The coronavirus newsletter will pause on Monday for the August long-weekend holiday, but will return on Friday.
- People at high risk of severe disease who have yet to get a second COVID-19 booster should not wait for Omicron-targeted vaccines, according to vaccine experts
- Ontario and Quebec began vaccinating children aged six months to under five years earlier this week following Health Canada’s approval of Moderna’s pediatric shot
An increasing number of health agencies have changed how they're reporting data on the coronavirus. A look at the current numbers in Canada for reported cases, deaths from COVID-19 and for hospitalizations can be found here.
COVID-19 updates from Canada and the world
- Given the current surge in COVID-19 cases in many countries, and people’s waning immunity, experts say the best booster for those at risk is the one at hand. In the United States, regulators have asked Pfizer with partner BioNTech SE and Moderna to develop vaccine boosters that target both the BA. 4 and BA. 5 Omicron cousins, as well as the original virus. They are expected to be ready by October. But, current vaccines continue to offer protection against hospitalization for severe disease and death, according to doctors.
- Paramedics across Canada are struggling to answer emergency calls and provide care because of staff shortages and overcrowded hospitals – problems that aren’t new but have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Parents in Ontario expressed relief and excitement at being able to make COVID-19 vaccine bookings for the youngest cohort as babies and preschoolers received stickers and plenty of praise upon getting their first COVID-19 vaccinations. Some parents said they were able to secure same-day jabs for their kids while others scheduled shots for the coming days.
- Students and staff planning to live in University of Toronto residences will need to have two shots of a COVID-19 vaccine and at least one booster dose before moving in this September, the university said.
- Quebec started vaccinating children as young as six months on Monday, after Health Canada authorized Moderna’s vaccine for that age group. But one doctor says the government needs to do more to promote the benefits of vaccinating young children against COVID-19.
- The Northwest Territories is lagging behind in expanding a rollout of fourth doses. The N.W.T. is the only territory, along with a handful of provinces, not to expand access of a fourth dose, or a second booster, to all adults.
- The U.S. government said today it had purchased 66 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine updated for the Omicron subvariant for use in a fall/winter booster campaign. Combined with 105 million doses the government already agreed to buy from Pfizer and partner BioNTech, the latest deal puts the U.S. booster dose supply at about 171 million shots.
- U.S. President Joe Biden emerged from COVID-19 isolation earlier this week with a message for American citizens: “You can live without fear by doing what I did,” he said. “Get boosted, get tested and get treatment.”
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- AstraZeneca said it expected prescriptions of its COVID-19 therapy, called Evusheld, to drive sales growth of more than 20 per cent this year. The injection has been deployed in many countries for people with compromised immune systems who see little or no benefit from vaccines.
- Pfizer Inc. did not raise its 2022 forecast for sales of its COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral treatment on Thursday – leaving Wall Street analysts divided over the durability of both the vaccine and Paxlovid, as pandemic urgency wanes.
- Federal public service unions say the government’s plan to get employees back to the office is confusing, disjointed and jeopardizing health and safety.
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