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Why the delta variant means some Canadians now more 'at risk' from COVID-19 

 

For fully vaccinated Canadians, normal life now feels within reach. But for those still waiting for a second dose — or skipping their COVID-19 shots entirely — this stretch may be among the most perilous points of the pandemic. 

That's because the months ahead are a transition period, unlike anything we've experienced yet. The good news: case counts are nearing rock-bottom even as restrictions are lifting. Still, the fast-spreading delta variant keeps sparking outbreaks and infecting those who aren't yet vaccinated.

Experts, from infectious diseases specialists to epidemiologists, tend to agree that getting more people fully vaccinated is key to keeping delta at bay and ensuring the variant doesn't further exacerbate inequalities seen throughout the pandemic.

"We vaccinate everyone, we get the severity lower ... then people who haven't been vaccinated, they're at risk," said epidemiologist Caroline Colijn, a Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematics for Evolution, Infection and Public Health at Simon Fraser University. "At a certain level, there's not a lot more to do."

What's crucial now, several experts told CBC News, is ensuring vaccines reach every Canadian who wants a shot, otherwise delta-driven outbreaks could have a ripple effect on the lives of even fully vaccinated residents.

"We have communal health resources, and if you knock down the health-care system, it's everybody's health-care system that gets knocked down," said epidemiologist David Fisman, a professor with the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health. "It's not like you have selective knocking down of health resources that would be allocated to unvaccinated people."

Raywat Deonandan, an epidemiologist and professor at the University of Ottawa, said it's unlikely that hospital networks would become overwhelmed at this point in the pandemic. But he noted that even milder infections can have long-lasting health impacts on individuals, prompting a need for all eligible adults — and eventually children — to get fully immunized as quickly as possible.

 
 

 

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Investing.com - U.S. stocks are seen opening sharply lower Thursday, falling back from record levels cautiously rebounding amid concern about global economic growth given a renewed surge in Covid cases just as the Federal Reserve starts thinking of tightening monetary policy.

At 7 AM ET (1100 GMT), the Dow Futurescontract was down 500 points, or 1.5%, S&P 500 Futures traded 60 points lower, down 1.4%, while Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 185 points, or 1.3%.

The broad-based S&P 500 closed Wednesday up 0.3% at an all-time high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average also gained 0.3%, or over 100 points, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed just higher, another record close.

However, concerns are growing again about the impact of the Covid-19 virus, and particularly the delta strain, on global economic growth. This follows the Tokyo region declaring a state of emergency, on the eve of the Olympic Games.

A number of Asian countries are struggling with new outbreaks, while the U.K. recorded over 30,000 new cases on Wednesday, for the first time since January.

“New outbreaks are still one of the biggest downside risks in terms of the sustained economic recovery moving forward,” Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the OECD, said Thursday.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/6/2021 at 6:51 AM, seeker said:

Your linked article is from March 2020.  Most recent thought is the exact opposite - that it was engineered in a lab. 

Given the "too perfect" nature of the virus I'd sure be surprised if it wasn't.

Personally, I've moved on from the question of origin to wondering if the release was accidental or not. It's an interesting question but somewhat academic IMO.... it's here now and I doubt it's ever going away.

In fact, given it's "head start" over naturally occurring species jumps (gain of function), it's likely destined to become much more virulent. The new strain is likely the beginning of woes and not the final chapter of a beaten virus begging for mercy. 

Vaccine efficacy and the benefits of previous exposure will likely fade in the near future and God forbid there should be long term complications (prion disease etc) from a vaccine that was quickly vanquish by the same science that created it.

Hopefully I'm just as wrong as those who would ridicule such thoughts believe them to be.

As for moving, I like the idea of a private island.... nothing elaborate, just enough raw materials to allow self sufficiency and reasonably remote. I've been to Sable many times and love it there.... something that's either in your DNA or not I guess.  I'm not too worried about internet connectivity either.... the existing one is currently facing the same afterlife experience as my cable hookup did. Cheers.

