New Vaccine Eligibility Opening Up This Week – Full COVID-19 Update

New Vaccine Eligibility Opening Up This Week – Full COVID-19 Update

Ontario’s vaccine eligibility is set to expand yet again this week. The province is due to lower the minimum age for vaccine eligibility to 40 in the coming days. It’s also opening up appointments for people with at-risk health conditions, such as heart disease and dementia. It’s not yet clear which day the changes will come into effect.

Vaccine Eligibility Has Expanded in Some Hotspots:

Ontario has quietly expanded vaccine eligibility. Nearly 150 pharmacies are now offering shots to all adults in some virus hot spots. The province unveiled the expanded eligibility — for people age 18 and up — on a provincial pharmacy vaccine booking webpage late Friday. Several pharmacies are now giving shots of Moderna or Pfizer.

Lots More Vaccines Are Coming This Week:

Canada is scheduled to receive two-million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this week as provinces continue to ramp up immunization efforts. The two-million shots represent the only expected shipments in what should be a quiet week of vaccine arrivals. Moderna delivered one-million doses ahead of schedule last week and the next shipment isn’t due until next week. The arrival of more Pfizer product comes as British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec expand the list of people eligible for vaccines. The expansions are due largely to a steady supply.

Dr Tam Calls for Public Health Measures to Continue:

The nation’s leading physician is urging Canadians to maintain public COVID-19 health measures — even if they’ve been vaccinated. Dr. Theresa Tam says rates of infection remain high and people need to remain safe, as she puts it ”vaccinated or not.” She says social interactions must be limited to those within their households and preferably be outside. Meantime, the provinces are reporting 265,509 new shots in arms, for a total just shy of 16-million doses administered.

Saskatchewan Sets Targets and Dates:

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says a high vaccination rate and strict public health rules will allow the province to enter the first step of its COVID-19 Re-opening Roadmap on May 30th. The province says restaurants and bars will open with a maximum of six to a table, worship services will be capped at 30 per cent capacity, and gathering limits will rise.

New Travel Restrictions for Nova Scotia:

As of 8:00 this morning, Nova Scotia’s borders will be closed to all but essential travel. The province is trying to curb surging COVID-19 cases. Under the new rules, rotational workers returning home from so-called outbreak zones must self-isolate for 14 days. Premier Iain Rankin says the measures also apply to anyone who had planned on moving to the province, as well as parents from out-of-province who were hoping to pick up or drop off students.

New Restrictions in Manitoba:

Manitoba is capping outdoor gatherings to just five people. The latest COVID-19 health restrictions also see restaurants, bars and patios limited to take-out and delivery. Gyms, museums, art galleries, libraries and some businesses will all be shuttered until May 30th. The province is dealing with a third wave of COVID-19, fuelled by variants of concern.

Poor Countries Are Falling Behind on Vaccinations:

While the world’s wealthier nations have stockpiled coronavirus vaccines for their citizens, many poorer countries are still scrambling to secure doses. A few, like Chad, have yet to receive any at all. The World Health Organization says about a dozen countries — many of them in Africa — are still waiting to get vaccines. The WHO says delays and shortages are driving African countries to slip further behind the rest of the world in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

Canada Numbers:

Canada’s COVID-19 death toll now stands at 24,626, with 58 fatalities recorded in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta. Another 6,698 cases have been confirmed in Nunavut, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. The national case count now stands at 1,286,666.

Ontario Numbers:

Ontario reported 3,216 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. The province also counted 47 new deaths linked to the virus. More than 1,600 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 848 in intensive care. 580 were on ventilators.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Waterloo Region Public Health confirmed 81 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. On Saturday there were 105 new cases and a new death. The Region is now below 500 active cases for the first time in 3-weeks. Heading into this week there are 491 active with 46 people hospitalized. 35 of those are in the ICU.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health announced 56 new cases on Friday and a new death but there has been no update since then.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: Omar Alghabra via Twitter: @OmarAlghabra

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