Vaccine Update – 21 April

At her first media “scrum”, Dr. Natalie Bocking, the new HKPR Medical Officer of Health, provided a comprehensive update on what is being done to cope with the pandemic.  A good part of the statistical data she provided is available online at the HKPR DHU website (That’s the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit web site) but she also provided additional details about variants, vaccines, demographics, clinics, vaccine distribution and appointment availability.  It was open to the media and local media people did ask some questions. This report will provide a summary of information provided but in the interest of transparency, the one hour session was recorded on You-Tube and is available via links below. If you have the time, you can see and hear the source information.

Statistics

  • In this region, 13 to 14% of cases are variants compared to the Province where the number is 69%.  To know which variant it is requires additional longer testing and this is not always done.  But historically, it has been the UK variant.
  • In the last 2 weeks, 30% of cases have been in people less than 20 years old.
  • The crude rate of infection is around 65 to 89 cases per 100K population.  This would put us in a red zone.
  • There are now fewer outbreaks in Long Term care homes (they’ve been mostly vaccinated).  In fact most cases are now in the community generally and not outbreaks.
  • The Test positivity rate is now just over 3% and while this is higher than previously, it’s less than the Provincial average of around 10%.
  • New case activity appears to have plateaued; but let’s not celebrate just yet.

Vaccines

Dr. Lynn Bocking
Dr. Lynn Bocking

Four type of vaccines have been approved:

  • Pfizer – mRNA type
  • Moderna – mRNA type
  • Astrazenica – non-replicating viral vector type
  • Johnson & Johnson – non-replicating viral vector

Only the first three are available in Ontario.  The number of vaccines administered in the region is given on this web site – it’s updated weekly on Mondays.  Currently that number is 41,156 although because some get shots outside the region, the number who have received shots in this region is about 51K.  That is, about 27% have already received one dose.

Vaccine Distribution

There are four ways vaccines are being distributed

  1. Mass vaccination clinics like the CCC.  These focus on demographics defined by age and all appointments are booked on the Provincial system.
  2. Mobile teams who aim at vulnerable groups living in places like Retirement homes.
  3. Pharmacies – currently there are 22 in the region.  Of these, I count 3 in Cobourg (for links and details, see Vaccine page here).  Pharmacies are distributing the Astrazenica vaccine.  When asked about its safety, Dr. Bocking said it was safe and the remote chance of a blood clot (1 in 100K to 250k) was a whole lot less than the danger of the virus.  When asked, she said she’d be willing to be vaccinated with it.
  4. Family Health Teams – an example in Cobourg is the Northumberland Family Health Team – I believe these are also distributing Astrazenica vaccine.

But we are currently not receiving enough vaccine supply so next week, the only people getting vaccinated will be some via the mobile team.  You currently cannot make an appointment on the Provincial system at the CCC since the region only adds appointment slots to the schedule when vaccine delivery is confirmed. But try again in a week. More supply is expected in mid-May.  It’s hoped that the mass vaccination clinics will then be able to operate at full capacity which has not been the case recently.

Some of the shortage is because we are not in a hot-spot.  80% of cases are in 20% of locations so extra vaccine is diverted there.

Questions – highlights

Q. Why are Golf courses (etc) closed?
A.  There were cases of gatherings at these locations and gatherings are a problem.

Q.  What additional measures could be taken?
A.  A good report was issued by the “Science Advisory Table” – see link and report headings below.

Q.  Are there any statistics on which groups are most affected?
A.   Currently, only 14% of cases are associated with outbreaks.  Most cases are general community transmission.
Dr. Bocking commented that 29% of the population in the region is over 65 and they have not all been vaccinated.  The Province expanded eligibility before these were all given their shots – we don’t have enough vaccine to keep up.

Q.  What is the best way to organize administering vaccines – there was a lineup at Shopper’s Drug last Saturday – is that optimum?
A.  The best way requires minimizing exposure including with masks, spacing etc.  Pharmacies are expected to make sure of this.

Q.  If someone goes to one Pharmacy for their first shot, can they go to another for their second?
A.  Yes.  All doses are recorded in a central database so each Pharmacy will know what a patient has received. 
No-one asked if the second shot could be a different type from the first.  I believe that question has not yet been resolved.

The media sessions are scheduled weekly on Wednesdays so you should see weekly updates similar to the above from all local media sources.  The intent is to also stream them on You-Tube.  This week’s event is available at the link below.

