Toronto hopes to start immunizing young school-aged children in ‘the coming weeks’: official – .

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Ontario Reports Nearly 300 New School-Linked Coronavirus Cases; the active total exceeds 1000 – .


Toronto’s top doctor expresses optimism that Health Canada will approve the Pfizer vaccine for use in children as young as five in “the coming weeks” and when it does, she says the city will be ready to launch a “multi-pronged campaign” aimed at ensuring that as many school-age children as possible are immunized.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Eileen de Villa made the comment during a briefing on Wednesday as she discussed the launch of a new toolkit that will provide parents with information about the vaccine and its potential side effects, as well as tips on how to deal with the importance of vaccination with their children.

The City is also planning several public meetings and information sessions for parents to be held in the coming weeks.

“It is widely accepted that children do not experience COVID-19 the same way adults do. In general, this is true, but it is not guaranteed. Alberta Health recently released figures showing intensive care admissions of children with COVID-19 in Alberta increased by 23%. This is the reality with COVID-19. If you give it the opportunity and you are not protected, the virus will take this opportunity to infect whether you are younger or older, ”said de Villa. “So if you have a child who will become eligible for vaccination in the coming weeks, please get them vaccinated. You protect them, you protect yourself and your family, and you protect grandparents and the elderly who might get sick and be at risk. “

Pfizer formally asked Health Canada to approve its vaccine for use in children aged five to 11 earlier this week, although it is not yet known how long it will take to be cleared for use. emergency could happen.

De Villa said the city has been planning to administer vaccines to young children for several weeks now and is currently focusing on ensuring parents “have information to support conversations and decision-making within their own homes.” .

But she said once the vaccine is approved for use in the age cohort, the city will quickly make it available through “as many channels as possible,” including school clinics.

“There are active conversations with our school board partners and the schools themselves. Some are quite open to the possibility of organizing clinics during the day and this depends in part on the physical layout and logistics of the school. Others have indicated that their preference for their unique situation and the needs of their community will be more like after-school clinics, ”she said. “So it will be a variable, but it’s not just about school clinics. We talked about clinics available in doctor’s offices, vaccines available in pharmacies, certainly in our mass vaccination clinics and in community and / or mobile clinics as well.

Over 100 new school-related cases

The city’s efforts to plan for the ultimate rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for the approximately 200,000 Toronto children aged five to 11 come as the Ontario school continues to report dozens of new laboratory-confirmed infections each day.

The Education Ministry says there were 107 new school-related cases confirmed in a 24-hour period ending Tuesday afternoon, including 85 student cases and 22 staff cases.

The seven-day moving average now stands at 82, down from 90 at this point last week and 122 the week before.

With the latest cases, there are now 1,148 active laboratory-confirmed infections associated with the Ontario school system, representing about one-third of Ontario’s overall caseload.

This is the lowest number since September 21.

The number of schools with at least one active case is also declining and now stands at 592. At the same time last week, there were 704 schools with at least one active case.

Meanwhile, Greenholme Junior Middle School in Etobicoke is currently the only school in Ontario closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak after nine schools closed last week.

It should be noted that a count by CP24 reveals that at least 137 cohorts of individual classes in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) have switched to distance learning due to a positive case.

The total number of cases associated with schools since the start of the school year also remains well above the rate the province has seen so far in 2020 – 3,899 compared to 1,569.

But unlike October, 2020 cases now appear to be on the decline after increasing rapidly in the first few weeks of September.

Schools, however, still represent a disproportionate number of all outbreaks.

Of the 40 outbreaks currently reported by Toronto Public Health to date, more than half are occurring in daycares (two) or schools (19).

Toronto Public Health says it also has 99 active investigations underway in schools.

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