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Quebec's vaccination passport plan threatens to infringe on 'freedom of movement,' expert says

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Province could limit access to non-essential services and events to those who are vaccinated

The Quebec government may introduce COVID-19 vaccination passports in September that would give only people who are fully vaccinated access to non-essential services like gyms and cinemas if cases skyrocket once again.

Lockdown measures throughout the pandemic closed entertainment venues, bars and restaurants in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Pumping iron alongside strangers and dining with friends became a distant memory.

But if the virus starts spreading once again, vaccination passports would allow such businesses to stay open, the province announced on Thursday.

The policy is being discussed on a provincial, federal and international scale, with some countries already implementing similar measures. Quebec officials have been hinting at the passport plan for months.

Since the spring, the province has been issuing QR codes, or quick response codes, to vaccinated people. These codes can be scanned to pull up information about a person's vaccination status, although so far, the province has not provided anyone with the information to interpret the codes.

In Quebec, about 82 per cent of the eligible population in the province (age 12 and up) have received one dose of vaccine, and 40 per cent have received two doses. 

However, Quebecers in the 18 to 29 age range are lagging behind.

While the intention may be to encourage more people to get vaccinated before a fourth wave hits, Kerry Bowman, a bioethicist at the University of Toronto, says vaccine passports raise ethical concerns as they "absolutely come with an element of surveillance to them."

"Freedom of movement is really a fundamental democratic right," he said.

People's movement would be tracked, and that raises concerns about who has access to that data and how it is stored, said Bowman.

WATCH | Kerry Bowman explains why he is concerned about Quebec's plan:

 
Y_NORTHCOTT_KERRY_PASSPORT_frame_3365.jpccination passports come with 'element of surveillance,' bioethicist says
23 hours ago
1:34
While the Quebec government's intention may be to encourage more people to get vaccinated before a fourth wave hits, Kerry Bowman, a bioethicist at the University of Toronto, says vaccine passports raise ethical concerns as they 'absolutely come with an element of surveillance to them.' 1:34

He said it's also unclear how long these fundamental rights would be suspended. Some freedoms may not be retrievable once the pandemic ends, he warned.

Bowman said it's impossible to know what the epidemiological situation will be in September, and how many people will be vaccinated by then. 

"I see it as an erosion of a certain amount of freedom and liberty and is it justified? When I look at it from a risk-benefit analysis, we just don't have enough information at this point to be doing this," said Bowman.

Back in May, Canadian privacy commissioners issued a warning about vaccine passports, saying measures must be taken to ensure personal information is protected.

"While this may offer substantial public benefit, it is an encroachment on civil liberties that should be taken only after careful consideration," federal, provincial and territorial privacy commissioners and the ombudsperson's offices in Manitoba and New Brunswick said in a joint statement.

The statement went on to say, "Vaccine passports must be developed and implemented in compliance with applicable privacy laws."

Concerns over discrimination debated

But what about discrimination against those who refuse to get vaccinated or those who simply can't due to health reasons? 

Bowman said people who have a legitimate reason not to get vaccinated may find themselves answering uncomfortable questions at the entrance to a restaurant or gym.

Vardit Ravitsky, a bioethicist at the Université de Montréal, says the approach of introducing vaccine passports only in the event of an outbreak and to be used only for access to services deemed non-essential, is nuanced and non-discriminatory.

"When it's well targeted like that, so temporary and specific to a place or an activity, I don't think you can talk about discrimination," she said.

"It is a public health measure applied on a proportional basis, to prevent further human rights violations."

 
vardit.jpg
Vardit Ravitsky, a bioethicist at the Université de Montréal, says Quebec's plan to introduce vaccination passports in September makes sense. (Radio-Canada)

Ravitsky said it is an "extremely well justified" public health measure as it is focused on such a narrow field of non-essential services while vaccination proof will not be needed for essential services like grocery shopping.

Vaccination passports serve as incentive

The provincial government's plan gives people plenty of time to get full vaccinated before September, Ravitsky said.

Dr. Cécile Tremblay, a microbiologist and infectious diseases specialist at a major health-care network in Montreal, told Radio-Canada she believes using a vaccine passport can serve as an incentive for people who don't see vaccination as a priority.

