Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Monday

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization says the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine should be limited to people 30 years of age and older who don't want to wait for a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna dose.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney slams people who attended weekend rodeo, promises to bring in stricter measures

A box containing vials of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization on Monday recommended its use be limited to people 30 and over who do not want to wait for an mRNA vaccine. (Virginia Mayo/The Associated Press)

The latest:

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization says the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine should be limited to people 30 years of age and older who don't want to wait for a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna dose.

The advice is almost identical to that issued for the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine last month and comes as both are suspected of causing a new and very rare blood-clotting syndrome.

Health officials recommend individuals make a decision about what vaccine to take based on the risk level of becoming infected with COVID-19, maintaining that the benefits of all the vaccines are greater than the risks. 

"That is very much dependent on where one lives and the type of activity one does where one lives," said committee vice-chair Dr. Shelley Deeks.

But Deeks called the mRNA shots — Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna — the "preferred" choices. 

"If someone is working from home, not really going out, in a province or territory where there is not much disease, then they're in a very different situation than somebody that works in a manufacturing plant, has difficulty wearing PPE and is in a province that has a very high burden of disease."

WATCH | NACI vice-chair addresses confusion over safety of J&J shot: 

Vaccine advisory group says Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines are the preferred type

12 days ago
Dr. Shelley Deeks of NACI discussed with reporters the merits of receiving one type of COVID-19 vaccine over another. 2:32

Canada has received about 300,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. About two million Canadians have already received the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine. 

NACI's message on Monday sparked anger from some doctors on Twitter. "With due respect to NACI, there should be no 'preferred vaccines' for COVID-19," wrote Dr. Abdu Sharkawy.

"It pains me to say this," wrote Dr. Brian Goldman, "but it's past time to take NACI recommendations with a grain of salt." 

-From The Canadian Press and CBC News, last updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 8:15 p.m. ET on Monday, Canada had reported 1,243,257 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 83,548 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 24,342.  

WATCH | Stronger health measures on the way for Alberta:

More restrictions on the way for Alberta

CBC News

11 days ago
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced further public health measures to curb rising COVID-19 case counts. Details of the measures are to be released on May 4. 0:27

The Alberta government shut down the legislature for two weeks in an effort to curb the rampant spread of the coronavirus, reporting 2,012 new cases on Monday along with four new deaths. 

A weekend rodeo, billed as an anti-lockdown event, attracted hundreds of people, even as case numbers in the province soar. Alberta Health Services is investigating to determine what legal options it may have.

Dr. James Talbot, the province's former chief medical officer of health, says even though the rodeo was outdoors, it will likely prove to be a super-spreader event. 

WATCH | Talbot fears rodeo's consequences:

Alberta doctor fears the consequences of a weekend rodeo

CBC News

12 days ago
Dr. James Talbot, Alberta's former chief medical officer of health, says he is sad for all the people who will suffer as a result of the weekend rodeo held near Bowden, while cases in the province are at their highest levels since the pandemic began. 0:36

Premier Jason Kenney said Monday he was dismayed by the rodeo. "That event was organized by people who simply don't care," he said. "They don't care or are somehow choosing to ignore the hundreds of their fellow Albertans in hospital and intensive care beds right now, battling this disease and in some cases fighting for their lives." 

He said that he can't believe that there are people who are so openly flaunting the rules. "Given the issues we saw this weekend and the record-high cases reporting, we are developing a package of stronger public health measures, which I expect to announce tomorrow.

"If you choose to ignore the [public health] restrictions that have been put in place," Kenney said, "just know that you are setting everyone back." 

WATCH | Kenney slams rodeo organizers, attendees: 

Alberta premier 'angered' at anti-lockdown rodeo

CBC News

11 days ago
Acknowledging the gathering was not sponsored by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, Kenney berated the organizers of the event, calling them 'people who simply don't care.' 1:02

He also announced Monday that Alberta teachers, child-care workers and support staff will soon be allowed to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments as of Tuesday. 

Several other provinces also expanded vaccine eligibility on Monday. 

Manitoba, which reported 251 new cases of COVID-19 Monday and one additional deathexpanded vaccine access to all Indigenous people 18 and over, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit — a move that comes as several provinces, including hard-hit Ontario, expand vaccine eligibility.

Prior to that, vaccines had only been available in Manitoba to First Nations people over the age of 30. Health officials said more vaccines are arriving in the province, and case numbers have been higher among Indigenous people.

In Ontario, residents 18 and older living in 114 hot-spot neighbourhoods were able to start reserving appointments as of Monday. This week and next, the province will send half of its vaccine supply to the hot spots, based on recommendations from the government's science advisers.

The province on Monday reported 3,436 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 additional deaths. The Health Ministry said 1,925 people are in hospital with the disease but noted that more than 10 per cent of hospitals did not submit data over the weekend. The number of people in intensive care units with COVID-related illness stood at 889.

In Quebec, where officials on Monday reported 798 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths, vaccination eligibility was expanded to include people aged 45 and up.

