Toronto’s top doctor says she expects COVID-19 vaccinations approved and offered for young children within weeks

Toronto expects the COVID-19 vaccine to be approved and offered to children aged 5 to 11 within weeks, says public health chief Dr. Eileen de Villa.De Villa told reporters Wednesday her department is launching a multi-pronged campaign to get as many kids immunized as quickly as possible, including an online “tool kit” with vaccine information for parents, guardians and caregivers.The kit includes information about the benefits and risks of children getting the jab, she said, adding that in general the vaccine’s protection for kids and adults around them against COVID-19 far outweigh any risk of side-effects.Parents are already comfortable with kids getting mandatory vaccinations for nine diseases to be able to attend school in Ontario, de Villa said, but social media posts have “clouded” the COVID-19 vaccine picture.“Community townhalls, telephone townhalls and parent information sessions will be offered in the coming weeks and we will continue to add resources for parents and physicians in the coming days,” she said.Toronto is also scouting locations to give kids the needles, with planned sites including schools, mass vaccination clinics already in use, community-based clinics, doctors’ offices and pharmacies.“We are really working together as that Team Toronto approach to make sure that vaccine is available in as many channels as possible and what makes sense for our community to get our young people vaccinated quickly,” de Villa said at a briefing.Some schools are comfortable with hosting a clinic during school hours, while others prefer after-school clinics, she said. Another challenge, compared to vaccinating adults, will be the fear some kids have of needles.Pfizer on Oct. 18 asked Health Canada to approve its COVID-19 vaccine known as Comirnaty for use in children aged 5 to 11. Health Canada had said it will prioritize review of the submission while maintaining high scientific standards for safety, efficacy and quality.Toronto’s campaign to vaccinate young children, after fully immunizing more than 2.3 million residents aged 12 and over, will take “us one step closer to the other side of this pandemic,” de Villa said.COVID-19 indicators for Toronto updated Wednesday suggest the city’s high vaccination rate is helping smother the pandemic’s fourth wave that started in July after lockdown restrictions were eased.The seven-day average for daily new infections dropped, as of last Saturday, to 69 — the sixth straight weekly drop since early September when the daily average was 156.Daily hospital admissions of people with COVID-19 have also dropped, while new intensive-care admissions and deaths have remained at pandemic lows.De Villa called the figures grounds for “cautious optimism,” noting in-class learning that resumed after Labour Day has not triggered a surge in new infections. But she cautioned that it’s too early to say if Thanksgiving weekend gatherings resulted in increased virus spread.Toronto also announced that anyone eligible for first, second or booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine can get immunized at pop-up clinics being held Thursday to Saturday, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., at six subway stations — Bathurst, Finch West, Islington, Kennedy, St. Clair West and Union.David Rider is the Star’s City Hall bureau chief and a reporter covering city hall and municipal politics. Follow him on Twitter: @dmrider

Toronto’s top doctor says she expects COVID-19 vaccinations approved and offered for young children within weeks

Toronto expects the COVID-19 vaccine to be approved and offered to children aged 5 to 11 within weeks, says public health chief Dr. Eileen de Villa.

De Villa told reporters Wednesday her department is launching a multi-pronged campaign to get as many kids immunized as quickly as possible, including an online “tool kit” with vaccine information for parents, guardians and caregivers.

The kit includes information about the benefits and risks of children getting the jab, she said, adding that in general the vaccine’s protection for kids and adults around them against COVID-19 far outweigh any risk of side-effects.

Parents are already comfortable with kids getting mandatory vaccinations for nine diseases to be able to attend school in Ontario, de Villa said, but social media posts have “clouded” the COVID-19 vaccine picture.

“Community townhalls, telephone townhalls and parent information sessions will be offered in the coming weeks and we will continue to add resources for parents and physicians in the coming days,” she said.

Toronto is also scouting locations to give kids the needles, with planned sites including schools, mass vaccination clinics already in use, community-based clinics, doctors’ offices and pharmacies.

“We are really working together as that Team Toronto approach to make sure that vaccine is available in as many channels as possible and what makes sense for our community to get our young people vaccinated quickly,” de Villa said at a briefing.

Some schools are comfortable with hosting a clinic during school hours, while others prefer after-school clinics, she said. Another challenge, compared to vaccinating adults, will be the fear some kids have of needles.

Pfizer on Oct. 18 asked Health Canada to approve its COVID-19 vaccine known as Comirnaty for use in children aged 5 to 11. Health Canada had said it will prioritize review of the submission while maintaining high scientific standards for safety, efficacy and quality.

Toronto’s campaign to vaccinate young children, after fully immunizing more than 2.3 million residents aged 12 and over, will take “us one step closer to the other side of this pandemic,” de Villa said.

COVID-19 indicators for Toronto updated Wednesday suggest the city’s high vaccination rate is helping smother the pandemic’s fourth wave that started in July after lockdown restrictions were eased.

The seven-day average for daily new infections dropped, as of last Saturday, to 69 — the sixth straight weekly drop since early September when the daily average was 156.

Daily hospital admissions of people with COVID-19 have also dropped, while new intensive-care admissions and deaths have remained at pandemic lows.

De Villa called the figures grounds for “cautious optimism,” noting in-class learning that resumed after Labour Day has not triggered a surge in new infections. But she cautioned that it’s too early to say if Thanksgiving weekend gatherings resulted in increased virus spread.

Toronto also announced that anyone eligible for first, second or booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine can get immunized at pop-up clinics being held Thursday to Saturday, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., at six subway stations — Bathurst, Finch West, Islington, Kennedy, St. Clair West and Union.

David Rider is the Star’s City Hall bureau chief and a reporter covering city hall and municipal politics. Follow him on Twitter: @dmrider

Source : Toronto Star More   

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Syracuse University Scholarship Established In Honor Of Late CBS2 Reporter Nina Kapur

CBS teamed up with Nina's alma mater, Syracuse University, along with her family, to establish the Nina Kapur Broadcast and Digital Journalism Scholarship.

Syracuse University Scholarship Established In Honor Of Late CBS2 Reporter Nina Kapur

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new scholarship has been established in honor of our late and beloved colleague and friend, Nina Kapur.

CBS teamed up with Nina’s alma mater, Syracuse University, along with her family, to establish the Nina Kapur Broadcast and Digital Journalism Scholarship.

The scholarship will provide financial assistance to journalism students at Syracuse’s Newhouse School.

READ MORE: CBS2 Marks One Year Since The Death Of Our Colleague And Friend, Reporter Nina Kapur

The school says it’s looking to continue Nina’s legacy by awarding students who have the same compassion and diverse perspective as she did.

Nina, a reporter here at CBS2, died in a moped accident in Brooklyn in July 2020. She was only 26.

Source : CBS News York More   

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