The Ontario Mass Vaccination Plan Includes Pharmacies And Family Doctors – Full COVID-19 Update

The Ontario Mass Vaccination Plan Includes Pharmacies And Family Doctors – Full COVID-19 Update

Ontario is expanding the way it delivers COVID-19 vaccinations to include family doctors as well as pharmacists as soon as this weekend. Premier Ford says doctors will get 29,500 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that Ontario received this week — with pharmacies getting 165,000. Ontarians between the ages of 60 and 64 will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as tomorrow. Pharmacies will begin administering the shot in three regions as early as Friday, while doctors’ offices can start on Saturday. Ford says doctors in Toronto, Peel Region, Hamilton, Guelph, Peterborough and Simcoe-Muskoka have already contacting eligible patients to book appointments. The province has also released a list of 325 pharmacies in Toronto, Kingston and Windsor-Essex where people can call to book appointments.

Here is Premier Ford’s announcement yesterday:

Today is the One Year Anniversary of the COVID-19 Pandemic:

Today has been deemed a National Day of Observance as Canada marks the one-year anniversary today of the World Heath Organization declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic, the number of confirmed cases across this country has topped 896,700. There were just over 3,200 new cases of the infection reported Wednesday nationwide, and 31 new deaths. That brings the total number of COVID deaths in Canada since this time last year to 22,335. The virus has claimed the lives of 2.5-million people around the world. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will deliver a statement about the pandemic in the House of Commons this morning, on this national day of observance. The government has asked Canadians to think about those whose lives were claimed by the novel coronavirus, as well as the brave front-line work done by health-care and other essential workers.

Canada Is Getting 8 Million Shots This Month:

The soldier in charge of delivering COVID-19 vaccines to the provinces and territories says Canada is expecting to receive eight-million shots by the end of this month. Major-General Dany Fortin says most of the supply will come from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Fortin says provinces have assured him that they are prepared to deal with a significant ramp-up of vaccines within the next few weeks.

Here is yesterday’s federal update:

US Lawmakers Pushing to Reopen the Border:

US President Joe Biden is getting a nudge from a group of lawmakers from northern states to begin reopening the Canada-US border. New York congressman Brian Higgins, chairman of the Congressional Northern Border Caucus, says since Biden expects most Americans to have access to a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of May, then the White House should prioritize easing border restrictions by then. Higgins also tells CTV News that he wants Biden to make fully reopening the border by July 4th his next number-one priority. The Canada-U-S border has been closed to non-essential travel for nearly a year.

Some Carbon Tax Revenue Will Go Towards Retrofitting Schools:

The federal government says it will use carbon tax revenue from Ontario to help 172 schools in the province improve energy efficiency and air quality. It’s providing $40-million dollars for projects such as replacing roofs and increasing insulation. Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says the investment will help schools save on energy costs. He says it will also make classrooms more comfortable and healthier for students and teachers.

Ontario Making a Huge Investment Into Protecting Shelters:

Ontario says it will give municipalities and Indigenous communities $255-million-dollars to address an increase in COVID-19 outbreaks in homeless shelters across the province. Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark made the announcement at a press conference yesterday. The government says communities can use the funding to acquire motel and hotel spaces to support physical distancing, hire more shelter staff, and buy more personal protective equipment. Toronto will receive $94.5-million-dollars of the funding to prevent outbreaks in its shelters.

Dr Tam Says No To Lifting Restrictions:

Health authorities have stepped up COVID-19 vaccination efforts as a consistent spread of new infections and related deaths continue. As a result, the Public Health Agency of Canada urges caution in the lifting of anti-pandemic restrictions. Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s chief public health officer, has repeated a warning that the vast majority of Canadians can still get COVID-19. She says infections had been declining nationally from mid-January through mid-February, but have now levelled off. The latest data shows infection rates are now highest in the 20-to-39 age group. To date, Canada has seen almost 894,000 cases of COVID-19 with 22,300 deaths.

Canadian Doctors Are Tired:

A Canadian Medical Association survey finds some doctors are feeling high levels of fatigue and anxiety one year into the pandemic. Sixty-nine per cent of practising physicians surveyed felt an increase in fatigue over the past year, with 65 per cent experiencing pandemic-related anxiety. Today marks exactly one-year since the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic due to COVID-19. The CMA says 62 per cent of doctors feel concerns about the vaccine rollout are contributing negatively to their mental health.

Investigating The Origins of COVID-19:

A member of the investigative team led by the World Health Organization says scientific research might be able to pin down how animals carrying COVID-19 infected the first people in Wuhan, China. Peter Daszak and his co-authors are set to release a report as early as next week on the initial conclusions of their mission. He says the wildlife trade is the most likely explanation of how COVID-19 arrived in Wuhan.

More Vaccines Flowing Into Canada:

Vaccines are starting to flow in greater numbers into Canada after a slow start. Health Canada expects more than two-million doses of vaccine to be delivered from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna over the next two weeks. Pfizer alone will ship more than a million doses a week itself between March 22 and April 18th. The company has also confirmed its delivery schedule through mid-April.

Ontario Numbers:

Across Ontario there were 1,316 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. Hospitalizations dropped by eleven to 678 with 281 of those in intensive care. There were 16 new deaths in the 24-hour reporting period.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

There were 36 new COVID-19 cases in Waterloo Region yesterday. Public Health says there were no new deaths and hospitalizations dropped from 37 to 31. Only seven of those patients are in the ICU. There are now 322 active cases in the Region. Public Health in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph had only 4 new cases yesterday. 1 was in Wellington and 3 in Guelph. The number of active cases dropped by nineteen to just 149.  Hospitalizations went up though. There are now 6 people receiving treatment with 2 in the ICU.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot

 

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