As research also shows, Tremblay noted, one dose of vaccine is ineffective at preventing the spread of the more highly contagious delta variant. 

"We don't want people sick or to die, but we also don't want our health-care system to be overwhelmed, like it was in past waves," she said.

with files from CBC's Alison Northcott and Radio-Canada

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Without a clear strategy for containing the spread of COVID-19 as more of the country reopens, experts say Canada is destined to repeat the mistakes of the past by failing to protect our most vulnerable — which now includes the unvaccinated. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

 

COVID-19 now a 'disease of the unvaccinated' 


There's been much discussion about the last group of unvaccinated Canadians that need to be reached due to hesitancy or accessibility, but what is less often talked about is that they are not a single homogenous group — making them much harder to target.

"The issue is that getting the last 25 per cent is going to take us double the work than it took us to get the first 75 per cent vaccinated," said Sabina Vohra-Miller, a pharmacologist and science communicator with the South Asian Health Network. 

"There's a whole host of different reasons as to why they're not vaccinated. So, we kind of have to peel through the layers and each layer is going to take a very targeted, very focused effort to get to them."

Vohra-Miller says they could be homebound seniors or people with chronic medical conditions who are unable to access vaccination clinics, workers without paid sick leave, or those who are simply hesitant and would benefit from a conversation with their doctor.

Regardless, Chagla says COVID-19 is "now a disease of the unvaccinated" in Canada — one that previous protective measures won't address.

"Unfortunately the solution out there isn't going to be masking or physical distancing," he said. "It's going to be having antibodies in your blood."



The challenge now lies with the millions of unvaccinated Canadians who are now more at risk of COVID-19 than ever — despite hopes Canada can hit a goal of getting 80 per cent of our eligible population fully vaccinated.

"Unfortunately, for a 90 per cent efficacious vaccine, that's not going to be enough," Fisman said. "You have these pockets of vulnerability and you're going to have tremendous pressure to not lock things down again."

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam urged unvaccinated Canadians to get their shots now before colder months arrive to avoid anything like the devastating fall wave Canada experienced last year.

"We must keep the momentum up," she said during a press conference Thursday. "The best target to reach for, to get ahead of highly transmissible variants as we head for an indoors fall, is getting the highest possible vaccine coverage as quickly as possible."

But experts say simply encouraging unvaccinated Canadians to roll up their sleeves will only go so far, and keeping COVID levels low will require a targeted strategy.
 

Schools most 'susceptible' to spread of COVID-19


Children under the age of 12 now make up the single largest cohort of unvaccinated Canadians, due to their ineligibility to get vaccinated, and experts say they should be the first group to protect in the fall.

"Almost all the outbreaks are going to be among the school population, because that is the susceptible population," said Raywat Deonandan, an epidemiologist and associate professor at the University of Ottawa. 

"So we have to invest in ventilation, in small class sizes, in high-quality masks, and symptom checks and rapid tests for schools."

A new study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the use of both masking and HEPA air filters reduced the risk of COVID-19 exposure in a classroom-like environment by up to 90 per cent.

In addition to schools, Fisman says the same precautions can be used in other places at heightened risk of airborne spread of the virus — including office buildings, restaurants and bars — where masking is intermittent and people come into close contact indoors.

"We really need to figure out how to make those places safe," said Fisman. "Vaccines are a lot of it, but with the variants we're not going to have this thing disappear as I think many of us had hoped in the spring." 

 

Borders vulnerable to 'import' of variants


The importation of new and existing variants from countries around the world is another challenge for Canada's ability to control COVID-19 in the future — especially with pressure to reopen the U.S. border mounting

"We should look at border controls a bit more carefully," said Deonandan. "Even if we get it under control in Canada, it's raging around the world. We don't want to import cases."

Fisman says Canada's borders are another key vulnerability for the future, because of the repeated pattern of variants from abroad arriving in the country in the past — more than almost any other country in the world.

"The U.S. is less vaccinated than we are — they're probably going to be a variant factory come the fall," he said, adding that Canada needs to address its "leaky quarantine system."

"We need to be doing better on getting surveillance and coming up with smarter systems for actually doing proper quarantine and tracking people as they cross the border."