Update from NHH

Separately, Linda Davis, President and CEO of Northumberland Hills Hospital has said that NHH will be ramping-down on non-urgent surgeries. They have also accepted transfers (less than 10 so far) of patients from GTA hospitals in overcapacity situations.  She reported that NHH does have some ICU capacity but human resource capacity is “perhaps our most significant challenge”.  NHH is currently restricting visitors with only essential visitors permitted.  That is: patients who are palliative or end-of-life; a support for a delivering mother; a parent/guardian of a child; or, a caregiver deemed essential for an individual with a specific need, at the discretion of the care team. (more re visitors here)

Links

Highlights of statistics and other information are provided complete with daily updates at Cobourg News Blog Pages here.

Referenced Sources

What will Work

  • Essential workplaces, only
  • Paying essential workers to stay home when they are sick, exposed or need time to get vaccinated
  • Accelerating the vaccination of essential workers and those who live in hot spots
  • Limiting mobility: Focusing on public health guidance that works
  • Keeping people safely connected

What will not work

  • Policies that harm or neglect racialized, marginalized and other vulnerable populations will not be effective
  • As noted in repeated studies from around the world, inconsistent policies with no clear link to scientific evidence are ineffective in fighting COVID-19.
  • Policies that discourage safe outdoor activity will not control COVID-19

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A Concerned Citizen
23 April 2021 5:34 pm

A group of 9 doctors is calling on Premier Ford and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams to “join a multidisciplinary team in an open academic discussion, to be held publicly, about the events surrounding Ontario’s pandemic response over the last year and into the future.” The list of Doctors is as follows: Dr. H. C. Tenenbaum (Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto), Dr. B. A. Mallard (Professor of Immunogenetics, Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph), Dr. B. W. Bridle (Associate Professor of Viral Immunology, Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph), Dr. M Palmer (Associate Professor of Biochemistry, University of Waterloo), Dr. P.E Alexander (Assistant Professor of Health Research Methodology, Evidence-Based-Medicine, Department of Health Research, McMaster University), Dr. D. Decunha (Clinical and Chief Psychologist, Psychology Works, Toronto), Dr. P. Oldfield (PhD, Independent Scientific/Regulatory Consultant, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry), Dr. L Rapson (Assistant Professor Department of Family and Community Medicine U of Toronto), Dr. I. Bernstein (B.Sc., M.D., C.C.F.P., F.C.F.P., Lecturer, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto). Topics of discussionThe letter calling out the Premier to a debate says the “topics we want to cover include, but are not limited to” followed by a list of 7 questions. Some of those questions were: What are the actual dangers of SARS-COV-2 by age? What is the rationale for the current vaccine roll-out and alteration to the manufacturers recommended vaccination protocols? What controls are in place to limit the number of cycles used in performing PCR tests to 30 cycles to avoid undue false positives inflating the cases reported? How effective are stringent population-wide restrictions and are they the best response given the collateral damage? Why are early multidrug treatment measures proven to be highly effective not being… Read more »

Gerinator
23 April 2021 12:20 pm

What nonsense below – anti-anythingers, blame it entirely on the politicians, Teachers Fund having investment in China – Balderdash and stuff not fit for this blog. Politicians are reluctant to blame it on specific citizens that are selfish, entitled & don’t care about the general good; or blame specific firms that insist on essential workers crowded into tight, unprotected environments and finally blame specific politicians who let the economy lobby dictate the recovery process of a Public Health problem. Now we have the Asian community complaining about the shutdown of flights/citizens from India and Pakistan. Based on our learnings to date and the covid facts coming from those areas this is an action targeting a locale, about 2 weeks late and it ISN’T race or ethnicity based. This is a similar, and lesser important action, to the closing of the CAN/US border (understanding that there are politics in the term ‘essential’).

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Gerinator
23 April 2021 12:30 pm

Teachers Fund having investment in China – Balderdash...”

China ‘absolutely necessary’ for Ontario Teachers’, CEO says | Financial Post
“China’s a long game from our perspective and while there’s always skirmishes of one kind or another, in the short term, we believe that it’s absolutely necessary to be there,” Ron Mock, CEO.

GailR
23 April 2021 11:15 am

Regarding the line up at Shoppers. I had been told about that. They will not make appointments. They didn’t in the fall either for flu shots. So we made appointments with the newish pharmacy in Metro. Went along at the appointed time, all worked smoothly. Unfortunately they do not seem to be getting Covid vaccines.
As far as the anti-lockdown protest is concerned – sigh. Well – if you want to see all the idiots in town they will all be neatly gathered together in one place when the convoy makes its stop here.

