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An expert panel that advises the federal government on vaccination has determined that second doses of COVID-19 vaccines can be delayed for up to four months, two sources say.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization previously supported only extending the interval between doses to no more than six weeks, but its latest decision would allow more people to receive their first vaccination while supplies are still limited. It would also open the door for other provinces to follow the new vaccine schedule British Columbia adopted on Monday.

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The manufacturers of the three vaccines currently approved for use in Canada do not recommend an interval of four months between shots, but Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer, said she made the decision after discussions with NACI as well as a review of “real-world” data.

Read more:

COVID-19 hit long-term care homes harder in second wave

Canada’s pandemic response has been consistently mediocre. The airports mess is just the latest chapter

The EU’s faltering COVID-19 vaccine rollout triggers rebellious go-it-alone strategies across Europe

Head of U.K. program that tracks COVID-19 variants says virus may have reached ‘plateau’ in terms of evolution

People wait in line at a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at Olympic Stadium marking the beginning of mass vaccination in the Province of Quebec based on age in Montreal, on Monday, March 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

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Thousands of Uyghur workers in China are being relocated in an effort to assimilate Muslims, documents show

Chinese authorities have loaded large numbers of Uyghur workers onto trains bound for factories thousands of kilometres away as part of a plan to assimilate Muslim minorities into mainstream Chinese culture and thin their populations in Xinjiang, the northwestern region that has been their home for centuries, an internally circulated research document shows.

The documents show that, beneath China’s claims that it is seeking to combat poverty in Xinjiang, the government’s policies toward Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities are designed to sever them from their homes and traditional way of life, moulding them into state-approved members of the “Chinese nation.”

Read more:

China’s new demands for ‘national unity’ take the state deeper into Xinjiang homes

China denies the use of forced labour in this industrial park, but won’t let reporters visit. The Globe went anyway

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Contracts at Canadian-backed school program in Xinjiang bar teachers from all religious activities

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop


ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Canadian economy heats up, shrugs off second wave: The Canadian economy ended 2020 on a surprisingly good note and momentum is carrying into the new year, the latest evidence that growth is poised for a staggering rise in the coming months as pandemic restrictions are phased out.

Toronto, Vancouver home sales soar in February: Home sales in Toronto and Vancouver soared in February as the condo market rebounded and low interest rates continued to push up prices of detached houses in the suburbs. Sales in Canada’s two priciest real estate markets have been setting new monthly records during parts of the pandemic.

Also: CMHC to get new CEO as Evan Siddall steps down next month

Opinion: Konrad Yakabuski: Despite soaring housing market, Evan Siddall’s caution deserves praise

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Advocacy group for visually impaired Canadians says Ottawa’s application was inaccessible: An advocacy group for blind Canadians is accusing the federal government of negligence after the organization applied for a funding program to support people living with disabilities through an online process it says was not accessible to those with visual impairments.


MORNING MARKETS

World shares advance: Global shares gained on Wednesday, with European indexes echoing positive moves in Asia, as a retreat in U.S. Treasury yields fuelled demand for riskier assets and weakened the U.S. dollar. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 1.12 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.86 per cent and 0.83 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished up 0.51 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 2.7 per cent. New York futures were higher. The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.27 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Andrew Coyne: “For all Mr. O’Toole’s personal failings, the greatest part of the problem remains his persistent casting about on policy. If the Tories have failed to capitalize on the government’s growing unpopularity ... it is because the party has given people no positive reason to support it.”

Rob Carrick: “The fear of missing out, or FOMO, gets people agitated, and there’s an intolerance for anything that lags the great returns of the major stock indexes and particular market-leading stocks. In this kind of environment, it’s easy to fall victim to investing mistakes with long-term repercussions.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian Gable

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Staycation at these seven Canadian hotels opening this year

Miss the thrill of checking in, room-service breakfast or sinking into a perfectly made bed? This spring and summer, these new accommodations are hoping to lure Canadians to staycation downtown or head into the wild for off-the-grid luxury.

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MOMENT IN TIME: MARCH 3, 1847

Memorial status of Alexander Graham Bell was unveiled Saturday, June 18, 1949 at Brantford, Ontario, home town of the inventor of the telephone who died in 1922.

CP

Alexander Graham Bell is born

On this day in 1847, one of the world’s most important inventors was born in Edinburgh. Not given a middle name, he was 11 when he chose Graham after Alexander Graham, a Canadian family friend. He started inventing at 12 and became interested in acoustics because of his mother’s growing deafness. He moved with his parents to Brantford, Ont., where he learned the Mohawk language from the nearby Six Nations Reserve and translated its unwritten vocabulary into symbols for speech, and was made an honorary chief. He began to spend time teaching the deaf in Boston, where one of his students was Helen Keller. His words “Mr. Watson. Come here. I want to see you,” uttered in the first telephone call 29 years later, became part of history. He demonstrated the device to Queen Victoria, and one of the first home phones was owned by Emperor Pedro II of Brazil. A prodigious inventor, he experimented with composting toilets, capturing water from the air and the possibility of using solar panels to heat houses. He developed metal detectors, hydrofoils and the photophone, a precursor to fibre optics. He died in 1922 at Beinn Bhreagh, his home of 35 years on Cape Breton Island. Graeme Harris

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