Some Ontario residents who got a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be able to book their second this week. The province says those who received their first jab during a pilot project that saw some pharmacies and doctors’ offices administer the shot from March 10th to the 19th will be prioritized for the second dose. Ontario is seeking to use up tens of thousands of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine before they expire in about a week. Another 10,000 doses are set to expire in June.
Vaccines This Week:
About 600,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine are set to arrive in Canada in the coming days in what’s shaping up to be a slow week for shipments. More than one-million doses arrived ahead of schedule before the long weekend. Pfizer deliveries are set to increase to 2.4-million doses a week starting next month. The federal government is not expecting more doses of the Moderna vaccine before the end of May, and a timetable for June deliveries is still up in the air. There are also ongoing discussions over a possible delivery of another million Oxford-AstraZeneca shots by the end of next month.
📢25M DOSES DISTRIBUTED📢
➡️Over 60% of adults have received at least 1 dose
➡️🇨🇦 remains in top 3 of G20 for doses administered
➡️Millions more vaccines on the way, incl. 2.4 million Pfizer doses confirmed for every week in June
We have more work to do – so let’s keep going! pic.twitter.com/io92WLZMiC
— Anita Anand (@AnitaOakville) May 23, 2021
COVID’s Impact on the Job Market:
Two surveys suggest companies could face mass resignations by workers once the pandemic ends. A survey by recruitment agency Robert Half found 62 per cent of respondents say the pandemic has made them feel stuck on career advancement and salary growth. A poll by the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation found 42 per cent of workers are considering changing their job or entire career in the next year as they prioritize their mental health and personal lives.
BC Vaccination Update:
The president of Doctors of BC says the province is bucking what appears to be a national trend of younger people not getting COVID-19 shots. Dr. Matthew Chow says other jurisdictions have seen vaccine uptake decrease as younger cohorts become eligible for the shot, but that’s not the case in BC so far. For example, while demand for COVID-19 vaccinations was initially strong among teens in Quebec, the uptake appears to have slowed in the 18 to 44 age group.
The Manitoba government is looking for creative ways to encourage residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine. It issued an online survey on the matter today, asking people whether they would be concerned if incentives were offered to those who have been hesitant to get vaccinated. The province is floating the idea of offering prizes, free meals or payments of up to $100-dollars to encourage people to get jabbed. Other possible incentives include free admission to sporting events or museums.
Are the Olympics in Jeopardy?
Tokyo was quick to deny a US warning for Americans to avoid traveling to Japan would have any impact on Olympians. Japan is determined to hold the already pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games starting July 23rd. The US cited a surge in coronavirus cases in Japan caused by virus variants that may even pose a risk to vaccinated people. Japan’s government said it believes Washington supports Tokyo’s effort to hold the Olympics.
America Returning to Normal:
In another step toward a re-opened entertainment world, CBS says Stephen Colbert’s late-night T-V show will return on June 14th to episodes with a full studio audience. Audience members at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York will be required to show proof of vaccination before being admitted, and face masks will be optional. Television’s top-rated late-night host has been doing untraditional shows since March 2020 because of the COVID-19 outbreak. He delivered his first COVID-era monologue from the bathtub at his home, and has done 205 shows away from the theatre’s audience before returning recently to do the show backstage.
The official COVID-19 death toll in India has passed 300,000. A devastating surge of new infections appears to be easing in big cities. But the virus is still ripping through the country’s vast rural areas, where a majority of India’s people live and health care is limited. The Health Ministry is reporting 4,454 deaths in the last 24-hours, bringing India’s official total to 303,720. Experts believe the true toll is significantly greater.
The World Health Organization’s annual assembly opened with a draft resolution that seeks to boost pandemic response and ensure greater access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says now is the time to focus on poor countries still battling COVID-19. The WHO’s director general says a small group of countries that make and buy the majority of the world’s vaccines control the fate of the rest of the world.
The province did not report fresh COVID-19 numbers yesterday due to the Victoria Day holiday. Over the long weekend, numbers dropped substantially. Heading into this week there are just 1,041 COVID patients in hospital with 693 of those in the ICU on 480 on a ventilator. On Sunday, the number of new cases in Toronto and Peel each dropped to below 500.
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
There was no COVID-19 update yesterday due to the Victoria Day holiday. We do know that there were 59 new cases on Sunday. Heading into this week, the number of active cases in the Region is 461 and 34 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. That’s down 20% since Friday.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: Christine Elliott via Twitter