people, leaving it up to each doctor to consider who should be vaccinated.
The Norwegian Medicines Agency on Thursday reported a total of 29 people had suffered side effects, 13 of them fatal. All the deaths occurred among patients in nursing homes and all were over the age of 80.
The agency listed fever and nausea as side effects which “may have led to the deaths of some frail patients,” Sigurd Hortemo of the Norwegian Medicines Agency said in the body’s first report of the side effects.
More than 30,000 people have received the first shot of the Pfizer or Moderna coronavirus vaccine in the Scandinavian country since the end of December, according to official figures.
“We are not alarmed by this. It is quite clear that these vaccines have very little risk, with a small exception for the frailest patients,” Steinar Madsen, medical director with the agency, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
“Doctors must now carefully consider who should be vaccinated. Those who are very frail and at the very end of life can be vaccinated after an individual assessment,” he added.
Coronavirus: Ontario to complete long-term care home vaccinations in high-risk zones in upcoming weeks
Earlier this week, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said that “any side effects of the vaccine will be outweighed by a reduced risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 for elderly, frail people.”
It added that “for very frail patients and terminally ill patients, a careful balance of benefit versus disadvantage of vaccination is recommended.”
In its report, the Norwegian Medicines Agency said that 21 women and eight men had side effects. Beside those who died, the agency said nine had serious side effects without a fatal consequence and seven had less serious side effects. The nine patients had allergic reactions, strong discomfort and severe fever while the less serious side effects included severe pain at the injection site.
Overall, Norway has seen 57,279 cases and reported 511 deaths.
Across the world, officials expect deaths and other severe side effects to be reported after any mass vaccination campaign given the huge numbers of people involved. But determining whether or not the vaccine caused deaths can be very challenging and requires that all other potential causes be ruled out first.
The United Kingdom and the United States have also reported a number of cases of side effects that had fatal consequences.
The European Medicines Agency said Friday that it will receive and consider monthly safety reports from companies authorized to sell vaccines, starting in January with the Pfizer jab.
© 2021 The Canadian Press
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