Fortunately, Canada is armed with an incredibly effective weapon against the importation of variants — vaccines — we just need to build a big enough border wall of immunity.

"The issue is that with travel, with reopening the borders, there are going to be people coming in with infections potentially as well," said Kwong.

"But as long as people here are vaccinated, then there's nowhere for the virus to go." 

Vaccine passports a potential 'carrot' in Canada


That's why experts say Canada is at the most critical point of its vaccine rollout, the final stretch, and we need to pull out all the stops to get shots in arms now.

"We really need to use every single carrot and stick available to us in a society like ours to encourage people to get vaccinated," said Fisman.

"That really means talking about selective access to things that people like to do, like concerts, like restaurants, and having possibly a different set of rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated people."

Manitoba became the first province to unveil a type of vaccine passport last month, by allowing fully vaccinated travellers to skip quarantine if they showed proof of vaccination. The federal government followed suit earlier this month for all travellers to Canada.

Now Quebec may go a step further, by requiring digital vaccine passports that would bar the unvaccinated from some non-essential services — such as gyms, team sports and theatres, for example — as early as September.

"If anyone knows anyone who hasn't been vaccinated yet, if you could just please beg them, urge them, do whatever you can to try to convince them to get one dose at least," Kwong said.

"It's about finding those people who haven't gotten their first dose yet whether it's because they have been nervous, haven't felt comfortable getting it or they just haven't been able to access the vaccine yet — it's time to really get on it."

With files from Lauren Pelley
 

 

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8 minutes ago, Kargokings said:

 

Without a clear strategy for containing the spread of COVID-19 as more of the country reopens, experts say Canada is destined to repeat the mistakes of the past by failing to protect our most vulnerable — which now includes the unvaccinated. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

 

 

Canada is not failing to protect the most vulnerable.

Those who chose not to get vaccinated will have to live with the consequences of their choice.

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50 minutes ago, deicer said:

Canada is not failing to protect the most vulnerable.

Those who chose not to get vaccinated will have to live with the consequences of their choice.

 

Wrong, if they get the virus it will have fallow ground to mutate and then jump back to those of us who are vaccinated unless our current vaccination can handle the mutation.

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2 hours ago, Kargokings said:

 

Wrong, if they get the virus it will have fallow ground to mutate and then jump back to those of us who are vaccinated unless our current vaccination can handle the mutation.

Then those of us who follow the science will get a booster shot and those who refuse will still have to live with their decision.  If they live.

Just highlights the fact that we are being forced to suffer lockdowns and restrictions by those who won't follow science and are selfish.

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24 minutes ago, deicer said:

Then those of us who follow the science will get a booster shot and those who refuse will still have to live with their decision.  If they live.

Just highlights the fact that we are being forced to suffer lockdowns and restrictions by those who won't follow science and are selfish.

Perhaps but don't forget those who could receive the mutated virus but can not benefit from a vaccination (currently children under 12) but who can become infected. 

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4 hours ago, Kargokings said:

So, we kind of have to peel through the layers and each layer is going to take a very targeted, very focused effort to get to them."

Or maybe stop de-platforming contrary minded Phd's so we can hear their views.

Or, stop ridiculing those with science based questions about efficacy, lipids, pathogenic priming, spike protein toxicity, etc etc as anti-vaxxers. 

And don't post a bunch of stuff I can find too.... re-platform the de-platformed if you want to get my attention.

Here's what ya do.....answer the bloody questions and do it politely.... or don't.

I'm no longer asking those questions (you lost me), I'm no longer searching for de-platformed expert opinion, and my GASF is fully depleted. So take your best shot, stop me from travelling.... maybe I'll rack up a few Christmas's at home. After all of the travelling I've done, I say where the hell have you been.... you could have forced me to stay home years ago, and I would have thanked you for it.

If this goes sideways, as it did for Gulf War Veterans, people will be singing a different tune and they will have to make it rhyme with smug arrogance.

Edited by Wolfhunter
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18 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

Or maybe stop de-platforming contrary minded Phd's so we can hear their views.

