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You cannot catch COVID from vaccines | TheSpec.com – TheSpec.com

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It is no exaggeration that any medical intervention, including something as benign as taking an Aspirin, carries some risk. This is also true of vaccines. The soldiers in George Washington’s army, during the American Revolution, faced a risk of one per cent mortality when they received their smallpox variolation, a means of creating mild disease, thereby producing immunity. These were better odds than the 30 per cent risk of death for those who caught the disease. Today however, any mortality caused by vaccination would be newsworthy.

Vaccines are created in a number of ways. Variolation, as practised in the 18th century, consisted of introducing live virus into the person, with the intention of causing mild disease and creating immunity. The two COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada at the time of this writing are mRNA vaccines. No viral material is present. Once within the host cells, the mRNA provides a template for construction of a protein similar to a non-infectious portion of the virus, which prompts the immune system to produce antibodies to that portion of the virus. You cannot catch the disease from the vaccines.

The Pfizer vaccine, (BNT162b2), and the Moderna vaccine, (mRNA-1273), both encode a modification of the spike protein of the coronavirus, which is part of the apparatus needed to bind to human cells. Preliminary data on safety and efficacy from small Phase 1 trials were recently published. Both vaccines produced SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody levels similar to those measured in patients who had experienced the disease. Both vaccines were associated with mild to moderate reactions, particularly after the second dose. These consisted of fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, and pain at the injection site.

Phase 3 data from large trials has now been published for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The randomized, placebo-controlled trial, of the Pfizer vaccine enrolled 43,448 participants who received an injection of the vaccine, (21,720), or a placebo injection of saline, (21,728). Eight cases of COVID-19 were documented in patients who had received both doses of the vaccine, while 162 cases occurred in those who received placebo injections, consistent with about 95 per cent efficacy for prevention of COVID-19 and before the second dose of vaccine was also documented. Partial protection after the first dose appears to begin around Day 12 following the first dose.

Safety data for a median of two months was available for 37,706 participants of this trial. Only one case of severe COVID-19 occurred in a vaccine recipient and adverse events similar to those in the preliminary trials were identified. No deaths attributable to the vaccine were reported.

Data for the Moderna vaccine, (mRNA-1273), has also published. Using a similar mRNA platform, the Moderna vaccine demonstrated 94.1 per cent efficacy, nearly identical to that of the Pfizer vaccine, in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 30,420 participants in the U.S. All cases of severe COVID-19, (30), occurred in the placebo group. Adverse reactions were similar to those in the Pfizer trial, and no serious safety concerns were identified.

To bring a vaccine forward for regulatory approval ordinarily takes a decade. First doses of both vaccines were given in July, 2020. Vaccines are costly to produce and do not generate a great deal of income for pharmaceutical companies. Creating vaccines in such a short time-frame has been a remarkable achievement. Vaccine platforms for the SARS-Covid-1 pandemic of 2002-3 were developed but the disease itself disappeared spontaneously and efforts to create a coronavirus vaccine were discontinued. It is not expected that SARS COVID-19 will disappear any time soon.

Concerns regarding long-term safety and the length of immunity provided remain and have been acknowledged. “Vaccine hesitancy” (related to measles vaccination), has been listed among the top 10 threats to global health by the WHO. Over the next few months, individuals will have to make personal decisions regarding their willingness to receive these vaccines. It should be remembered by those who worry about the long-term consequences of vaccination, that known short-term risks of mortality are becoming more clearly defined as the pandemic progresses. Long-term effects of COVID-19 are also being discovered, some of which seem to be permanent. These are in addition to the known risks of stroke and other complications of the acute disease.

Messenger RNA vaccines are free of viral material and cannot cause infection with COVID-19. No health care intervention is 100 per cent safe. However, the state of our knowledge about COVID-19 at present weighs heavily in favour of accepting vaccination as a means of personal protection and provision of widespread immunity. Both will be required before we can go back to our normal lives.

Fred Baxter is a doctor living in Ancaster.

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New COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Interior Health region | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source – iNFOnews

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Mask wearing may be one reason the rate of new COVID-19 cases is declining in the Interior Health region.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Deanna Bell

February 25, 2021 – 11:00 AM

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Interior Health region has dropped steadily from 558 four weeks ago to 182 last week.

