Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11. The vaccine maker says the finding is based on a study of a lower dose of its two-dose vaccine in more than 2,200 kindergartners and elementary school-aged kids. It says it plans to seek authorization for this age group soon in the US, Britain and Europe. The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech is currently only approved for those 12 and older, and many parents are anxiously awaiting vaccinations for their younger children.
Today with @BioNTech_Group, we are proud to announce positive topline results from the pivotal trial of our #COVID19 vaccine in children 5-11 years of age. https://t.co/9RKta5Sgkt pic.twitter.com/ymikj0qi5l
— Pfizer Inc. (@pfizer_news) September 20, 2021
The US Border Will Remain Closed:
The US border will remain closed to all but essential crossings by Canadians for at least another month. Washington announced the move yesterday, along with a rule that will require most adult foreign nationals flying into the US to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of early November. It’s not clear if Canadians who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which has never been approved for use in the US, will be considered fully vaccinated.
The Alberta Vaccine Passport Plan:
The Alberta government has released more details about which businesses and institutions come under its new proof-of-vaccination program that allows some to operate without capacity limits and other public health measures. Retail stores, libraries, hotels and post-secondary institutions don’t have to take part in the United Conservative Party’s so-called Restriction Exemption Program. Nor do worshippers at churches, employees on a worksite or students on school trips. Eligible facilities that don’t participate must work under public health rules that include capacity limits and mask requirements for indoor public spaces.
Starting today, the Restriction Exemption Program will allow businesses and activities to operate without certain restrictions if they have a proof of vaccination or negative test requirement.
➡ More info: https://t.co/mXS53knsBF
Here is a quick eligibility guide. ⬇ pic.twitter.com/gAE0usoHAj
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) September 20, 2021
Toronto Students Will Soon Get Their Extra Curricular Back:
Extracurricular activities can gradually return to schools in Toronto. Toronto Public Health has updated its guidelines and says that schools should prioritize lower-risk and outdoor activities as extracurriculars resume. Both the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board had paused extracurricular activities when in-class lessons began on September 9th. The public health unit says that as schools establish their COVID-19 routines, other clubs, activities and teams may return.
Toronto City Staff Vaccination Update:
The city of Toronto says almost 88 per cent of staff who disclosed their status are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and five per cent have received only their first shot. It says 87 per cent of the active workforce disclosed their vaccination status as required by last Friday under the city’s mandatory vaccination policy for employees. It says staff who have not been fully vaccinated or who did not disclose their vaccination status will be required to complete mandatory education starting this week. The city has set a deadline of September 30th for staff to get a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and October 30th to receive both doses — but it’s providing accommodation for those unable to get the shot.
Almost 90 per cent of City of Toronto staff who disclosed status are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) September 20, 2021
US Death Toll:
COVID-19 has now killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic did. The latest death toll from the coronavirus is 675,000. While the totals are roughly the same, the U.S. population a century ago was just a-third of what it is now. That means the Spanish flu cut a much bigger, more lethal swath through the country.
There were 610 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario yesterday and two more deaths linked to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says that 458 of those new cases are in people who are not fully vaccinated. Elliott says that 233 people are hospitalized with the novel coronavirus and 177 people are in intensive care because of it.
In Ontario, 21,404,362 vaccine doses have been administered. Nearly 85.1% of Ontarians 12+ have one dose and nearly 79.1% have two doses.
233 people are hospitalized with #COVID19, and 177 people are in ICU due to COVID-19. Please note that not all hospitals report on weekends.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) September 20, 2021
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
Waterloo Region Public Health says there were 22 new COVID-19 cases yesterday but no new deaths. Hospitalizations dropped by 2 to a total of 7 patients. There are 251 active cases, which is an increase of 1.
Yesterday Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health confirmed 70 new cases from the weekend. Active cases are now up to 201. That’s a just of 45. There are 6 people hospitalized.
Remember to complete the COVID-19 school and child care screening tool every day. It will help you decide if you/your child should go to school.
— WDG Public Health (@WDGPublicHealth) September 20, 2021
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: Pfizer – Photographer unidentified