Or, stop ridiculing those with science based questions about efficacy, lipids, pathogenic priming, spike protein toxicity, etc etc as anti-vaxxers. 

And don't post a bunch of stuff I can find too.... re-platform the de-platformed if you want to get my attention.

Here's what ya do.....answer the bloody questions and do it politely.... or don't.

I'm no longer asking those questions (you lost me), I'm no longer searching for de-platformed expert opinion, and my GASF is fully depleted. So take your best shot, stop me from travelling.... maybe I'll rack up a few Christmas's at home eh?

If this goes sideways, as it did for Gulf War Veterans, people will be singing a different tune and they will have to make it rhyme with smug arrogance.

You do seem to be getting frustrated with those who don't agree with you so perhaps, so as to avoid that, you can simply chose to ignore the posters who bother you by selecting that option.  Too Easy?????

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Majority of COVID-19 victims were very old and had serious health problems: StatsCan

By
 Candice Malcolm
 -
July 14, 2021
 
 
 

Most of the people who died from COVID-19 in Canada were over the age of 85 and had dementia, Alzheimer’s, chronic heart disease and other pre-existing “cardiovascular and respiratory conditions,” according to a shocking new report from the federal government.

Nine in ten deaths had a secondary cause listed on the death certificate. 

The Statistics Canada report, released July 6, found that 94% of all Canadians who died of COVID-19 in 2020 were seniors older than 65. Of those, more than half were over 85 years of age, and the majority were residents of long-term care homes. 

This led the report to conclude that those who died from COVID-19 “may have been at a high risk of dying over this period regardless of the pandemic.”

COVID-19 was not the only cause of death. 

“Of the 15,300 people who died of COVID-19 between March and December 2020, nearly 9 in 10 had at least one other health condition or complication or another cause listed on the death certificate. Dementia or Alzheimer’s was listed on the death certificate of 36% of COVID-19 death certificates and was particularly common among those age 65 or older.”

Screen-Shot-2021-07-14-at-2.37.01-PM.png

The report, entitled Briefing on the Impact of COVID-19 on Seniors, was prepared by researchers at Statistics Canada and was presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources and Skill Development. It was first reported by Blacklock’s Reporter.  

The report looked at both COVID-19 deaths and as well as excess deaths that occurred in 2020. 

Screen-Shot-2021-07-14-at-2.38.12-PM.png

Excess deaths are described as the increase in the number of overall deaths in Canada relative to data from past years. 

These deaths are the result of both the disease itself as well as the second and third order impacts of the lockdowns, including things like cancelled surgeries, undiagnosed diseases and diseases of despair such as suicide, drug overdoses, alcohol poisoning and so on. 

While 94% of COVID-19 deaths were seniors, only 70% of all excess deaths were among those over 65. That means that 30% of excess deaths were among working-aged adults 64 years and younger versus 6% of only COVID-19 deaths. 

This report focuses primarily on seniors, so no analysis or further details were provided to explain this large discrepancy. The report does, however, suggest that the lockdown and resulting difficulties for working-aged Canadians were significantly worse than the disease itself. 

For instance, the report shows that seniors 65 and older were the least likely age category to report having difficulties with their financial situation, with fewer than 15% saying the pandemic had a moderate or major impact. 

Screen-Shot-2021-07-14-at-2.39.40-PM.png

Compare this to upwards of 30% for Canadians aged 35 to 44, and nearly 30% for those aged 25-34. 

Similarly, older Canadians were the most likely to report being in very good or excellent mental health, with nearly 70% reporting positive mental health. Compare this with the category of Canadians aged 18 to 34 years old, where more than 50% reported negative mental health.

Screen-Shot-2021-07-14-at-2.40.22-PM.png

A recent report from the Sick Kids hospital found that a staggering 70% of teenagers reported symptoms of depression as a result of the pandemic and lockdowns. 

While many provinces are starting to reopen, Canadians have been victims to some of the strictest public health orders in the world, rivaling communist countries like China and Cuba. 

The True North Provincial Freedom Score found that Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Ontario were the most locked-down provinces in the country when taking into account business closures, school openings, in-person dining and nearly a dozen other variables.

