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Canada COVID-19: Ontario reports first AZ-related case of rare blood clotting; Tam sees signs of easing

21:25  23 april  2021
21:25  23 april  2021 Source:   ottawacitizen.com

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  Blood clot risks: Comparing COVID-19 vaccines with common medicines, travel and smoking The likelihood of getting blood clots from pregnancy, birth control pills and COVID-19 itself is higher than from the vaccines, experts say.On Tuesday, Canada reported its first case of a rare blood clot in a person who had received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

a man and a woman taking a selfie in a room: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is inoculated with AstraZeneca's vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a pharmacy in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada April 23, 2021.  © Provided by Ottawa Citizen Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is inoculated with AstraZeneca's vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a pharmacy in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada April 23, 2021.
  • Province reports 4,505 new cases and 34 COVID-19 related deaths
  • Ottawa sees 254 new cases, no new deaths
  • Canada signs deal for millions of vaccine boosters through 2023

Ontario has recorded its first case of rare blood clotting involving a male patient in his 60s who had recently received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“We have confirmed the first case of the rare blood clotting condition known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) in Ontario,” said chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams in a statement Friday morning.

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The man has received treatment and is recovering at home, Williams said, and said further details will not be publicly released to protect the patient’s privacy.

The case marks the fourth case of VITT in Canada, with more than 1.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine administered in Canada to date.

Williams said officials will “actively monitor the evolving situation,” and continue to monitor the safety of all approved COVID-19 vaccines.

“While these serious reactions remain extremely rare, we have a robust process in place to monitor for any adverse events and have taken steps to ensure that these events are identified and treated as quickly as possible,” Williams said.

The approved vaccines have been determined to be safe and effective by Health Canada, Williams said, and Ontario will continue to offer the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged 40 years and over.

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Meanwhile, pregnant women in Ontario are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine .

The province says the change is in light of new information showing women who are pregnant are at high risk of severe illness.

The health minister’s office says pregnant women are now considered among those with highest need for shots.

Ontario reported 4,505 cases of COVID-19 and 34 related deaths Friday.

There were 1,257 cases in Toronto, 1,232 in Peel, 412 in York and 224 in Durham.

Ontario’s hospitalization rates continue to surge, with 2,287 people now in hospital, with 818 in intensive care and 593 patients who require a ventilator.

In surrounding regions, there were 25 new cases in the Eastern Ontario public health unit, 12 in Hastings, 11 in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark and eight in Kingston. There was a net subtraction of one case in Renfrew County a day after 12 cases were identified.

There have been a total of 437,310 cases since the pandemic began and 7,863 related deaths.

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Ontario conducted 56,206 tests with a 8.8 per cent positivity, which is now trending up after showing some small declines this week.

Ontario administered 133,872 vaccine doses and has now administered 4,400,674 total doses.

Latest COVID-19 news in Ottawa

Ottawa Public Health reported 254 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Friday. There were no additional deaths.

There have been 22,940 total cases and 486 deaths since the pandemic began.

There are 119 more people hospitalized, with 27 people in ICU.

There was one new outbreak in a healthcare institution, for a total of 18, and two new community outbreaks, for a total of 21. Outbreaks at schools and day care facilities remain unchanged at 14.

The region’s rate of infections per 100,000 is 270, while the reproduction rate (Rt) dropped to 0.90, an indication that the virus may be slowing.

Meanwhile, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, Dr. Vera Etches, is in the queue for her AstraZeneca vaccination.

Mayor Jim Watson joined the line shortly afterwards.

Latest national COVID-19 news

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that Canada has signed an agreement with Pfizer-BioNTech to receive 35 million booster doses in 2022 and another 30 million the following year, with an option to purchase an additional 30 million booster shots during that time.

He noted nearly 14 million total doses of vaccine have now been distributed to the provinces and territories, with another two million doses arriving next week.

That will include the first 300,000 doss of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Around 30 per cent of eligible Canadians have now received at least one dose, Trudeau said.

Trudeau played down any concerns over “tainted” AstraZeneca doses that were identified in a Baltimore manufacturing plant, saying the doses that Canada received from the U.S. are not impacted.

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Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Canadian officials contacted the Maryland-based supplier and “ensured the supply to Canada was not affected by the issues that emerged at that (Baltimore) plant.”

Trudeau said he is “excited and confident” as he and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau are set to receive their first shots of AstraZeneca at an Ottawa pharmacy “around the corner” from his residence.

“There is absolutely no danger,” Trudeau said, “And no reason for anyone to be concerned.”

