Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reports 486 new cases, Quebec 679; New Zealand sets ‘Vaxathon’ jab record; Russia’s daily death toll exceeds 1,000
The latest coronavirus news from Canada and the world on Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
11:40 am: Quebec is reporting 679 new cases of COVID-19 and three other deaths attributed to the coronavirus. Authorities say the number of hospitalizations rose to 309, after 34 patients entered the hospital and 26 left. Seventy-eight patients were listed in intensive care, a drop of one.
Of the new cases today, 460 were among those considered not sufficiently vaccinated.
The province reports that 90 percent of the population aged 12 and over received a first dose and 86 percent received two.
10:20 am: Ontario is today reporting 486 new cases of COVID-19 and five more deaths.
The province says 329 of those cases involve people who are not fully vaccinated or have unknown vaccination status, and 157 are people who are fully vaccinated.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said there were 164 people in intensive care units with COVID-19, 18 of whom received both doses of the vaccine.
Of the 242 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 211 are not fully vaccinated or have unknown vaccination status and 31 are fully vaccinated.
The province says more than 22.2 million doses of the vaccine have been administered so far.
Almost 87.4 percent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have one dose and about 83 percent have two doses.
8h00: Russia’s daily death toll from COVID-19 has passed 1,000 for the first time as the country faces a sustained wave of growing infections.
The National Coronavirus Task Force on Saturday reported 1,002 deaths the day before, up from 999 on Friday, as well as 33,208 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, more than 1,000 more than the day before.
Authorities have attempted to speed up the pace of vaccination with lotteries, bonuses and other incentives, but widespread vaccine skepticism and conflicting signals from authorities have hampered efforts.
The government said this week that around 43 million Russians, or about 29 percent of the country’s nearly 146 million people, are fully immunized.
Despite the growing toll, the Kremlin has ruled out a new nationwide lockdown like the one at the start of the pandemic that severely damaged the economy, eroding President Vladimir Putin’s popularity. Instead, he delegated the power to enforce the coronavirus restrictions to regional authorities.
7:59 am: The COVID-19 vaccination rate is lower among employees in the state of California than among the general population of the state, according to data from the state’s Department of Human Resources.
Less than two-thirds of state officials – around 62% – were vaccinated as of October 7, according to preliminary figures provided by department spokeswoman Camille Travis. This compares to a rate of around 72% among all Californians, according to state data.
Employee data is incomplete, representing about 213,000 of the state’s 238,000 employees, Travis said. But the relatively low rate identified so far suggests that many workers have not been moved by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s July orders for workers to get vaccinated or undergo regular testing.
Several of the largest state departments have shared vaccination rates for their staff: 52% of California Highway Patrol workers, 60% of Department of Motor Vehicles workers, and 60% of prison workers have received the vaccines. Caltrans reports a higher rate, with 70% of its employees vaccinated against COVID-19.
7:58 am: Florida officials say it’s not just unvaccinated people who use Florida’s 25 monoclonal antibody treatment clinics.
About 45% of the more than 135,000 people who received COVID-19 treatment have been fully vaccinated, state officials estimate. In parts of the state with higher vaccination rates, such as Miami-Dade County, the percentage has reached 60%.
But should vaccinated people with breakthrough cases and mild symptoms receive treatment with monoclonal antibodies? The question of who should be given priority is the subject of debate in the medical community. The expensive drug cocktail is free for patients, but costs taxpayers about $ 2,100 a dose.
Patients should speak with their doctor, but people who are fully vaccinated and in good health do not benefit much from treatment if they develop a breakthrough case of COVID-19, said Michael Teng, a virologist at the University of South Florida. .
Although people can still get sick, COVID-19 vaccines have been very effective in protecting against serious illness and hospitalization, he said.
âMonoclonal antibodies are not going to add too much to this protection,â Teng said. âIf you are in a very high risk group and it has been a long time since you received your second dose of the vaccine, this may be something you need to discuss with your doctor, but usually it doesn’t. not really going to do much. for normal and healthy people.
Saturday 7:55 am: New Zealand health workers administered a record number of vaccines on Saturday as the nation hosted a festival to get more people vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Musicians, sports stars and celebrities participated in the “Vaxathon” event which was broadcast on television and online for eight straight hours. By late afternoon, more than 120,000 people had been vaccinated, eclipsing the daily record of 93,000 set in August. The event continued into the evening.
A throwback to the TV fundraising ‘telethon’ events that were popular from the 1970s to the 1990s, it comes as New Zealand faces its greatest threat since the start of the pandemic, with an outbreak of the disease. Delta variant spreading to the larger city of Auckland and beyond.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who spoke to motorists at a drive-thru vaccination center in Wellington, initially set a target of 100,000 injections for the day, but increased it to 150,000 after reaching the first target .
She also set a target of 25,000 shots for indigenous Maori, whose immunizations are lagging behind and who have been hit hard by the latest outbreak.
The national airline Air New Zealand has converted a Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane into a vaccination clinic for the day, issuing people with boarding passes on the “NZVAX flight”.
Singer Lorde came from overseas, saying she couldn’t wait to get home to give a concert and everyone is sweating and dancing.
“I’m the first person to admit that I find injections really disgusting, but since I was a kid I have really enjoyed going to the bakery after an injection, normally for a custard pie,” she said. . âSo you could do it. “
Read Friday’s coronavirus news.