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24 and 25 years old, from different parts of the country, and life irreversibly changed.  

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/horrific-2-unvaccinated-covid-patients-require-lung-transplant-partial-lung-n1274102

'Horrific': 2 unvaccinated Covid patients require lung transplant, partial lung removal

"I just don't want anyone else to go through this": The family of one of the men speaks out to encourage people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The families of two unvaccinated men who underwent major lung surgery after they contracted the coronavirus are encouraging others to get the shots and re-evaluating their own vaccine hesitancy.

A 24-year-old Georgia man who was hesitant about getting vaccinated against Covid-19 underwent a double lung transplant after months in the hospital battling the virus. His mother urges people to protect themselves and get the shots.

 

"I just don't want anyone else to go through this. It's horrific," the woman, Cheryl Bargatze Nuclo, told NBC affiliate WXIA of Atlanta. "It's not worth all the pain it's going to cause you and your family."

Blake Bargatze, Nuclo's son, has been hospitalized since April after he contracted the coronavirus at an indoor concert in Florida. She told WXIA that days before the show, she had talked with him about getting vaccinated.

"He wanted to wait until it was out for, like, 10 years or so, kind of like a lot of the population wants it to be out longer," she said.

After he attended the concert, Bargatze got sick and was taken to a hospital in Florida. As his situation became dire, the family had him transferred to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta so he could be placed on an ECMO machine. The device pumps and oxygenates a person's blood outside the body, giving the lungs and the heart a chance to rest.

Nuclo said the machine wasn't enough to help her son recover, so he was moved to the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, where he was placed on the lung transplant list. She told WXIA that her son was in such bad shape that he was moved to the top of the list.

In June, he underwent a double lung transplant.

"He wanted the chance, he wanted to live, so we did whatever we could to have that happen for him," she told the station.

Nuclo and her husband couldn't immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Days before the surgery, Bargatze got a Covid vaccination. His brother and a cousin also got the shots after they saw what he has gone through, Nuclo told WXIA.

 

A family in Ohio is going through a similar situation. Janelle Janatowski of Toledo said her 25-year-old son has been hospitalized for three months after he contracted the coronavirus at work.

Over the past several months, her son, Marcus Hartford, has undergone three operations, one of them to remove part of his right lung, Janatowski said in a phone interview Thursday. After having spent 81 days on an ECMO machine, he was finally removed from it on Tuesday.

Hartford remains on a ventilator and may have to undergo a double lung transplant if his left lung isn't able to do the work of the right one.

"He's finally moving his arms more, and he did some leg squats. They have a bed ... and they put the patient on there, and it slides up and down, and they can help him do squats to get his legs stronger so he is able to stand and eventually walk again," she said.

"He had a very long road, but he's hanging in there," she said.

Hartford got sick at the beginning of April after a group of people held a birthday party at the restaurant he was working at, Janatowski said.

She said her son, an award-winning executive chef in Ohio, was recruited to help the restaurant reopen after it had been closed for months because of the pandemic. He had been on the job for only about three months when he got sick.

"He just happened to be the one that got it really bad," she said, noting that he had no previous medical conditions and didn't drink or smoke.

"I still feel like this is surreal," she said, "like I'm living in a dream."

Janatowski said her son hadn't discussed getting vaccinated because his age group had become eligible only about a week before he got the virus.

Janatowski, who battled the virus herself after she got it from her son, said that she was initially hesitant about getting the shots but that she is reconsidering. Family members and close friends have also decided to get vaccinated.

Health officials across the country have been warning that young, unvaccinated people are being hospitalized for Covid-19 — and at times admitted to intensive care — at alarming rates.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, slightly fewer than half of people in the U.S. ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 39 are fully vaccinated. The number is even lower for children 12 to 18.

Many officials are urging young people to get vaccinated as soon as they can.

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'Pandemic of the unvaccinated': COVID-19 deaths up 26% over previous week in U.S.

 

The delta variant of COVID-19 is now the dominant strain worldwide and is driving a surge of deaths around the United States, almost entirely among unvaccinated people, U.S. officials said Friday.

