Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Following a promising trial in the United States, Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children 12 and older
- The Biden administration announced it is in favour of allowing a temporary waiver on COVID-19 vaccine patents – a policy reversal that left a G7 meeting in disarray
- Camping gear is the pandemic’s next in-demand item
There have been 1,257,320 cases of COVID-19 reported in Canada. 24,453 people have died and another 1,150,213 have recovered. There are currently 4,154 patients in hospitals due to COVID-19, 1,429 of whom are in the ICU.
Canada’s inoculation rate is 13th among 84 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
- In New Brunswick, the province recorded its first death from a rare blood clot linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. “I want to stress that medical complications following vaccination are extremely rare, but they do happen,” said the province’s top doctor, Dr. Jennifer Russell. The risk of complications from a vaccine is very low, between one in 100,000 and one in 250,000 doses.
- Alberta announced, that starting Monday, it would offer the Pfizer vaccine to children 12 and up as the province responds to a surge in COVID-19 infections. The news comes the day after high COVID-19 transmission rates forced the closure of schools in the province.
- Ontario says its on track to administer a first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine to 65 per cent of adults in the province by the end of May. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is voicing concerns over the province’s plan to offer an online learning option for the next school year. The group argues the change would divert funds from in-person learning and weaken the public education system. And, a quarantine hotel in Toronto where more than a dozen staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 won’t be fully shut down. Also, Scotiabank Arena, the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, has declared a COVID-19 outbreak.
- Manitoba is another province that will begin to administer the Pfizer vaccine to children aged 12 and older.
In Ottawa, Health Canada approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in children as young as 12 years.
- Health Canada made the move following a trial in the United States of more than 2,200 youth between the ages of 12 and 15 which shows the vaccine is both safe and effective for kids in that age group.
- The Pfizer vaccine had previously only been approved for those aged 16 and up.
NACI’s concerns: Following NACI recommendations that Canadians who consider themselves at low risk from the coronavirus would be better off to wait for the mRNA vaccines, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau countered: “The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered.”
Coronavirus around the world
- The U.S.’s Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize Pfizer’s vaccine for children ages 12 to 15, leaving parents feeling elated.
- Indian delegates at the G7 ministers’ meeting are self-isolating after two members tested positive for COVID-19.
Coronavirus and business
Outdoor retailers are struggling to keep up with demand for camping equipment ahead of a second COVID-19 summer.
- Business owners say consumers are shopping much earlier than they used to to avoid being disappointed by sold-out items, as demand grows for equipment and manufacturers struggle with shipping issues and shortages in materials.
Also today: The outlook for condos was dire in Toronto at the beginning of the pandemic, according to one realtor. Fast-forward one year, and sales are now on the upswing.
And: A house in Toronto’s High Park neighbourhood sells for $477,000 over asking
- Gary Mason: The lack of consequences for COVID-19 rulebreakers is infuriating
- Editorial board: In a pandemic, confusing government messages about COVID-19 vaccines aren’t helpful
- Robyn Urback: Canada’s vaccine recommendations are a mess. We need a single voice to cut through the noise
- Karen Lawrie and Janet Papadakos: Let’s be clear: The language of public health needs to be plain and simple
- Vancouver’s PNE fair cancelled for second straight year due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions
- Blue Jays moving home games to Buffalo’s Sahlen Field in June
- Suncor delays maintenance near Fort McMurray as COVID-19 cases surge
- 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.