Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on May 5
Alberta, Manitoba, B.C. and N.W.T. to offer Pfizer vaccine to kids following Health Canada approval
- Alberta, Manitoba, B.C. and Northwest Territories plan to offer Pfizer vaccine to kids 12 and up.
- Canada sending drugs and ventilators to India to help fight off COVID-19 surge.
- U.S. supports waiving intellectual property rules for COVID-19 vaccines.
- All Peel Region residents 18 and older can book COVID-19 vaccinations starting Thursday.
- Moderna booster increases antibodies against COVID-19 variants, early trials show.
- Ontario court tosses lawsuit claiming province's COVID-19 vaccination rollout was discriminatory.
- Health Canada says Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine can be used in children aged 12-15.
Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children 12 and older on Wednesday, prompting Alberta, Manitoba, B.C. and the Northwest Territories to announce they would offer the shot to kids in that age bracket as part of their efforts to rein in the COVID-19 virus.
The vaccine announcement comes after a promising trial out of the United States, which Health Canada's chief medical adviser said shows the shot is both safe and effective for children in that age group.
"It will also support the return to a more normal life for our children, who have had such a hard time over the past year," said Dr. Supriya Sharma.
The shot had previously only been approved for those aged 16 and up.
The American trial of more than 2,200 youth between the ages of 12 and 15, which used the same size doses and two-dose requirement as the vaccine for adults, recorded no cases of COVID-19 among vaccinated kids.
Sharma said about a fifth of all COVID-19 cases in Canada have occurred in kids and teens.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was the first to announce that starting on Monday, his hard-hit province would make vaccines available to everyone aged 12 and up.
Those born in 1991 and earlier can start booking their vaccines on Friday, while those born between 1992 and 2009 can make an appointment starting Monday.
The news comes the day after high rates of COVID-19 transmission in Alberta forced the closure of schools and resulted in tighter caps on outdoor gatherings and customer capacity in retail stores.
Manitoba followed suit on the Pfizer vaccine shortly after Alberta on Wednesday, saying it aims to make those 12 and up eligible to book a vaccine by May 21.
However, the medical lead of the province's vaccine effort said it hasn't yet been determined whether teenagers will be prioritized for immunization over older people.
In British Columbia, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province's immunization plan will include individuals as young as 12 after the Health Canada approval.
"We are absolutely planning on integrating that into our program," Henry said while adding many details are still being sorted out. "There's lots of possibilities, including making sure we can get that done prior to the end of school this year."
The Northwest Territories also announced that starting Thursday, it will offer the Pfizer vaccine to those aged 12 to 17 in Yellowknife — where there have been recent clusters of COVID-19 cases involving young people.
To date, the territory has been inoculating its residents solely with the Moderna vaccine, which is approved for those 18 years of age and older.
Meanwhile, in Ontario, officials said they were working on a plan to immunize children 12 and up.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said vaccines could be administered through schools, with both doses given before the next school year, but did not give a precise timeline.
-From The Canadian Press and CBC News, last updated at 6:30 p.m. ET
What's happening across Canada
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As of 6:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Canada had reported 1,257,321 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 81,658 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 24,450.
Ontario on Wednesday reported 2,941 new cases of COVID-19 and 44 additional deaths. Hospitalizations stood at 2,075, with 882 people in intensive care because of COVID-related illness.
In Quebec, meanwhile, health officials on Wednesday reported 915 new cases of COVID-19 and five additional deaths. COVID-19 hospitalizations stood at 588, with 152 people listed as being in intensive care.
In Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia reported a new daily high of 175 cases of COVID-19, up from the previous day's high of 153. The province is currently in a lockdown as it deals with rising cases.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported six new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, as health officials provided more detail on an expanded vaccine rollout.
In New Brunswick, health officials reported 11 new COVID-19 cases and one new death. They also reported the province's first death of a person who developed a rare blood clot after receiving the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.
Prince Edward Island reported no new cases.
Across the North, Nunavut on Wednesday reported five new cases of COVID-19, bringing the number of active cases in the territory to 82.
Health officials in Yukon reported one new case. They also announced that as of May 25, people who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days upon entering the territory.
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The Northwest Territories had not yet provided any additional information for the day.
In the Prairie provinces, Manitoba reported 272 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths on Wednesday. Saskatchewan reported 196 new cases and two more deaths.
A three-step plan to reopen Saskatchewan's economy is in the works, and Step 1 could be launched by the end of the month. Officials said three weeks after 70 per cent of residents aged 40 and up get their first shot, Step 1 goes into effect, with rules similar to what were in place last summer. The other two steps are also based on vaccination targets.
Alberta reported 2,271 new cases and three related deaths. Provincial data also showed 666 people were in hospital, with 146 in the ICU.
In British Columbia, health officials reported 572 new cases and no further deaths. There were 481 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19, including 161 in intensive care.
-From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated at 6:30 p.m. ET
What's happening around the world
As of Wednesday evening, more than 154.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been recorded around the world, according to a database maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 3.2 million.
In the Americas, experts are projecting that COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. will fall sharply by the end of July, according to research released by the government on Wednesday.
At the same time, they warned that a "substantial increase" in hospitalizations and deaths is possible if unvaccinated people do not follow basic precautions, such as wearing a mask and keeping their distance from others.
Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Broadway theatres can reopen Sept. 14. Theatres will be allowed to decide their own entry requirements, like whether people must prove they've been vaccinated to attend a show.
In the Asia-Pacific region, India accounted for nearly half of the COVID-19 cases reported worldwide last week, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, as the country's coronavirus deaths rose by a new high of 3,780 during the last 24 hours.
Daily infections also rose by 382,315, Health Ministry data showed, the 14th straight day of more than 300,000 cases.
Meanwhile, in Nepal, authorities extended a lockdown in the capital Kathmandu and surrounding districts by another week on Wednesday as the Himalayan nation recorded its highest daily tolls of COVID-19 infection and death.
Malaysia imposed movement restrictions in the capital Kuala Lumpur, adding to lockdowns that have been implemented across the country.
In the Middle East, Egypt is imposing new restrictions amid a spike in coronavirus cases, including banning all events, entertainment parties and other gatherings for two weeks, starting Thursday.
Iraq's health minister has resigned more than a week after a deadly fire ripped through a Baghdad hospital for coronavirus patients and killed dozens.
The United Arab Emirates has extended a ban on entry for travellers coming from India, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
In Europe, the medicines regulator said it has started a real-time review of Sinovac's vaccine, based on preliminary results from animal and human trials.
Poland offered to buy Johnson & Johnson vaccines from Denmark after Copenhagen excluded the shots from its vaccination program.
In Africa, a variant of COVID-19 first diagnosed in India has been detected in Kenya days after the same variant was detected in neighbouring Uganda.
Tanzania has suspended flights to and from India, the country's Health Ministry said.
-From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 6:30 p.m. ET
With files from CBC News, The Associated Press and Reuters