The COVID REPORT

Rolling out the vaccines …

Ontario’s mass vaccination program gets underway in earnest today, as the province opens its on-line and phone booking system.

As of today, those aged 80 and older will be able to register for their inoculations.

Retired general Rick Hillier, who’s in charge of the rollout, is confident the system will be able to handle the load, adding that more computer and telephone capacity will be added if necessary.

Hillier estimates the system will be able to handle almost ten-thousand calls an hour.

He says those aged 75 and older should be able to book their appointments starting early next month, as the province works down through the age brackets.

Premier Doug Ford says the province is ready to administer as many as 150-thousand vaccinations a day across the province once more doses arrive starting next month.

 

No evidence of causing blood clots

AstraZeneca says a review of its vaccine testing data shows no evidence that it’s responsible for blood clots in patients.

Several countries have stopped using the vaccine after several cases cropped up in Norway.

Health Canada says none of the small-batch under investigation was sent to Canada.

The national advisory panel on immunizations is still recommending the vaccine not be administered to those over 65 because there’s not enough evidence as to its effectiveness.

But that position could change.

 

Tam concerned about an uptick

Canada’s chief medical officer of health is expressing concern over the rising number of the more-contagious strains of COVID-19 now emerging.

Doctor Theresa Tam says coronavirus cases are starting to swing upwards across the country after several weeks of declining numbers.

Tam also says there have been rising infection rates in those between 20 and 39 years of age and increasing mobility allowed as provinces ease restrictions could lead to a spread into more vulnerable populations.

 

Quarantine hotels expanded

The federal government has expanded its list of quarantine hotels for those arriving home in Canada by air.

There are now 57 hotels listed at the four arrival cities more than double the number when the quarantine program was first announced late last month.

Some travellers arriving back home have complained they haven’t been able to book rooms at the authorized hotels.

The Public Health Agency is advising those who travel outside the country to make sure there are spaces available before they leave and to change their plans if there aren’t.

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