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Who have provinces pegged to receive COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks?

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As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks.

The military commander handling logistics for Canada’s vaccine distribution program says there will be enough vaccine delivered to give a first dose before Canada Day to every adult who wants one.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin says that’s if provinces follow the advice to delay second doses up to four months.

He also cautions that it is dependent on having no production delays again.

Health Canada anticipates a total of 36.5 million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India by June 30.

Most Canadian provinces have suspended use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in people under age 55, acting on an advisory committee’s concerns about a possible link between the shot and rare blood clots. However, Ontario and Alberta have lowered the age eligibility to those 40 and older.

There are approximately 31 million Canadians over 16, and no vaccines are approved for anyone younger than 16.

Here’s a list of the inoculation plans throughout Canada:

Newfoundland and Labrador

Health officials say vaccinations have begun for first responders. Pre-registration for COVID-19 vaccines has opened for people aged 70 or older and for home-support workers.

Last month Newfoundland and Labrador extended the interval between the first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to four months.

Public health officials said the change would help them vaccinate 40,000 more people with a single dose by the end of March.

Nova Scotia

All Nova Scotians who want a vaccination should be able to get their first shot by late June, chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang announced on April 9. The original target was September.

Strang also said that as of April 9, Nova Scotians 65 years of age and older became eligible to receive their first dose.

As well, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is still available for those 55 to 64 years old.

The province is also planning to use mobile van clinics to vaccinate about 900 people who work at or use homeless shelters in the Halifax area.

Public health is partnering with pharmacists and doctors to provide the vaccines at 25 locations.

Nova Scotia, meanwhile, has added front-line police officers to the list of people eligible for vaccination during the second phase of the province’s rollout plan, joining groups such as long-haul truck drivers and hospital workers over the age of 60.

Prince Edward Island

Health officials in Prince Edward Island say they will shift their focus to getting a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by July 1, even if it means delaying the second shot for some.

P.E.I., meantime, has joined suspended administering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to people under age 55 due to concerns about a possible link between the shot and rare blood clots.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick health officials say people 70 and older, a caregiver or a family member acting on their behalf can now make an appointment for a vaccine at a pharmacy.

Health-care professionals who have close contact with patients, and people with complex medical conditions are also eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The province says all residents of long-term care homes have been offered at least one dose of vaccine.

As of March 19, all residents of First Nations communities aged 16 or older were given access to their first dose of vaccine.

Workers who regularly travel across the border, including regular commuters, truckers and rotational workers are also  eligible to receive vaccines.

Quebec

Quebec has expanded access to COVID-19 vaccines to Montrealers who are essential workers or who have chronic illnesses.

Essential workers such as teachers and first responders can now book an appointment after providing proof of employment.

Quebec has also opened vaccination appointments for anyone over the age of 60 across the province.

Quebecers between the ages of 55 and 79 can now receive an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at walk-in clinics.

The province has said it will be lowering the age for AstraZeneca, although it’s not clear what that age will be. Quebec’s director of public health says a recommendation from the province’s immunization committee is expected soon and could be put into effect this week.

Officials announced on April 8 the first 13 companies that will operate clinics in their workplaces, with each site able to vaccinate up to 25,000 people between May and August.

Participating companies include National Bank, Bell, and Groupe CH, owner of the Montreal Canadiens NHL team. The clinics will be located in eight different health regions and should be operational by May 1.

Montreal’s airport authority will partner with Air Canada and Bombardier to create a vaccination hub that will operate two sites at the departure level of the airport terminal and in a nearby Bombardier hangar.

Ontario

Ontario is expanding the number of residents eligible to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Starting Tuesday, those 40 and older can start receiving the shot. The previous cutoff age was 55. Shots will be available through pharmacies and primary care providers.

But Premier Doug Ford’s office warned Monday that provincial officials have warned that the next two shipments of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot to the province could be delayed.

Ford’s office says he has reached out to “international allies” for help acquiring more supply of the vaccine for the province.

Ontario, meantime, is doubling the number of pharmacies involved in the provincial vaccine effort.

Some 1,400 pharmacies in COVID-19 hot spots are now offering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The province says it hopes to add another 100 pharmacies to the vaccine effort by the end of the month.

Some residents of Toronto and Peel Region aged 50 and older can now book their COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

Toronto says people who live in hot spot neighbourhoods can book an appointment to get their shot.

The Ontario government said beginning April 5, people aged 60 and over could book their vaccine appointments in every region.

