Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world Oct. 26
Tens of thousands would lose jobs if Ontario mandated vaccinations in education, minister says
- U.S. health advisers have endorsed kid-size doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for younger children.
- Booster shots to be available to all British Columbians by May 2022.
- Nunavut returns to zero active COVID-19 cases.
- Saskatchewan medical health officers plead with health minister for increased COVID-19 restrictions in letter.
- Track how many people have been given the COVID-19 vaccine across Canada.
Ontario's education minister says 50,000 people could lose their jobs if the province mandated COVID-19 vaccines for education workers.
Responding to the NDP in question period today, Stephen Lecce said such a policy would mean pink slips for tens of thousands of educators when Ontario already faces staffing challenges.
He says any unvaccinated staff member has to provide proof of a negative test to enter a school.
The government says the 50,000 figure includes education workers who are unvaccinated or won't disclose their status.
Earlier this month Lecce said about 80 per cent of school staff have attested to being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Some school boards, such as the Toronto District School Board and some hospitals, have enacted tougher policies that include possible termination.
-From The Canadian Press, last updated at 4:40 p.m. ET
What's happening across Canada
'Complacency, convenience, conspiracy': Rural Albertans overrepresented in hospitals.
Nova Scotia bans protests that block access to hospitals
N.W.T. set to launch community-based COVID-19 screening program.
Manitoba couple launches defamation suit over Facebook posts criticizing their support of COVID-19 rules.
Saskatchewan continues sending COVID-19 patients to Ontario, with transfer total to hit 19 Wednesday.
Union files grievance over Yukon government's mandatory vaccine policy.
He's had 3 COVID-19 shots. So why does he have to isolate before seeing his Canadian grandkids?
Vax Pass enforcement in P.E.I. to get stiffer beginning next week,
Every Toronto public school to get access to take-home PCR tests by end of week.
Group of federal employees launch fight against vaccine mandate.
N.B. 'clarifies' 100% vaccination rate calculations.
What's happening around the world
As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 244.3 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus case-tracking tool. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.9 million.
Moderna said Tuesday that it will make up to 110 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine available to African countries. According to the announcement, Moderna is prepared to deliver the first 15 million doses by the end of this year, with 35 million in the first quarter of 2022 and up to 60 million in the second quarter.
The company said "all doses are offered at Moderna's lowest tiered price" and called it "the first step in our long-term partnership with the African Union." Africa and its 1.3 billion people remain the least-vaccinated region of the world against COVID-19, with just over five per cent fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Senegal and Rwanda have signed an agreement with German company BioNTech for the construction of its first start-to-finish factories to make messenger RNA vaccines in Africa.
BioNTech, which developed the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, said Tuesday that construction will start in mid-2022. It is working with the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal's capital, and the Rwandan government, a statement said.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Cambodia's government has announced plans to reopen the country in several stages to fully vaccinated foreign tourists starting from the end of this month. The Tourism Ministry said the program will allow visitors who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus to skip being quarantined if they stay at least five days in designated areas. The first such areas are two seaside provinces, Sihanoukville and Koh Kong, on the Gulf of Thailand.
On arrival, visitors must show proof they have been vaccinated and take a rapid results test for COVID-19. They can proceed without quarantine if the results are negative. Siem Reap province, home to the famous Angkor temples, is to be added to the quarantine-free province list in January.
In the Middle East on Monday, health officials reported 7,516 new cases of COVID-19 and 140 additional deaths.
In Europe, the European Union's drug regulator said it has concluded in its review that Moderna's COVID-19 booster vaccine may be given to people aged 18 years and above, at least six months after the second dose.
In the Americas, Venezuela reopened public schools and universities, which serve more than 11 million students, though some schools remained closed for repairs or because of lack of staff.
-From Reuters, The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated at 2:09 p.m. ET