Ice accumulates on trees and on a clothes line in St. John's, NL.
Ice accumulates on trees and on a clothes line in St. John's, NL.
OTTAWA — Canada is scheduled to receive two million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week as provinces continue to ramp up their immunization efforts. The two million shots represent the only expected shipments in what should be a comparatively quiet week of vaccine arrivals after Moderna delivered one million doses ahead of schedule last week. The next shipment of Moderna jabs isn't due until next week, while the federal government has not said when Canada will receive more doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson vaccines. The arrival of more Pfizer-BioNTech shots comes as British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec are set to expand the list of people eligible for vaccines over the next seven days. The expansions are due largely to the steady supply of vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech, which are slated to deliver two million doses a week through the month of May before increasing the weekly figure to 2.4 million in June. Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military officer overseeing the federal government's vaccine distribution effort, said last week that Canada was expecting another 650,000 AstraZeneca shots from the COVAX initiative. The exact delivery schedule, however, has yet to be finalized. Canada has also been in negotiations with the United States for more AstraZeneca doses after President Joe Biden suggested last month that Washington may release some of its unused stockpile. Those talks come amid questions about the AstraZeneca shot, which has been linked to a new and very rare vaccine-induced blood clotting syndrome. Twelve cases had been confirmed in Canada after about two million doses given as of Friday. Three people have died. The AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines use a similar technology, while the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots use a new technology dubbed mRNA. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization last week recommended that Canadians who aren’t at high risk from COVID-19 may want to wait until a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna is available. That prompted allegations that NACI was sowing the seeds of confusion and vaccine hesitancy. Alberta and other parts of Canada remain mired in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as hospitalization rates have started to tick downward in provinces such as Ontario and Quebec. Many parts of the country face tight restrictions, with schools closed across Ontario and Alberta and patios shut down in Montreal, Toronto and — as of this Monday — Calgary. Provinces reported 265,509 new vaccinations administered on Sunday for a total of 15,917,555 doses given. Nationwide, 1,248,931 people or 3.3 per cent of the population had been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 41,999.627 per 100,000. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2021. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The debate over Newfoundland and Labrador's troubled, pandemic-delayed election moved to the courtroom today in the form of several challenges of results.Three former candidates have applied to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador to have the results in their ridings overturned, and one of them — NDP Leader Alison Coffin — is also seeking a judicial recount of her narrow loss.Coffin was defeated in the St. John's East-Quidi Vidi riding by just 53 votes and has asked that the ballots be recounted, alleging issues with the original count.She has also filed a separate application to have the results in her district overturned and a byelection called, as have former Progressive Conservative candidates Jim Lester and Sheila Fitzgerald.Lester lost his seat in the Mount Pearl North district by 109 votes and Fitzgerald lost the race in St. Barbe-L'Anse aux Meadows by 216 votes.The three applications to nullify results will be back in court at a later date, while Justice Donald Burrage said he will rule by Wednesday on the NDP arguments for a recount in Coffin's district.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2021. The Canadian Press
UPDATE, May 10, 2021: Victim identified in deadly afternoon shooting at Vancouver International Airport A 28-year-old man was shot and killed Sunday at Vancouver International Airport in what police believe was a gang-related killing. The shooting, which occurred mid-afternoon outside the departures terminal, was the latest in a spate of gang-related violence across B.C.'s Lower Mainland, police said. Sgt. Frank Jang with the Lower Mainland's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), said the victim was known to police. Richmond RCMP responded to reports of a shooting at around 3 p.m. local time. Police intercepted the getaway vehicle — an SUV — and were shot at by the suspects, who are still at large, said Jang. At a media briefing at the airport Sunday night, Jang and Chief Superintendent Will Ng, who is in charge of Richmond RCMP, said they're frustrated the latest violence occurred in a public area with innocent bystanders. "They will stop at nothing to target rivals, even if it's at an international airport in broad daylight on Mother's Day, and putting everyone at risk, including shooting at a police officer, which indicates to me these people have no care whatsoever," Ng said. Police called off car chase Added Jang: "There are just no further words, please don't kill one another, please stop the violence. "Enough is enough," he said. Officers weren't hurt when they were fired upon. They did not not fire back and stopped the pursuit because they were concerned people in the busy area would be hurt, Ng said. Police are looking for at least two suspects. An RCMP officer works at the scene after a shooting at Vancouver International Airport on Sunday.