Manitoba

Manitoba is using the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for First Nations people aged 34 and up and others aged 54 and up. These are available through a few channels, including so-called supersites in larger communities. Health officials plan to continue reducing the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months.

The province is also allowing anyone 40 and over to get an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine through pharmacies and medical clinics, subject to availability.

Manitoba has now given at least one dose of vaccine to roughly 25 per cent of the population aged 18 and over.

Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province’s vaccine task force, has said all adults in the province could have a first dose by the end of June if supplies are steady.

Manitoba will also soon start prioritizing firefighters and police officers for vaccines, as well as all adults living in high-risk areas, which have yet to be defined.

Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Health Authority is booking vaccinations for residents 48 and older. The minimum age drops to 40 for people living in the Far North.

Additional health-care workers are eligible for shots: staff in private doctors’ offices, private digital imaging clinics, community labs and the Saskatchewan cancer agency.

The province has also expanded the vaccine delivery plan for people in more vulnerable groups to include all pregnant women and 16- and 17-year-olds who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable.

There are drive-thru and walk-in vaccination clinics in communities across the province. However, drive-thru sites in Regina and Saskatoon have been temporarily suspended due to limited supply.

Alberta

Albertans born in 2005 or earlier with high-risk underlying health conditions are eligible for shots.

The next phase of health-care workers can also book appointments: physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, their office staff, lab workers, practicum students in clinical areas, as well as health workers on First Nations reserves and Metis settlements.

Previously, shots have been available to front-line health workers, staff and residents in supportive living facilities, Albertans born in 1956 or earlier and First Nations, Inuit and Metis people born in 1971 or earlier.

More than 250 pharmacies are offering immunizations. Ten physicians clinics across the province are also providing shots as part of a pilot project, which could be expanded in May.

The province has also lowered the minimum age for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to 40 from 55.

Alberta has said it is extending the time between the first dose and the second to four months.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said the province expects to offer all Albertans 18 and over a first dose of vaccine by the end of June.

British Columbia

The province is lowering the eligibility age for people to register for COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Ministry of Health says more than 1.8 million people are eligible to register for vaccines this week through the province’s Get Vaccinated program.

The ministry says people 40 years old and older were invited to register Monday, with those 35 and older signing up Tuesday and 30 and older Wednesday.

Those 25 and older can register Thursday and 18 and above can sign up Friday.

Once registered, users receive a confirmation code. They then wait for an email, text or call telling them they’re eligible and can book their vaccine appointment using that code.

B.C. has joined other provinces in lowering the age for those eligible to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot to 40.

Adults living and working in Whistler started receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations on April 12.

Firefighters, police and paramedics, meanwhile, are being vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines alongside staff at schools and childcare centres.

Nunavut

Nunavut has opened vaccinations to anyone 18 and older.

The territory expects to finish its vaccine rollout of first and second doses by the end of April.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories is also providing vaccine to those 18 and older and expects to finish its rollout by the end of April.

Yukon

The Yukon government says nearly 46 per cent of the territory’s residents have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Source:- Airdrie Today

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Man assaulted nurse over vaccinating his wife: Quebec cops – Toronto Sun

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The man accused the nurse of having “vaccinated his wife without his consent” before repeatedly punching the woman in the face, police said.

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Sherbrooke police have turned to the public to help track down a man who assaulted a nurse Monday at a local pharmacy.

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Police say a man showed up at the office of a nurse assigned to give vaccinations at a pharmacy on 12th Ave. N.

“He was angry and aggressive,” said police spokesperson Martin Carrier.

The man accused the nurse of having “vaccinated his wife without his consent” before repeatedly punching the woman in the face and leaving, police said, adding that the nurse was taken to hospital to treat “serious” injuries to her face.

The man being sought is 30 to 45 years old, of medium build and has a dark complexion. He has short dark hair, dark eyes and “big eyebrows.”

The man spoke French and was wearing a dark sweater and jeans. He wore earrings and had a hand tattooed with what resembled the image of a cross.

Police are urging anyone with any information on the case to call them at 1-800-771-1800.

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B.C. reports 759 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths, 1 death in Island Health – CHEK

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British Columbia health officials on Wednesday reported 759 new COVID-19 cases — including 79 in Island Health — and 10 new deaths since their last update on Sept. 21.

One of the deaths was in Island Health, the province says.

The number of confirmed cases in B.C. is now at 180,937 while the death toll climbs to 1,910.

There are currently 5,458 active cases in the province, 324 people in hospital — 157 of whom are in intensive care. The provincial government says there are 636 active cases in the Island Health region.

