Health Canada’s chief medical adviser says a trial in the US shows the Pfizer-BioNTech shot is both safe and effective for kids 12 and older. Dr. Supriya Sharma says Health Canada’s approval of the shot for children in that age group will support a return to a more normal life for young people who have suffered during the pandemic. Alberta and Manitoba moved quickly to announce the shot will start to be offered to everyone 12 and up. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says appointments will open to that age group on Monday, while Manitoba officials aim to have those 12 and up eligible to book a vaccine by May 21st.
Province Working on a Plan to Vaccinate Those 12+:
Health Minister Christine Elliot says the province is working on a plan to offer the Pfizer-vaccine to children aged 12 and older based on new Health Canada approval. Alberta has already announced it will start offering the shot to that age group on Monday, but Elliott is giving no firm timeline for the start of eligibility in Ontario. She has also announced a revised vaccine timeline that will mean 7.9 million people — or 65 per cent of adults — should have their first dose of vaccine by the end of the month. In addition to diverting more vaccine to hot spots, the province is also stepping up vaccinations in workplaces as it expects to receive larger shipments this month and next.
New Vaccine Appointments Open Today:
More people can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments today. People aged 50 and older and those with high-risk health conditions are now eligible to make appointments. Also able to book a shot starting today are workers in education, child-care, food and manufacturing sectors. Anyone aged 18 and older living in Peel Region can also make a vaccination appointment. Ontario says 65 per cent of adults will have their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by the end of the month. Health Minister Christine Elliott says the target is to get first shots to nearly eight million people this month. The province is also launching mobile vaccine units to start visiting workplaces in Toronto, Peel and York starting this Friday.
Here is Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie talking about the expanded availability in Peel Region:
Three Canadian Deaths Linked to AstraZeneca:
Public health officials and politicians are working to reassure Canadians about the safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Health officials in New Brunswick and Alberta are each reporting one death of someone who developed a blood clot after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine — raising Canada’s death toll from the rare blood clot condition to three. Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, notes that the risk of death and severe outcomes from COVID-19 are far greater than the risks associated with the vaccine.
Teacher Unions Angry That Online Learning Will Be Available Next Year:
Teachers’ unions, parents and advocacy groups say they fear the Ontario government is considering a move to a permanent online learning stream. The groups raised the alarm after Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced on Tuesday that students would be offered an option to learn online in the next school year. He also said the province has committed to consulting on providing an online option going forward. Critics say a permanent change would divert funds from in-person learning and weaken the public education system.
— Catholic Teachers (@OECTAProv) May 5, 2021
Fraud Charges Laid:
Police say they have charged a man at Toronto Pearson International Airport after he allegedly used a fraudulent COVID-19 document. International travellers arriving in Canada by air must provide health officials with a negative COVID-19 test result from the past three days. Peel Regional Police say they were contacted by a quarantine officer from the Public Health Agency of Canada early Sunday morning about an allegedly fake COVID-19 test document. They say a 33-year-old man from Toronto has been charged with uttering a forged document.
Court Dismisses Case Claiming Vaccine Discrimination in Ontario:
A Divisional Court has ruled it has no jurisdiction to hear a lawsuit claiming Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout discriminated against the vulnerable. But despite dismissing the case, the court said the vaccine equity issues raised by a Toronto resident are important and pressing. In a statement, his lawyers stand by their claim that the province neglected its duty to provide fair and equitable vaccination access to the vulnerable. That includes some people with disabilities, homebound seniors, residents of hot spot neighbourhoods and the homeless.
The Crisis in Alberta:
The House of Commons held an emergency debate late into the night to get answers on Alberta’s surging number of COVID-19 cases. Edmonton New Democrat MP Heather McPherson called for the session, blasting what she calls Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s stumbles and mishandling of the pandemic. She also blamed the federal Liberals for not doing enough to help. However, at some point during the debate, the Prime Minister’s Office said Trudeau was on the phone with Kenney offering the federal government’s support in responding to the rising caseload and a partnership in getting vaccines to Albertans. Alberta currently has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in North America with 546 active cases per 100,000 people.
More Help for India:
Canada is sending desperately needed medical supplies to India as the COVID-19 pandemic there spirals out of control. Global Affairs Canada says a shipment will include 25,000 vials of the antiviral drug remdesivir and up to 350 ventilators from its emergency stockpile. The Canadian military will airlift the supplies to the subcontinent. India’s COVID-19 deaths reached a new high of 3,780 in the last 24-hours as daily infections rose by more than 382,000.
To support those on the front lines in India, we’re sending over surplus medical supplies – the @CanadianForces airplane departed from Trenton this morning. We’ll continue to take strong action to fight this virus, both here at home and around the world. https://t.co/AtAzSntpe7
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 6, 2021
Just-For-Laughs Will Have Some In-Person Events:
Organizers of Montreal’s Just For Laughs say this summer’s comedy festival will be a mix of virtual and in-person events. The event is set to run from July 26th to the 31st. A spokeswoman says plans include scaled-back live shows in Montreal, as well as performances in New York City and Los Angeles. The standup shows will be streamed online for free, but hardcore comedy fans can pay to access premium content.
— Just For Laughs (@justforlaughs) May 5, 2021
Canada Vaccination Numbers:
Nearly 284,000 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered across the country yesterday, making for more than 14.5-million doses given to Canadians so far. The shots are going in arms as New Brunswick reported the country’s third death from a rare blood-clotting disorder after a shot of AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Health Canada announced its approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people 12 and up. Vaccinations in Yellowknife for kids aged 12- to 17 will begin today, Alberta will begin inoculating starting Monday, and BC officials hope to get kids vaccinated by the end of this school year. Ontario suggests it may aim to get children fully vaccinated before September.
Starting this week, the Moderna vaccine will be administered at up to 60 pharmacies in hot spots in Durham, Hamilton, Ottawa, Windsor-Essex and York #PublicHealth regions for individuals aged 18+. https://t.co/vHwhIqlDZO pic.twitter.com/bQIbiHbKV2
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) May 5, 2021
There were 2,941 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario yesterday and 44 more deaths linked to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says that 924 of those new cases were in Toronto, 565 in Peel Region, and 254 are in York Region. There were 92 less in hospital according to yesterday’s report. 3,323 more cases were marked as resolved. Nearly 5.6 million doses of vaccine have been administered to-date.
Ontario is reporting 2,941 cases of #COVID19 and nearly 45,800 tests completed. Locally, there are 924 new cases in Toronto, 565 in Peel, 254 in York Region, 171 in Durham and 149 in Hamilton.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) May 5, 2021
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
For a second day in-a-row, Waterloo Region Public Health announced 47 new cases yesterday. There was also a new death. The number of active cases is down by forty to just 501. There are still 52 people in the Region hospitalized.
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health had 27 new cases yesterday but no new deaths. There were 8 new cases in Dufferin and 8 new in Wellington. The rest were in Guelph. The number of active cases now sits at 351. That is down by thirty-five. There are 34 people hospitalized with 15 of those in the ICU.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot