Health Canada says the COVID19 vaccine from US biotech firm Moderna is safe for use in Canada. The vaccine is the second to be greenlit in Canada, following the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine on Dec. 9. Moderna anticipates starting shipments to Canada within the next 48 hours. Up to 168,000 doses are set to arrive by the end of December, and two million by the end of March. Canada is to get 40 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine in 2021, enough to vaccinate 20 million people, or about two-thirds of the Canadian adult population. The vaccine is not yet recommended for use on children as tests on adolescents only began in December and tests on children younger than 12 won’t begin until next year. Canada’s doses of the Moderna vaccine are being made in Europe.
To read the details from Health Canada: CLICK HERE (You will be redirected)
After an independent and thorough review, Health Canada has authorized Moderna’s #COVID19 vaccine. This is a critical step in ensuring a COVID-19 vaccine is available to Canadians in all parts of the country. https://t.co/q3cz6orxJz #COVIDvaccines pic.twitter.com/ryShWJLOR3
— Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) December 23, 2020
Here is Health Canada’s news conference:
The Plan for the Modern Vaccine :
Front-line health staff, residents and workers in long-term care, adults in remote Indigenous communities, and seniors over the age of 80 top the priority lists for Moderna’s COVID19 vaccine. Health Canada says Moderna’s less extreme storage and handling requirements, compared to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, mean the drug can be distributed to isolated and remote communities.
Here is yesterday’s federal update:
Trudeau Addresses the Nation:
Yesterday the Prime Minister spoke to Canadians from Rideau Cottage.
UK Travel Ban Extended:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a travel restriction on passengers from the United Kingdom is being extended by two weeks. The original 72-hour ban imposed on Sunday was set to expire yesterday. Trudeau says the new ban will last until Jan. 6. The UK is struggling with a new strain of COVID19 that experts suggest is more contagious than other variants.
Update: To prevent the new variant of COVID-19 from spreading in Canada, we’re extending the temporary suspension of passenger flights from the UK for another two weeks, until January 6th. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and do whatever it takes to keep you safe.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 23, 2020
The UK Has Discovered a Third Strain of COVID19:
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock says scientists have identified another new variant of the coronavirus in two people — both contacts of recent arrivals from South Africa. Hancock says the evidence so far suggests that the new variant has mutated further than the one that recently prompted the British government to tighten restrictions across large parts of England. Canada has extended its travel restriction on passengers from the United Kingdom for another two weeks.
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) December 23, 2020
Ontario reported 2,408 more COVID19 cases yesterday, based on 56,700 tests completed. There were also 41 new deaths. Broken down, 629 of the new cases were in Toronto, 448 in Peel, 234 in Windsor-Essex County, 190 in York Region and 150 in Hamilton. Provincial officials say there are 3 less people are in hospital overall, but 2 more now in the ICU. 14 more are on a ventilator.
Ontario is reporting 2,408 cases of #COVID19 and nearly 56,700 tests completed. Locally, there are 629 new cases in Toronto, 448 in Peel, 234 in Windsor-Essex County, 190 in York Region and 150 in Hamilton.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) December 23, 2020
Yesterday Toronto officials updated the COVID19 situation in the city:
Are Workplaces Safe?
Labour activists are calling for more transparency about COVID19 outbreaks at warehouses and factories in Quebec and Ontario. They say many of the operations are staying open despite the imminent lockdowns of non-essential businesses both provinces. Infectious disease expert Dr. Leighanne Parkes says without proper procedures, manufacturing facilities and warehouses are the perfect area for the spread of any respiratory pathogen that’s a little bit contagious. That’s because people work close together, they may have to shout over loud machinery, and ventilation may not be adequate.
BC is Making Progress Against COVID19:
British Columbia may have bent its COVID19 curve, but its top doctor says people must still follow public health rules. Dr. Bonnie Henry says cases in the province are levelling off after peaking in mid-November, and the vast majority are being traced to known cases, clusters and outbreaks. She says the reproductive number for the illness in BC has dipped below one, meaning on average, someone who’s infected may not transmit COVID-19 to anyone.
— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) December 23, 2020
Moderna Vaccines Are Bound for the Territories:
The Northwest Territories says it will receive 7,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of this month. That is enough for 3,600 residents to receive the required two doses of the vaccine. Elders and health-care workers will be prioritized for the vaccine. Health Minister Julie Green says the territory will roll out its vaccine plan early next year.
Part of Nunavut Begins Lockdown Today:
Starting today, Whale Cove in Nunavut begins a lockdown to limit the spread of COVID19. Indoor gatherings will be limited to five people beyond those in each household. Outdoor gatherings are also limited to five people, masks are mandatory in public places, and travel in and out of the community is restricted. Arviat is the other community that’s also under a lockdown. There are a total of eight active COVID19 cases in Nunavut.
Study Finds Virus is in the Air in Some Hospital Settings:
High amounts of the novel coronavirus can be found in the air in several hospital settings, a new study suggests. Researchers found that one-quarter of all ICU rooms with COVID19 patients were contaminated with genetic material of the virus, known as SARS-CoV-2. What’s more, more than 20 percent of samples from toilets and bathrooms as well as more than half of samples from hallways came back positive.
New York Health Worker Suffers Allergic Reaction to the Vaccine:
Officials with the Mount Sinai health system in New York City say a health worker who suffered a severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine has been treated and is in stable condition. It’s the first reported side-effect following the administration of thousands of doses in the region. There have been a handful of allergic reactions to the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, out of the millions of shots delivered around the world.
Today's update on the numbers:
Total COVID hospitalizations are at 6,864.
Of the 204,361 tests reported yesterday, 11,937 were positive (5.84% of total).
Sadly, there were 164 fatalities. pic.twitter.com/UKcmZjZ43x
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 23, 2020
Trump May Veto the COVID Relief Bill:
US House Republicans face an uncomfortable test of allegiance, as President Donald Trump threatens to tank a big year-end COVID19 relief bill. Trump has slammed the bipartisan $900-billion-dollar package, and suggested he may not sign it. Trump’s new proposal of two-thousand-dollar aid checks to Americans will be called up for a Christmas Eve vote. Republicans are expected to block the vote, but Democrats may try again Monday. Trump’s objection is also threatening a government shutdown. Democrats are considering stopgap funds to keep government running.
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
Yesterday Waterloo Region Public Health announced 94 new COVID19 cases and 8 new deaths. Once again active cases reached a new high, with 611 active infections at the moment. There are 38 people hospitalized in Waterloo Region with 13 in intensive care.
62 new cases were reported yesterday by The Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit. The vast majority were in Guelph. The region now has 306 active cases with 13 people hospitalized.
With all the good news about the vaccines, we can understand how it may feel like things are coming to an end. But now is not the time to let our guards down:
✅Celebrate the holidays at home with your household
✅Gather virtually with everyone else
⚠️Avoid all social gatherings pic.twitter.com/uVEQf47gwq
— Region of Waterloo Public Health (@ROWPublicHealth) December 23, 2020
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot