The COVID REPORT for October 27-2021

Vaccinations for children

An expert panel at the U-S Food and Drug Administration is recommending that children between the ages of five and 11 be allowed to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The panel says the benefits far outweigh the risks.

The FDA’s board is expected to make a final decision within days.

The proposal to administer the reduced dosage then goes on to the Centres for Disease Control next week for consideration.

Health Canada, which closely monitors the decisions made in the U-S, hasn’t set a deadline for its ruling.


Vaccinations and health care workers

Premier Doug Ford says he’s still waiting for input from hospitals before he decides whether all health care workers in the province should be immunized againstCOVID-19 despite setting October 19th as a deadline for comments.

Ford is concerned that too many staff will refuse to get vaccinated and that would lead to staffing shortages that would affect the already hard-pressed health care sector.

Most hospitals in the province have already instituted tougher vaccination policies than required by the province.

But the Premier says he’s especially concerned about facilities in smaller communities, where vaccination rates are lower than the provincial average.


Vaccinations and education staff

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says as many as 50-thousand education workers could lose their jobs if mandatory vaccinations are imposed.

Lecce says that would complicate an already-tight staffing situation in our schools.

The minister says the government has to be realistic about the situation adding he feels that being tested twice a week should allow non-vaccinated staff to continue working safely.

More than 85 per cent of school staff across the province say they’re fully inoculated.


Inspectors for long-term care

The province plans to double the number of inspectors to check Ontario’s long-term care homes.

Long-Term Care Minister Rod Phillips says there will be 193 inspectors on duty by next fall a ratio of one inspector for every two homes and they’ll be empowered to lay charges immediately if they
find violations.

Phillips adds he’ll soon introduce legislation that will also strengthen residents’ rights and provide for more serious penalties for infractions.

Three years ago, the province scaled back the inspection process sending out inspectors mainly when complaints were filed.

Opposition leaders say it’s about time that long-term care protections were stepped up.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath says, in light of the heavy toll caused by COVID-19 among long-term care residents, the inspections should never have been reduced in the first place.

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