The PM said that suspending incoming passenger flights from India and Pakistan for the next month were necessary to keep Canadians safe.

The measure was  necessary because there has been a concerning surge of COVID-19 cases and the emergence of more variants of concern in some parts of the world.

Also, the federal health minister has said half of the people who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus after arriving in Canada by plane have come from India.

The new travel measures were announced yesterday following pressure from provincial leaders, who said not enough was being done to keep infectious variants out of the country.

The B. 1.617 variant that appears to be wreaking havoc in India has been detected in several provinces.

The travel measures also require people coming from India and Pakistan through indirect flights to get a negative COVID-19 test in the last place they landed before arriving in Canada.

Meanwhile, Canada’s chief public health officer says there’s been an increase of more than 200,000 COVID-19 cases since last month, but there are signs the epidemic is easing.

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Dr. Theresa Tam said there is a “tight race between vaccines and the variants” as average case counts have more than doubled over the past month, with upwards of 8,400 infections reported daily over the last week.

But Tam says there’s reason for hope due to Canada’s declining reproduction rate, which represents how many people are infected by each new case.

She says this measure has fallen below the key threshold of 1.0 for the first time in weeks, meaning the rate of transmission is trending downwards.

Tam credits this progress to the restrictions hard-hit provinces like Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec have implemented in recent weeks to contain the spread of more contagious variants of the virus.

The data suggest these variants of concern make up more than half of recently reported infections.

Meanwhile, the vaccination campaign continues apace, with nearly 30 per cent of Canadian adults having received at least one dose.

Variants of concern continue to spread, however, with more than 78,000 confirmed cases involving one of the variants of concern.

The B.1.1.7 strain accounts for more than 95 per cent of those cases.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu received her first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Thunder Bay, Ont. on Friday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau were set to receive their first shots in Ottawa later in the day.

Latest COVID-19 news from Quebec

Quebec reported 1,043 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.

In addition, 15 more deaths were reported. Six of them occurred in the last 24 hours. Seven deaths were recorded between April 16 and 21, and two deaths before April 16.

There have been 341,645 confirmed cases and 10,845 deaths since the pandemic began.

The number of hospitalizations now stands at 684, a drop of 27. Of those patients, 172 are in intensive care, two fewer than the previous day.

COVID-19: 1 death, 71 cases in London-Middlesex as region records 10,000th case

  COVID-19: 1 death, 71 cases in London-Middlesex as region records 10,000th case Roughly 2,880 cases have been reported in London-Middlesex just since the month of April began, more than any other month of the pandemic. As of Tuesday, the region's rolling seven-day case average stands at 97, down from 115 the seven days previous. As of the week of April 11, 7.1 per cent of tests in London and Middlesex were coming back positive, down from 7.7 a week earlier, according to data released by MLHU last week.

There were 46,993 COVID-19 tests administered on Wednesday.

Health officials in the Outaouais reported Friday there has been an outbreak in acute care ward in the Pontiac Hospital in Shawville, with nine patients and fewer than five staff members infected. Increased infection control and testing measures are in effect and support teams are en route.

Quebec hit another daily record for COVID-19 vaccinations on Thursday, and the province’s health minister says it is halfway to its June 24 vaccination goal.

The province administered 88,000 shots, surpassing the 85,000 vaccinations a day earlier.

Health Minister Christian Dubé said on Twitter the province has now delivered 2.6 million first doses — 50 per cent of the goal of getting 5.3 million adults their first shot by the Fête nationale holiday.

COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination in Ottawa

Updated information on COVID-19 testing: www.ottawatestingupdate.ca/

Ontario vaccination portal: covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine

Provincial call centre: 1-888-999-6488. The Vaccine Information Line is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is capable of providing assistance in 300 languages.

Vaccine eligibility in Ottawa: Vaccine eligibility screening tool, from Ottawa Public Health https://vers.powerappsportals.com/en-US/

To find a pharmacy vaccine: Eligible adults aged 40 and over who are interested in getting vaccinated via pharmacy can visit ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccin e to find a participating locations. Contact the pharmacy directly to ask if they’re offering appointments, walk-in vaccination or both.

-With files from The Canadian Press and Postmedia

Related

COVID-19: 1 death, 71 cases in London-Middlesex as region records 10,000th case .
Roughly 2,880 cases have been reported in London-Middlesex just since the month of April began, more than any other month of the pandemic. As of Tuesday, the region's rolling seven-day case average stands at 97, down from 115 the seven days previous. As of the week of April 11, 7.1 per cent of tests in London and Middlesex were coming back positive, down from 7.7 a week earlier, according to data released by MLHU last week.

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