(Pictured: Dr Theresa Tam gets her first shot of vaccine)
Fresh concerns about COVID-19 vaccine safety are emerging as the third wave of the pandemic swells across Canada. Canada is reporting its first case of vaccine-induced blood clots linked to an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced at the Serum Institute of India. The report of a Quebec woman who developed a clot is the only case out of 185,000 doses administered in the province so far — making it an extremely rare event. Meanwhile, the United States is putting the brakes on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following six reports of blood clots there. Officials on both sides of the border continue to assure people that the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines far outweigh the risks. Today Health Canada is expected to provide further input on the vaccine situation.
Here is yesterday’s federal update:
Fauci Updates Americans on the J&J Vaccine:
The top infectious disease expert in the US says Americans who have received a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine should not be anxious about the pause in shots because of reports of rare blood clots. Dr. Anthony Fauci adds people should pay attention to symptoms associated with the blood clots, particularly between one and three weeks after receiving the shot. US officials and regulators have jointly recommended a temporary halt in administering the J-and-J vaccine, as they investigate six reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. The six reports are out of 6.8-million doses administered.
Yet Another Change To The Vaccine Rollout:
Premier Ford has announced new details of the province’s plan to provide COVID-19 vaccines to all adults in high-risk settings in virus hot spots. Faith-based organizations, employers and other community groups will be enlisted to help organize pop-up and mobile vaccine clinics in highly-affected neighbourhoods. Eligible residents can’t use the province’s online portal to book a vaccination, but are advised to contact local health units for details of the rollout, which will start in select postal codes in Toronto and Peel Region. Ford denies the vaccination plan is confusing and says empowering local community groups and businesses will ensure outreach is done properly.
Individuals aged 18 and over in designated hot spots, as identified by postal code, are eligible for vaccination through mobile teams and pop-up clinics in targeted settings as they are rolled out locally. pic.twitter.com/ayLSpAWkYM
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) April 14, 2021
Here is yesterday’s Provincial update:
More than 8.5-million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Canada since the inoculation efforts began. The number of fully vaccinated Canadians continues to creep forward, with officials reporting 829,067 people or 2.2 per cent of the population. Still, Quebec reported the country’s first case of a recipient suffering blood clots after getting the AstraZeneca shot. The province says it has given out 185,000 doses of the vaccine so far, and this is the first and only blood clot report.
Another Children’s Hospital Preparing to Receive Transfer Patients:
The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario says it is readying intensive care beds for the potential transfer of younger adults requiring critical care. The decision is in response to a surging third wave of COVID-19 that’s filling intensive care units across the province hospitals. A statement from the children’s hospital says that if patients need to be transferred from other Ottawa hospitals, it is preferable for them to be able to stay in the area. CHEO’s president and CEO, says the move is unprecedented in the hospital’s 47-year history but reflects how serious the third wave of the pandemic is.
— CHEO Ottawa (@CHEO) April 13, 2021
Cargill in London is Temporarily Closed:
Canadian food giant Cargill Limited has temporarily closed its London poultry processing plant due to a COVID-19 outbreak among some of its workers. The company says 900 people work at the London facility and as of Tuesday afternoon, there was an active case count of 82. Cargill decided to close out of an abundance of caution and is working closely with public health officials to ensure appropriate cleaning, testing and prevention plans. It has no definite timeline for reopening the London protein plant, but Cargill says employees will receive a weekly guarantee of 36 hours of pay.
Researchers Say There Is No Connection Between Suicides And The Pandemic:
Researchers have not found evidence of an increase in suicides in the early months of the pandemic. A review by the International COVID-19 Suicide Prevention Research Collaboration looked at data from 21 countries between April 1st and July 31st of last year. It showed no increase in suicides in high to upper-middle income countries, despite increased levels of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thinking that have been reported during the pandemic.
There were over 7,500 new confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide Tuesday. Ontario had the most new cases in the country with over 3,600 — about 800 fewer than it reported in the prior two days. Next was Quebec at nearly 1,500 new infections reported, followed by Alberta with nearly 1,100. No new cases were reported in the territories, or in Prince Edward Island. But there were new infections reported in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and one in Newfoundland, prompting all four Atlantic premiers to delay the reopening of the regional travel bubble by two weeks, to May 3rd at the earliest.
1/3 #COVID19 key concerns in Canada: activity 2 weeks ago is tracking along the strong resurgence trajectory, with weekly increases across all indicators of virus spread (case counts ↑33%) & severity (in hospital ↑29%; ICU ↑24%; deaths ↑9%). https://t.co/HnBHFb1zQs
— Dr. Theresa Tam (@CPHO_Canada) April 13, 2021
Quebec Extends The Curfew:
A lockdown currently in effect in three COVID-19 hot spots in Quebec will be extended for another week. Premier Francois Legault says the lockdown will apply across the Quebec City, Outaouais and Chaudiere-Appalaches regions until at least April 25th. Non-essential businesses and schools must remain closed, and an 8pm curfew will be in effect.
BC Will Extend Restrictions:
BC is set to extend its current health orders restricting in-person dining beyond next Monday’s deadline. Officials with the BC Restaurants and Food Association say they had a meeting with the provincial health officer on Tuesday, who indicated that the health order would now run through to May. The group says the continued high number of daily cases and the province’s desire to have restrictions in place limiting socialization and gathering indoors was given as the reason.
Saskatchewan Imposes New Restrictions:
New COVID-19-related restrictions came into effect yesterday in Saskatchewan. The province says people should not gather with anyone outside of their household bubble. Religious gatherings are limited to no more than 30 people. Saskatchewan is reporting 288 new cases of COVID-19, and two more deaths. Both deaths occurred in hard-hit Regina.
Across Ontario there were 3,670 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, which is an improvement from Monday. The province also reported 15 new deaths. 176 more people were admitted to hospital but only 7 more were added to the Provincial ICU total. 2,609 more cases were marked as resolved.
Ontario is reporting 3,670 cases of #COVID19 and nearly 42,200 tests completed. Locally, there are 1,016 new cases in Toronto, 613 in Peel, 519 in York Region, 214 in Ottawa and 196 in Durham.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) April 13, 2021
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
121 new COVID-19 cases were reported yesterday by Waterloo Region Public Health. Hospitalizations increased by 25% in one day. There are now 30 people hospitalized in the Region. The number of active cases was up by sixty-five to 592.
Public Health of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph announced just 17 new cases yesterday. 6 were in Wellington, 4 in Dufferin and 4 in Guelph. There are now 590 active cases in the Region, which is a decrease of forty. There were no new deaths.
Today, the Region of Waterloo is sending a text to every mobile phone number that was blocked by Telus; this message will have the information they need to book an appointment for their COVID-19 vaccine. Read more: https://t.co/25Djxd8QyQ. pic.twitter.com/qdWZDtCoG8
— Region of Waterloo (@RegionWaterloo) April 13, 2021
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: Theresa Tam via Twitter