The Kamloops Local Health Area (stretching from Barriere to Logan Lake and Chase) still has the highest number of new cases at 78. That’s a significant drop from 116 the week before.

The data is contained in a new map posted on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website. It shows the number of new cases by Local Health Area, which includes 31 areas in the Interior Health region. It covers the week of Feb. 14 to 20.

This shows the number of new COVID-19 cases by Local Health Areas in the Interior during the week of Feb. 14 to 20.

This shows the number of new COVID-19 cases by Local Health Areas in the Interior during the week of Feb. 14 to 20.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/B.C. Centre for Disease Control

The Central Okanagan had 36 new cases, down from 69.

There were increases if a few areas.

The South Okanagan recorded 10 new cases, up from three the week before. Penticton had three new cases versus one the week before.

Vernon dropped to nine from 11.

See the full map and more data on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submitphotos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2021

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Canada sees good news about COVID-19 inoculations as doses arrive more quickly

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By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada‘s COVID-19 vaccination campaign is ramping up after earlier supply disruptions and the number of inoculations last week hit a five-week high, officials said on Thursday.

Canada has deals with Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc, but both companies ran into production problems last month and reduced shipments.

The country trails many other nations in the total number of inoculations and critics accuse Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government of bungling the rollout. Ottawa buys the vaccines, while the 10 provinces and three northern territories administer them.

Howard Njoo, Canada‘s deputy chief public health officer, said more than 240,000 doses were injected last week, the most in more than a month.

“We are seeing positive signs that the rollout is ramping up. … This is a reflection of greater supply,” he told a briefing, saying about 2.9% of Canadians had received at least one dose.

“We expect this percentage to significantly increase throughout March,” he added. Canada has so far recorded a total of 21,807 COVID-19 deaths and 855,126 cases.

Major General Dany Fortin, in charge of coordinating the rollout, said a total of 643,000 doses had been distributed this week, the highest amount yet.

Canada says it is still on track to receive a total of 6 million doses from Pfizer and Moderna by the end of March and that anyone who wants a shot can get one by the end of September.

Ontario, the most-populous province, has started to lift some restrictions imposed to combat a second wave of the virus even as experts say case rates are rising again.

“We need to watch our every step. There is no easy path through a minefield,” Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the province’s science advisory panel, told reporters.

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Additional reporting by Allison Martell in Toronto; Editing by Alistair Bell and Peter Cooney)

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A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 – ThoroldNews.com

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The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 10:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 55,116 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,707,398 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 4,505.094 per 100,000.

There were 3,510 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,043,599 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 83.55 per cent of their available vaccine supply.

Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis.

Newfoundland is reporting 3,827 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 20,285 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 38.739 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 26,800 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 5.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 75.69 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

P.E.I. is reporting 1,485 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 12,176 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 76.758 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 13,045 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 8.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 93.34 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nova Scotia is reporting 5,716 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 30,748 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 31.507 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 47,280 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 4.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 65.03 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

New Brunswick is reporting 5,135 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 26,317 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 33.738 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 35,015 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 4.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 75.16 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Quebec is reporting 10,166 new vaccinations administered for a total of 387,076 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 45.237 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 509,325 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 76 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Ontario is reporting 19,112 new vaccinations administered for a total of 621,960 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 42.342 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 683,255 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 4.7 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 91.03 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Manitoba is reporting 2,688 new vaccinations administered for a total of 69,060 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 50.152 per 1,000. There were 3,510 new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 102,360 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 67.47 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Saskatchewan is reporting 2,091 new vaccinations administered for a total of 65,436 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 55.494 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 59,395 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 5.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 110.2 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Alberta is reporting 9,000 new vaccinations administered for a total of 195,572 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 44.428 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 205,875 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 4.7 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 95 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

British Columbia is reporting 9,008 new vaccinations administered for a total of 239,883 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 46.746 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 307,849 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 77.92 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Yukon is reporting 810 new vaccinations administered for a total of 15,174 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 363.615 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 18,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 80.29 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 16,454 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 364.68 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 19,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 42 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 86.15 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nunavut is reporting 184 new vaccinations administered for a total of 7,257 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 187.393 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 15,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 40 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 47.12 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

*Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Feb. 25, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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