Good evening, these are the coronavirus headlines tonight.
- Pfizer and Moderna vaccines got brand names today to mark their full approval from Health Canada
- Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau criticized Erin O’Toole over his previous support of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis in the province
- Saskatchewan is the latest province to introduce a vaccine passport system, following Alberta’s announcement of its own system yesterday
In the past seven days, 30,612 cases were reported, up 16 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 189 deaths announced, up 32 per cent over the same period. At least 2,035 people are being treated in hospitals and 1,493,669 others are considered recovered.
Canada’s inoculation rate is 13th among countries with a population of one million or more people.
Sources: Canada data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.
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Coronavirus in Canada
- Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced a COVID-19 vaccine passport system in a bid to increase the number of immunizations in the province. The policy, which will require proof of vaccination or a negative test, is set to begin Oct. 1 and will apply to businesses, establishments and event venues. “These are not measures we wanted to implement – and as a government we have been patient in providing the opportunity and access to get vaccinations – but that patience has come to an end,” the Premier said in a video announcement.
- Alberta, which is facing a health care system on the verge of collapse, introduced a vaccine passport system and reinstated a number of public-health restrictions on Wednesday. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney declared a state of public-health emergency and said the province may run out of intensive-care beds and staff to care for ICU patients within 10 days.
- In Quebec, the Health Minister stands by the government’s goal of ensuring the 20,000 health care workers who are not yet fully vaccinated get their shots by Oct. 15 – or risk being suspended.
Health Canada announced it will rename the Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, at least officially, in Canada.
- The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has now been dubbed Comirnaty, Moderna’s shot will be renamed SpikeVax, and the AstraZeneca vaccine will be named Vaxzevria.
- Pfizer and Moderna say the change marks the full approval of the vaccines by Health Canada, which were previously approved under an interim order that was set to expire today. The health agency point out that the vaccines themselves are not changing – only the names are.
On the campaign trail: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said Ottawa will send ventilators to Alberta and described the worsening COVID-19 situation in the province as “heartbreaking.”
- “Ventilators are on the way. Anything more we can do, whether it is sending more medical professionals as we did to Ontario a few months ago when they were overwhelmed. We are going to make sure that Albertans get the support from everyone in this country the way they need to get through this time,” Trudeau said.
- The Liberal Leader criticized Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole over his previous support of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s handling of COVID-19 in the province. In turn, O’Toole went after Trudeau for calling an election in the middle of a pandemic, adding the money spent on the election could’ve gone to responding to COVID-19.
Coronavirus around the world
- Around 3,000 health care workers across France have been suspended for failing to comply with mandatory COVID-19 vaccination, the government said.
Coronavirus and business
Toronto-Dominion Bank is pushing back plans for a broader return to offices as the Delta variant of COVID-19 creates new public-health challenges.
- The bank also told employees in an internal memo on Wednesday that it has opened a mandatory vaccination registry and is requiring all staff to upload their status – with proof – by Oct. 1.
- The bank says it expects most of its staff will continue to work remotely until 2022.
Also today: The Toronto International Film Festival is reporting a case of COVID-19 in an audience member who attended press and industry screenings.
- André Picard: What’s in a (vaccine) name? Less than meets the eye
- Hockey: The NHL says it expects 98 per cent of all players to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the season starts on Oct. 12.
- Everything you need to know about Canada’s travel restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated people
- Waiting for a second dose? We answer your COVID-19 vaccine questions
- What is and isn’t ‘paid sick leave’ in Canada? A short primer
- Got a vaccine ‘hangover’? Here’s why
Sources: Canada data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins University and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins.