Health Care

Manitoba, three Atlantic provinces to start COVID-19 vaccinations

Manitoba, three Atlantic provinces to start COVID-19 vaccinations”

"We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic", said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a joint written statement Tuesday.

With some Canadians still nervous about the long-term effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, especially due to the speed at which it was created, one virologist is emphasizing that the vaccine has been "expedited, not fast-tracked".

Almost 140,000 people in the United Kingdom have received their first Covid-19 shots in the first week of roll-out of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, the minister in charge of the programme said today.

There are fears that poorer nations will be left behind. They said they are very familiar with the manufacturing materials and equipment needed to make vaccines based on their work with other drugmakers.

While Pfizer originally promised the government 100 million doses over the next few months - enough to vaccinate 50 million people - the government did not exercise an option to expand that deal up to 500 million shots. They said over half (51 per cent) of these doses will go to high income countries, which represent 14 per cent of the world's population, while low and middle income countries will potentially have the remainder, despite these comprising more than 85 per cent of the world's population. She said the final clinical data from the Massachusetts-based biotech company were received December 11, and the final data on the manufacturing process is expected before the end of the week.

Kindrachuk said that even post-vaccination, people will need to follow public health recommendations until transmission rates drop and show COVID-19 isn't circulating within the community.

More news: FDA OKs Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Home Test

The initiative is hoping to have two billion doses available by the end of 2021.

But neither the United States nor Russian Federation have so far joined the programme.

Jason Schwartz, at the Yale School of Public Health, said United States participation in coordination efforts would be "invaluable" in helping ensure people across the world have access to vaccines "that will ultimately help bring an end to this devastating global health crisis".

Both vaccines require two doses given three weeks apart. In the second study, researchers in China and the USA estimated target populations for whom vaccines would be required, to help guide development of fair and equitable allocation strategies across the globe.

The list of ingredients in the vaccine and more information can be found on the Government of Canada's website.

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