Senior who has had 1st jab
23 April 2021 10:12 am

Once again many thanks John for all this comprehensive and useful reporting – it is so helpful to have all the info and links in one spot for easy reference. Time consuming for you to prepare but ever such a good community service.

Wally Keeler
23 April 2021 8:50 am

Convoy – Toronto to Cobourg. No More Lockdown Protest (thelinecanada.com)
Toronto to Cobourg convoy

  •  Date: Saturday April 24, 2021
  •  Starting Location: 1380 Don Mills, Toronto 
  •  Departure Time:  11:00am (Be at the starting location by 10:30 am to prepare so we can leave on time by 11:00 am)
  •  Arrival Time: 12:00pm to the Cobourg protest. 55 King St. West, Cobourg, Victoria Hall
  •  Cars, Trucks and Motorcycles welcomed
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Wally Keeler
23 April 2021 10:01 am

COMING SOON to a town square near you https://youtu.be/6EP3dsxS_u8

Constance Mealing
Reply to  Wally Keeler
23 April 2021 12:15 pm

I hope the Cobourg police will take stronger action

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Constance Mealing
23 April 2021 12:32 pm

Stronger than ticketing? Such as?

Lemon Cake
Reply to  Constance Mealing
24 April 2021 8:13 am

I think Cobourg Police are doing as good a job as possible – they are making sure the protestors don’t get in the way of passers by and they are standing back so as not to make the situation worse. Not sure if arresting people at this point would help.

Ethel
Reply to  Wally Keeler
23 April 2021 1:24 pm

Stay in Toronto. Cobourg doesn’t want you here.

JimT
Reply to  Wally Keeler
24 April 2021 12:09 pm

Wally: please clarify – are you promoting this event, or warning us about it?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  JimT
24 April 2021 1:00 pm

Neither speculated motive; promoting nor warning. I am informing

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Wally Keeler
24 April 2021 9:04 pm

The planned demonstration seems to have been a bust. I passed through downtown (en route to Smors) mid-afternoon and there was only a single gentleman carrying a sign in front of Victoria Hall.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ken Strauss
24 April 2021 11:03 pm

Pete Fisher caught them in Vic Park https://www.facebook.com/TodaysNorthumberland/

Wally Keeler
23 April 2021 8:48 am

Ontario’s Largest Planned Demonstration – “No More Lockdown” (thelinecanada.com)

Toronto, Whitby, Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Cobourg, Barrie, TODAY’s CALL

Ken Strauss
22 April 2021 10:17 pm

Dr. Bocking commented that 29% of the population in the region is over 65 and they have not all been vaccinated.

It takes two shots for good immunity. How many in the Cobourg area, outside of LTC homes, have received two shots? Has anyone?

Runner 72
Reply to  Ken Strauss
23 April 2021 12:47 pm

Yes. Majority of snowbirds who went to Florida have two vaccinations

Lemon Cake
Reply to  Ken Strauss
24 April 2021 8:17 am

I don’t have 2 shots but I got my first yesterday at WalMart and I have an appointment for my second in July. Pharmacies are all booking the second appointments with the first shot.

Liz
Reply to  Ken Strauss
24 April 2021 11:03 pm

Ken – Myself and my partner todate have been unable to book a first vaccine either through the mass site or pharmacist. I have heard of others who were able to book but in Lindsay – must have tried at a magic time. Puzzled as I thought you were not supposed to leave your area to acquire the vaccine.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Liz
25 April 2021 9:22 am

My guess is that Cobourg’s allocation of vaccine is being diverted to priority areas such as Brampton and Thorncliff Park. We’re all in this together!

ben burd
22 April 2021 2:38 pm

What will Work

  • Essential workplaces, only
  • Paying essential workers to stay home when they are sick, exposed or need time to get vaccinated
  • Accelerating the vaccination of essential workers and those who live in hot spots
  • Limiting mobility: Focusing on public health guidance that works
  • Keeping people safely connected”

Obviously Mr. Ford did not write or suggest these recommendations and that is the problem. Bad political decisions have led us into this problem!

Reply to  ben burd
22 April 2021 3:50 pm

IMO, you may want to also blame JT. Most of his decisions throughout the pandemic have sucked! Also, HE did not act fast enough to bring in more vaccines and close our borders. Hopefully, he will be better prepared and be more willing to do what is necessary the next time this happens (IMO, there will be a next time…..sadly). I won’t hold my breath.

