October 16, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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‘This is a milestone’: 1st dose COVID-19 vaccine reaches St. John’s, 1 new case announced

'This is a milestone': 1st dose COVID-19 vaccine reaches St. John's, 1 new case announced

They wore masks, but it was easy to see smiles from Premier Andrew Fury and Health Minister John Hoggie, wearing matching neon yellow jackets with reflector tape, as they were on hand to see the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday morning in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Finally! It’s been a long time,” Hogg said as he watched unloading doses at St. John’s International Airport.

The two walked to the plane that carried the container containing the vaccine out of the plane onto the conveyor belt.

“That plane represents 2021 hope,” Fury said in a video posted to the Premier Twitter account.

“It’s a milestone. A lot of people have been waiting a long time for this,” Hoggie said.

Fury said the Pfizer-Bioentech vaccine will begin being given on Wednesday. The province received 1,950 doses, which means 975 people are currently vaccinated.

The Pfizer-Bioentech vaccine needs to be stored at very low temperatures in a specially designed freezer. The province has two freezers and two orders, but the first consignment is limited to delivery from the manufacturer’s point of view – the Center for Health Sciences in St. John’s.

1 new case of COVID-19

As the highlight of Tuesday’s significant delivery, the province also announced a new case of COVID-19.

The case involved a man between the ages of 20 and 39 in the Eastern Health Region. Information released by the Department of Health that his illness was related to travel. This man is not a resident of Newfoundland and Labrador, and came to the province from Europe for work.

According to the Department of Health, the province now has 20 active cases of COVID-19, with three recoveries since Monday’s update.

The department said no one was hospitalized due to the virus and 67,745 people had been tested to date. The total number of cases in the province since March is 359.

2nd vaccine near Health Canada approval

Just two hours before the first dose of the Pfizer-BioTech vaccine arrived in the NL, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced at a news conference that he was a promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate from the Massachusetts-based Modena. Available in Canada By the end of the month, if the shot has received the necessary regulatory approvals.

Health Canada regulators are in the final stages of the review process for this vaccine. A final decision on the authority could come as early as this week.

Health Canada is in the final stages of a review process for a vaccine from Massachusetts-based Modena. (Dado Ruvik / Reuters)

If approved, Canada will receive 168,000 doses of the two-dose modarena vaccine before the end of December. Trudeau said deliveries will begin within 48 hours of Health Canada taking office.

Huggy said Monday that the modernna vaccine is “more stable”, meaning that it can survive outside at extremely low temperatures, unlike the Pfizer-Bioentech vaccine.

If it is approved or it becomes a “real boon” to rural and isolated communities, it makes its 30-day life outside the ultra-low freezer easy to move and store.

“My planning team, the vaccination team here, has not yet finalized arrangements, but the vibrations I’m getting from them is that when it comes down to it, it’s going to rural and isolated and indigenous countries first,” Hoggie said.

‘Many people have been waiting a long time for this to happen,’ said Health Minister John Huggy. (Andrew Fury / Twitter)

As for the roll-out timeline across the province, Chief Chief Medical Officer Dr Janice Fitzgerald maintained expectations Tuesday morning.

“We vaccinate well every year,” Fitzgerald said. “Before we get close to vaccinating a significant number of the population, it could be after the fall.”

Many provinces and cities around the world have granted media access to the first vaccines. The media in the province has repeatedly requested this, and Fury and Huggy say they are canceling the request.

“It increases people’s willingness to be vaccinated, dispels myths and resolves fears … then that’s definitely something we’re looking at,” Fury said.

Loneliness for returning students

As the winter holidays approached, Fitzgerald reiterated the rules for post-secondary students returning to Newfoundland and Labrador after exams.

Any student returning from the province must be alone for 14 days. “You have to be in a special place in the house,” she says. “You can not share common places with other members of your household.”

Ideally use a private bedroom and bathroom, and do not intrude into the kitchen for snacks – meals must be sent to the student bedroom door.

Bathrooms used by other household members need to be cleaned between uses. If there is not enough space in the residence to separate, the entire household will have to be separated for two weeks, Fitzgerald said.

“If people follow guidance and do what they can, risk [of transmission] Will be less, ”she said.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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