Pause of AstraZeneca vaccine affects local area
Ontario has paused the rollout and administration of first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to concerns over blood clots.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts says the decision was also based on the increasing mRNA vaccine supply such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
Within the health unit’s service area, 459 doses of AstraZeneca have been administered by primary care and just over 2,800 doses by local pharmacies.
The health unit says given the higher risk of COVID-19 infection and with the variants of concern being stronger and more transmissible, those who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine did the right thing to prevent severe illness and to protect themselves and their communities.
Health officials add additional details on second dose recommendations will be shared following further scientific review.
The Health Unit is encouraging those who are not yet immunized or fully immunized, to book an appointment to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to them.
Canada has seen 12 cases of the blood clots with three patients dying. There have been eight cases in Ontario.
or more information or if you have questions, please visit phsd.ca/COVID-19 or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).
Minister still pushing for AstraZeneca
Our province’s health minister says the AstraZeneca vaccine may still be administered as second shots for those who received it as their first inoculation.
The government had suspended the use of the vaccine for first shots, citing an increasing number of rare blood clots that can result.
But Christine Elliott says research from the U-K shows that risk drops substantially after the second dose is given.
Ontario is expecting to receive more than 250-thousand AstraZeneca doses next week, on top of about 50-thousand now being stored.
Elliott adds the government is still awaiting more research on whether they can mix vaccines between the first and second shots.
A look at the numbers …
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting nine new cases of COVID-19, eight in Greater Sudbury and one in the Sudbury District.
Considering resolved cases, there are 84 active cases in the agency’s jurisdiction.
Health Sciences North has 13 admitted patients with eight testing positive and five waiting for test results.
There are only two individuals in the intensive care unit.
And Algoma Public Health is reporting four new cases of COVID-19, all from Sault Ste. Marie and area.
Considering resolved cases, there are 24 active cases including two individuals in hospital.
Where did the money go
Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk says the Ford government has failed to properly track billions of dollars in pandemic spending.
Lysyk says most of the 26 programs she checked failed to report exactly when the funds they were allocated were actually paid out.
That includes the boost in pay for front-line workers and extra allocations to hospitals.
Not reporting the actual dates the money was spent, she says, means the government can’t make decisions on how well the programs have responded to the needs of the recipients.
It also leaves the door open for what she calls “inappropriate” payments.
Bereavement leave extended
Workers in federally-regulated industries will now be entitled to ten days bereavement leave, up from five, following unanimous passage of legislation in the Commons.
The bill, sponsored by Alberta Conservative MP Matt Jeneroux, now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Jeneroux says the current COVID-19 pandemic has shown Canadians need time to grieve the loss of a loved one….and the period currently allowed isn’t enough.