WATCH | Nova Scotia adapts testing strategy amid spike:

Nova Scotia adapts testing strategy amid COVID-19 spike

The National

12 days ago
As COVID-19 cases hit triple digits in Nova Scotia, the province adapted its widespread testing strategy. 2:06

Nova Scotia, which reported 146 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, expanded its criteria to allow people between the ages of 50 and 54 to book appointments for mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. 

Across the North, Iqaluit declared a local state of emergency on Monday, following confirmation of community transmission of COVID-19. Coun. Kyle Sheppard urged residents to follow the territory's public health measures. He called Iqaluit's situation "serious." Nunavut reported eight new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. 

The Northwest Territories reported six new cases on Monday, though all schools in Yellowknife have been closed after eight cases were confirmed at an elementary school over the weekend. The chief public health officer for the Northwest Territories, Dr. Kami Kandola, said there are also 12 probable cases connected to one school and that most of those infected are children.

Yukon reported one new case.  

Newfoundland and Labrador on Monday reported four new cases of COVID-19, as well as one additional case on a cargo ship.

Health officials in New Brunswick reported 15 new cases on Monday, along with one more death. The province has 142 active reported COVID-19 cases and six patients in hospital with the disease, including two in ICU.

Prince Edward Island had no new cases.

Saskatchewan reported 207 new cases and three additional deaths on Monday. The provincial government says it is sending 100 ventilators to India to assist as that country deals with the highest active COVID-19 case count in the world since the pandemic began. 

"Those ultimately will go to good use in saving lives in India," said Premier Scott Moe. "We freed up as many as we could in short order.... It's Saskatchewan first, but where we do have surplus ventilators, we are going to provide those." 

Saskatchewan says its excess supply of ventilators includes more than 700 critical care, subacute and non-invasive ventilators.

British Columbia reported 2,174 new cases and 15 additional deaths on Monday — a number that includes confirmed case counts from Saturday and Sunday. The province's top doctor says the province is starting to consider how it would reduce the 16-week interval between first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine with supply increasing in the coming weeks. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said B.C. expects to receive a million doses of vaccine this month, and the immunization program will ramp up accordingly.

-From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated at 7:00 p.m. ET

What's happening around the world

WATCH | Badly needed medical supplies arrive in India:

Badly needed medical supplies arrive in India

The National

12 days ago
Planeloads of oxygen and other medical supplies have arrived in India to support the country’s overwhelmed health-care system. Meanwhile, frustration builds about the low vaccination rate and how the government has handled the COVID-19 crisis. 2:02

As of Monday afternoon, more than 153 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a case-tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 3.2 million.

In the Asia-Pacific region, India's daily vaccinations have fallen sharply from an all-time high reached early last month as domestic companies struggle to boost supplies and imports are limited, even as the country fights the world's worst coronavirus crisis.

India reported 368,147 new coronavirus cases and 3,417 deaths on Monday — numbers that experts believe are vast undercounts because of a widespread lack of testing and incomplete reporting.

The Health Ministry says it has confirmed 19.9 million COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, behind only the United States, which has counted more than 32.4 million. It says more than 218,000 people have died.

On Monday, 24 COVID-19 patients died at a government-run hospital in the southern state of Karnataka amid reports of an oxygen shortage. It was unclear how many died due to a lack of oxygen, but the chief minister ordered an investigation.

Doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared at a one-day pop-up vaccination clinic at the Muslim Neighbour Nexus Mosque, in Mississauga, Ont., on April 29. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has been severely criticized over its handling of the surge, which has pushed India's already fragile and underfunded health system to the brink. Massive election rallies organized by his Bharatiya Janata Party and other parties, as well as a giant Hindu festival on the banks of the Ganges, may have exacerbated the spread, experts said, noting that new variants could also be increasing cases.

Modi's party on Sunday suffered a resounding election defeat in a key state, West Bengal, failing to dislodge its firebrand chief minister, Mamata Banerjee. It retained power in northeastern Assam state but lost in two southern states.

In Europe, Bavarian officials on Monday cancelled Oktoberfest festivities for a second year in a row due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, saying there are too many risks in hosting the celebrations — which bring in visitors from around the world — during a global pandemic. Germany is in the middle of a coronavirus lockdown that includes a ban on large gatherings, with an infection rate of 146.9 new weekly infections per 100,000 residents.

Britain, meanwhile, is on course to ditch on June 21 the physical-distancing rule that means people need to stay at least one metre apart, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

In the Americas, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 245 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, with more than 104 million people listed as fully vaccinated.

In Africa, South Africa received its first batch of the Pfizer vaccine when 325,260 doses arrived at the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, officials confirmed Monday. A sample of the doses will be tested for quality control before they are distributed around the country. Several more deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

In the Middle East, Iran's reported COVID-19 case numbers stood at more than 2.5 million, with more than 72,400 recorded deaths.

-From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 12:05 p.m. ET

Have questions about this story? We're answering as many as we can in the comments.

With files from CBC News, The Associated Press and Reuters

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