Informed
Reply to  Susie-Q
22 April 2021 4:11 pm

JT is reluctant to close the border in fear that he may offend other countries and be called a racist. He seems to worry about other countries a little too much at times. Ottawa recently sourced additional doses of AstraZeneca from India and likely explains why he wont limit flights coming in from India. My opinion…anyway.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Informed
23 April 2021 9:53 am

He’s “waiting his turn” to get the jab and still maintaining isolation etc.for over a year to date (even from his family),so taking the situation very seriously.

Jeffy
Reply to  Bill Thompson
23 April 2021 12:40 pm

He is isolated from his family because him and is wife are seperated.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Jeffy
23 April 2021 3:29 pm

Don’t remember reading /hearing about that in the media.When did that take place ? …

jimq26
Reply to  Bill Thompson
23 April 2021 9:19 pm

You won’t hear about her refusing to have him under the same roof as her and the kids because of the Liberal control of the paid media. There is proof of their separation though.

Constance Mealing
Reply to  jimq26
23 April 2021 10:27 pm

Where is this proof?

Conor
Reply to  Constance Mealing
25 April 2021 2:31 pm

These people don’t need proof when all they do is pick up the crap from the internet. They make up their own proof.

Mark
Reply to  Susie-Q
22 April 2021 7:33 pm

Where would Canada get more vaccines?
The whole world wants them.
We are getting our vaccines mostly from the EU, I don’t think I want vaccines from China or Russia, not sure about vaccines from the US https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/peeling-paint-debris-among-problems-found-at-u-s-plant-making-j-j-covid-19-vaccine-1.5396334
we are #3 in the G7 for giving out vaccines, more than Germany, France, Italy and Japan so we are getting more than a lot of other countries.

marya
Reply to  ben burd
23 April 2021 7:30 am

Bad political decisions were made years ago in Canada with the elimination of vaccine manufacturing, such as the closest one in Ontario- Connaught Laboratories. Yet, accounts of vaccine shortages are world-wide. The fact that there are two new types of vaccines in one year is truly amazing. Problems with two other vaccines are a result of haste.

Marie
Reply to  marya
23 April 2021 9:28 am

Yes and more bad decisions to partner with china (check google for so called sinovac deal), multi million Canadian investment results in ZERO benefits. Money would have been more helpful in developing vaccines with friendly partners on our shores…

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Marie
23 April 2021 9:44 am

And let us not forget that the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund is heavily invested in China.

Lemon Cake
Reply to  Wally Keeler
24 April 2021 8:18 am

So is CPP – will you be returning your cheques?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Lemon Cake
24 April 2021 8:33 am
Lemon Cake
Reply to  Wally Keeler
24 April 2021 6:23 pm

The CPP’s mandate is to invest your money for the most return possible with the least amount of risk. The fund is just shy of $500 billion. You might have lots of great stuff you’d like it to be invested in but at that scale it’s a bit like trying to park a 747 at Metro. All financial markets are interconnected – China also owns large amounts of our currency, our bonds and our companies. And vice versa. You can stuff your money under your mattress but that’s about it.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Lemon Cake
24 April 2021 7:25 pm

Yes, interconnected, but who is DOMINANT? The commies said that the capitalists will sell them all the rope they need to hang us. I am not so sanguine about it. Cuz I know how commies think.

Jeffy
Reply to  marya
23 April 2021 12:17 pm

Good article about that here. The Liberals have been actively trying to kill the industry for years.

Jeffy
Reply to  marya
23 April 2021 12:20 pm

Connaught Labs did NOT close, it just changed names. It is still making vaccines, including almost all the flu vaccines for Canada.

Last edited 6 months ago by Jeffy
marya
Reply to  Jeffy
23 April 2021 12:40 pm

Wow! Thanks, Jeffy! I shall have to look into that information about vaccines.

Eve
Reply to  Jeffy
23 April 2021 4:28 pm

In February Sanofi (owners of Connaught) announced no COVID vaccine in 2021. Here is the latest copied from their website. mRNA vaccine candidate: where do we stand?Sanofi and Translate Bio announced on March 12 the start of a phase 1/2 clinical trial for their mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

marya
Reply to  Eve
24 April 2021 6:24 am

Thanks, Eve! I did read about Sanofi a few months ago with what you described but I did not know of their transformation from Connaught Laboratories. Just think, CL took over the Vaccine Farm for Smallpox in 1885-1916 in Palmerston, Ontario, and today Palmerston is considered a place that “no one goes to.” Pity.

Gerinator
Reply to  ben burd
23 April 2021 3:10 pm

Don’t disagree BUT I would add that – Persons (and firms) taking responsibility to ensure their, and general population, safety and stop community spread. Without the foregoing none of the above will work.