Of the new cases identified, 79 were in Island Health, 233 were in Interior Health, 214 were in Fraser Health, 129 were in Northern Health, 101 were in Vancouver Coastal Health and three were people who normally reside outside of the country.

A total of 173,215 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 7,739,828 doses of vaccine have been administered province-wide.

Today’s data was released as a statement to the media.

Island Health

According to the latest update on Island Health’s dashboard shows that there are 563 active cases — 44 in North Island, 180 in Central Island, and 339 in South Island — on Vancouver Island.

Thirty-five people in the region are currently in hospital with COVID-19, 20 of whom are in critical care.

Over the past 24 hours, there were 188 recoveries, 1,358 new tests for COVID-19 performed, and 2,370 doses of vaccine administered in the region. Of those doses, 37 were AstraZeneca, 1,409 were Moderna and 924 doses were Pfizer.

A total of 1,289,871 vaccine doses — 619,306 of those are second doses — have now been administered on Vancouver Island. This includes 33,465 doses of AstraZeneca, 345,767 doses of Moderna and 910,639 doses of Pfizer.

Since the onset of the pandemic, there have been 8,020 cases reported, 59 deaths, 355 total hospitalizations, and 7,254 recoveries recorded on Vancouver Island.

Cases and deaths continue to climb this month

With Wednesday’s announcement of 79 new cases and yet another death in Island Health, the region has now recorded 11 deaths and seen a 22 per cent increase in new cases since the beginning of September.

Since Sept. 1, total hospitalizations on the Island have risen 23 per cent while the total number of recoveries has increased by 22 per cent.

When it comes to active cases, the data isn’t as clear due to major discrepancies between the two main reporting agencies, Island Health and the BCCDC.

Island Health’s data shows that active cases in the region have increased by 31 per cent since the beginning of the month, while the BCCDC’s data shows that active cases have only increased by 18 per cent during the same period.

However, Island Health is the only agency to provide daily updates on active cases with a breakdown by region and based on their latest data update, active cases in the South Island are the highest they have ever been.

More concerning, perhaps, is that active cases on the South Island have increased 113 per cent since Sept. 8. Active cases in Central Island have only managed to climb by 10 per cent since Sept. 8 and on the brighter side, active cases in the North Island have decreased by 37 per cent during the same period.

The vaccine card effect on Vancouver Island

Time — and likely one’s perspective — will only tell whether the B.C. vaccine card system proves to be effective here on the Island. But if the provincial government’s goal was strictly to get more shots in people’s arms for the first time, then it appears to be working to a degree.

On Aug. 23, which was the day Premier John Horgan announced the vaccine card system, a total of 640,426 first doses had been administered on Vancouver Island.

That number had climbed to 649,293 — slightly more than 1 per cent — by Sept. 1, less than two weeks before the B.C. vaccine card system was to come into effect.

But by Sept. 22, more than a week after the B.C. vaccine card system was implemented, that figure had increased to 670,565 first doses, a five per cent increase since Aug. 23.

That may not seem like a lot, but that does mean 30,139 people in the region opted to get the first dose of vaccine in less than a month.

However, it is worth pointing out that the total number of vaccine doses — first and second doses combined — administered on Vancouver Island has risen by 3.3 per cent since Sept. 1 and just 1.5 per cent since Sept. 13, the day the B.C. vaccine card coming into force.

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New Zealand’s Ardern says lockdowns can end with high vaccine uptake

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday the country should aim for a 90%-plus rate of inoculation, and could drop strict coronavirus lockdown measures once enough people were vaccinated.

New Zealand eliminated COVID-19 last year and remained largely virus-free until an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant in August led to a nationwide lockdown.

With its biggest city Auckland still in lockdown and new cases being reported every day, Ardern said vaccinations will replace lockdowns as the main tool against the virus, allowing authorities to isolate only those who are infected.

“If that rate (of vaccinations) is high enough then we will be able to move away from lockdowns as a tool,” she said.

The highest possible vaccine rates will give the most freedoms, Ardern said, adding that the country should be aiming for a 90% plus rate of vaccination.

After a sluggish start to its vaccination campaign, some 40% of adult New Zealanders are fully vaccinated and about 75% have had at least one dose.

Authorities reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, all in Auckland, taking the total number of cases in the current outbreak to 1,123.

The Director General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield warned earlier this week that New Zealand may not get to zero COVID cases again.

 

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; editing by Richard Pullin)

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