Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Immunity after one dose of Pfizer’s vaccine “very, very weak” compared to two, study suggests
- Once a COVID-19 hotspot, this Vancouver neighbourhood has achieved herd immunity
- For the ninth straight day, India recorded 300,000 new daily COVID-19 cases.
In the last 7 days, 54,842 cases were reported, down 6 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 336 deaths announced, down 2 per cent over the same period. At least 4,241 people are being treated in hospitals and 1,111,890 others are considered recovered.
As of April 30, 14,835,304 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed, 13,420,148 doses have been administered and at least 1,048,970 people have been fully vaccinated. That’s about 2.8 per cent of Canada’s population.
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.
Photo of the day
Coronavirus in Canada
- In Ontario, a pilot program making Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine available in pharmacies began Friday in hot spots, but the recommendation to balance the project with an equal number of independently owned pharmacies and chain locations was not followed. Meanwhile, the government called for mandatory hotel quarantines at land borders. And, Premier Doug Ford says his office didn’t inform him that Rod Phillips, former finance minister, would be travelling for five weeks during the pandemic – despite reporting by The Globe indicating that his top staffers were aware of the trip.
- In British Columbia, a mass vaccination strategy has transformed Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside from a COVID-19 hotspot to an area that has achieved herd immunity. Meanwhile, modelling experts say the province is managing to suppress variant infections.
- Manitoba is expanding its COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include anyone 18 and older who is pregnant, who receives community living disability services, or who works in any health care setting.
In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government is willing to work “narrowly” with Ontario on its request to suspend the arrival of international students.
- Trudeau says Ontario is the only province to make this request. The Prime Minister said he’s not considering barring international students from entering Canada at this point.
COVID-19 and the Olympics: Team Canada’s doctor is confident that every Canadian athlete will be vaccinated before the Tokyo Games this summer.
Coronavirus around the world
- In India, several states have run out of COVID-19 vaccines, delaying the nationwide inoculation effort. The country reported more than 300,000 new daily COVID-19 cases for nine straight days, hitting a record of 386,452 infections today.
- A new study from researchers in Britain found that one dose of the Pfizer vaccine leaves individuals vulnerable to being infected by COVID-19 variants. The level of immunity after one dose is “very, very weak compared to two doses,” said Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, who co-authored the research.
- Citing the rapid increase in COVID-19 infections and the threat of variants, the United States will begin restricting travel from India starting next week, the White House said today.
- Russia recorded more than 400,000 excess deaths – which some epidemiologists say are the best way to measure the true toll from COVID-19 – from April 2020 to March 2021.
Coronavirus and business
Canada’s economy recorded its tenth straight month of growth, following sharp falls in March and April 2020.
- Real gross domestic product rose 0.4 per cent in February, Statistics Canada said Friday. A preliminary estimate points to a 0.9-per-cent gain in March.
- If that estimate holds, the economy grew at an annualized pace of about 6.5 per cent in the first quarter, bringing GDP to within 1.3 per cent of its prepandemic level.
Also today: AstraZeneca says it’s on track to deliver 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses a month.
And: Private-sector union Unifor is pushing grocers to restore pandemic pay premiums and calls Loblaw’s one-time bonus payment “paltry.”
- Rita Trichur: If paid sick leave isn’t a matter of corporate social responsibility, then what is?
- People who hold parties that lead to COVID-19 deaths could face manslaughter charges, experts say.
- Pfizer is seeking the European Union’s approval for COVID-19 vaccine use in teenagers.
- Tim Hortons sales slump as COVID-19 restrictions hamper Canadians’ morning coffee routines.
- Curling: Germany uses three-player team at World Women’s Curling Championships after two teammates test positive for COVID-19.
- How well do vaccines work? Here’s what you need to know.
- Rob Carrick’s 10-point checklist of things you should have done by now to protect or improve your money situation. Tips for minimizing damage to your credit score; how to manage retirement anxiety during difficult times; and things to think about if you’re considering home delivery.
- Here are the expectations for self-isolation; tips for managing anxiety and protecting your mental health; and what to do if you think you have the virus. Wash your hands. How to break a bad habit (like touching your face). Is flying safe?
- The best foods to eat to maintain an immune system-friendly diet; and how to keep a healthy diet while working from home; four eating tips when working from home; and five mistakes that might cause you to gain unwanted weight. Here are the essentials to stock up on and how to shop safely for groceries; the best pantry staples and how to stop stress-eating.
- Find answers to your coronavirus and employment questions.
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.