Cases of COVID-19 are up 70 per cent over the previous week, and deaths are up 26 per cent, with most of the surge occurring in counties with below-average vaccination rates, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said during a press briefing.

"This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated," she said.

According to the officials, four states account for 40 per cent of the rise in cases, with Florida alone accounting for one in every five new national cases over the past week.

Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana and Nevada were also cited as states that have seen significant increases in cases.

The rates of vaccination are considerable for those 65 and older, but the federal health officials are urging young adults to get their shots. 

Meanwhile, the uptick in cases is leading some jurisdictions to reconsider their indoor mask mandates, including Los Angeles County, which will reinstate masks indoors this coming weekend.

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Good Afternoon All:

The hyperlink is taken from BBC and finally some good news on Canada's COVID-19 vaccine roll out. In case counts there seems to be a correlation between vaccine doses and case counts i.e. the vaccine count is in the ascendency with the opposite in case counts.

From this guy who has been double vaccinated my most sincere thank you for those who have followed the science and have been vaccinated.

Canada's vaccination rate overtakes US - BBC News

 

Canada's vaccination rate overtakes US

Published

59 minutes ago

 

Canada has overtaken the US in second dose vaccination rates, after months of lagging behind its southern neighbour.

As of 16 July, 48.45% of Canadians are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, compared with 48.05% of Americans.

If Canada's vaccine progress continues it may open its border to US travellers after a 16-month closure, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this week.

In the US, a levelling-off of vaccine rates comes amid a concerning increase in Covid-19 cases.

President Joe Biden failed to meet a self-set target of 70% of adults vaccinated by the 4 July holiday weekend. About 68% of Americans aged 18 and older have received at least one shot.

The White House and local governments have turned to both creative solutions and celebrity guest stars in an effort to counter vaccine hesitancy.

Michigan, Ohio and California are among the states offering cash lotteries for residents who get the jab. Pop superstar Olivia Rodrigo made an appearance at the White House this week to promote vaccinations among young people, and Nascar will host a vaccine drive this weekend.

The push for vaccines is now taking on added urgency, as infections increase in every state, driven by a surge in variants. Still, case numbers remain dramatically lower than in winter when they were at the peak.

In Canada, too, vaccine rates have slowed in recent weeks, after a steep upswing beginning in late March.

Two of Canada's northern territories - Yukon and the Northwest Territories - lead the country with roughly 75% and 72% of residents vaccinated, respectively.

The uptick in vaccines has been met with a steady drop in Covid-19 cases. After a steep third wave this spring, Canada reported around 3,000 infections this week - a low not seen since last summer.

With roughly 80% of eligible Canadians protected by at least one dose, Mr Trudeau said on Thursday that the country expects to begin allowing fully vaccinated US citizens and permanent residents into Canada as of mid-August for non-essential travel, and international travellers in September.

Canada has curbed almost all non-essential travel by foreigners since March 2020. Mr Trudeau has faced growing pressure to show his plans for reopening the US-Canada border.

Of G20 countries, Canada is now at the head of the pack in vaccination rates. Worldwide, it is hovering around the 15th spot for percentage of the population fully vaccinated, with the US just behind, according to the New York Times global tracker.

 

 

 

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Coronavirus: Italy brings in Covid certificate amid spike in infections - BBC News

Italy is introducing a mandatory Covid vaccination certificate from 6 August, the latest country in Europe to announce such a scheme.

The move will allow those aged 12 and over who have received at least one jab to access a range of venues, including indoor restaurants, cinemas and gyms.

However, after disagreements within the governing coalition, the pass will not be needed for transport.

The virus is surging again in Italy, driven by the delta variant.

The number of new cases doubled over the past week, with more than 5,000 infections reported on Thursday.

About half of Italians are now fully vaccinated - but the summer holiday season is dissuading some to turn up for their appointments, says the BBC's Mark Lowen, in Rome.

Italy has confirmed more than 4.3 million infections since the start of the outbreak, with nearly 128,000 Covid-related deaths.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has condemned right-wing politicians who have discouraged young people from being jabbed.

He said it was as "a call for people to die".

 

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