Phase one of COVID-19 vaccine rollout to include First Nations communities

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People are tested for COVID-19 at a drive-thru site in Parker, Colo., on Wednesday.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 572,982 cases of COVID-19, including 15,472 deaths reported in Canada.

Retired Gen. Rick Hillier, who is leading Ontario's vaccine program, said the decision to close clinics over Christmas Day and Boxing Day was the wrong one.

Health officials also report three more people have died, one of whom was in their 30s. Vaccines will not be mandatory, but people will be strongly encouraged to get vaccinated during this phase. It is common to look for ways to cope during periods of uncertainty, but I continue to be concerned about the potential risks of increased alcohol use during COVID-19.

"The COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force developed this framework to ensure that its feedback and recommendations are consistently guided by fundamentally important ethical values like equity, fairness and transparency", said Dr. Smith. "That's the bulk of Ontarians who we believe are both eligible to take the vaccine and who will want to take the vaccine".

Alberta says it has administered its first Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Health officials are also reporting 62 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

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Lizzie Toberty, a GP spokeswoman for DAUK, warned the intervention "undermined the vaccine programme as a whole". Researchers said that the finding of 90% efficacy for the low-dose/high-dose regime needed more investigation.

The rollout comes on the heels of news that almost 4,500 new infections were logged in Ontario over two days (1,939 on Monday and 2,553 on Tuesday). It was first identified in the United Kingdom and the province is calling for rapid testing at airports.

The World Health Organization is urging countries to help fill a funding gap of $4.3 billion to help buy COVID-19 vaccines for poor- and middle-income countries. Health Canada approved the vaccines after independent and thorough scientific reviews for safety, effectiveness and quality.

Also, a hospital in London, Ont., declared itself free of COVID-19 outbreaks after 23 deaths and more than 150 infections.

Hillier said more than 14,000 people in Ontario had received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot as of Tuesday morning.

It will guide vaccine prioritization.

Ontario will enter Phase 3 when vaccines are more widely available to everyone who wishes to be immunized.

Quebec says that over the next few weeks it will instead use all the vaccines it receives to inoculate as many priority groups as possible.

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