(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) There's been a string of shootings in Metro Vancouver over the last several days, including the murder of a prison corrections officer in the parking lot of a busy Delta, B.C., shopping mall. Delta's police chief said last week all police departments in B.C.'s Lower Mainland were working on the shootings. At the airport, traffic cones blocked off a section of the international and Canadian departure areas and police erected white screens in front of an entrance way. Inside the terminal, yellow police tape restricted the same doorway and most of the shops in the area were closed. On Sunday evening, the Vancouver Airport Authority said in a statement that the airport was open and safe for airport workers and those who need to travel. It said the safety and security of its employees, community and passengers remains its priority and it is fully co-operating with RCMP to support the investigation. The incident disrupted major traffic routes near the airport and police asked people to stay away from the area. Police say they are still searching for one or more suspects related to the shooting. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) The Alex Fraser and Queensborough bridges, as well as the Massey Tunnel, were temporarily closed but have since reopened, according to DriveBC. RCMP said it appears the airport shooting is connected to a burned-out vehicle that was found in nearby suburban Surrey, in the 9700 block of Princess Drive at 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Jang said police are looking for dashcam video from those who were in the area Sunday between the airport and the location where the vehicle was found on fire to help with their investigation. Both Jang and Ng called for a coordinated response between law enforcement agencies to solve the gang shootings and make arrests. Ng said police will use "next-level strategies," to target gang members, which include efforts to try and keep people from joining gangs. Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a statement on Twitter that the shooting was disturbing news. "My thoughts are with the communities in the Lower Mainland who have been impacted by gun and gang violence far too often, particularly over the last week,'' Blair said.
The building where multimillionaire Richard Oland was murdered has been sold. Liz Fulton, a local pub owner, bought 52 Canterbury Street in late April. "It's trying to bring some more of that local back into the uptown industry," she said. She purchased the three-storey 19th century commercial building in the heart of uptown Saint John for $535,000. Fulton said she has been looking for a historical building in the area for some time now. The building went up for sale earlier this year. Oland, of the prominent Moosehead Breweries family, was found dead in his second-floor office, Far End Corporation, on July 7, 2011. The 69-year-old had suffered 45 sharp- and blunt-force injuries to his head, neck and hands. No weapon was ever found and the only known item that went missing from the office was his cellphone. His son, Dennis Oland, who was the last known person to have seen him alive during a visit to his office the night before, was acquitted last year of second-degree murder following a retrial by judge alone. Fulton did not wish to comment about the building's dark history. But the building, which is known to local bands and artists because of its use as a rehearsal space, was the perfect fit for Fulton. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.(Canadian Yachting Association) The business is expected to be up and running within two to three months. Fulton, who already owns two local pubs and has a passion for music, has also met with local artists about renting the space. "It's going to be more entertainment, more music," she said. Fulton said it was important to buy the building so the uptown area wouldn't be overrun by condo buildings.
Days after a 25-year-old man was found beaten and frozen in a car near Hay River, Northwest Territories, a tearful Levi Cayen confessed to police that he and his cousin, James Thomas, had beaten the man and left him in the car, bloodied and dazed, that frigid winter night. In court on Friday, Cayen said it was all a lie. Cayen now says he went alone to meet Alex Norwegian to buy drugs for someone else. Testifying at Thomas's first degree murder trial, the 23-year-old said he and Norwegian got into a fight. Cayen said he can't remember what led up to the fight, who he was buying the drugs for or what kind of condition Norwegian was in when he left him. Crown prosecutor Duane Praught suggested to Cayen that he was lying in court, but telling the truth when he spoke to police soon after Norwegian's death. Praught suggested Cayen is trying to protect his cousin and avoid being labelled a snitch at the North Slave Correctional Centre, where both he and Thomas are being held. "You're also worried about your cousin testifying against you at your trial, isn't that right?" asked Praught. Cayen is scheduled to be tried on the same charges as Thomas — first-degree murder and robbery — starting Jan. 17. His jury trial had been scheduled to begin at the end of February but was recently rescheduled. Cayen told Praught he was high from taking psilocybin mushrooms — better known as "magic" mushrooms — the day before he was questioned by police. He said he was scared during the interview and just told the police what they seemed to want to hear. He also said that at the start of the interview, the officers told him that Thomas and others charged in connection with Norwegian's death were trying to pin the crime on him. Police confession During a videotaped interview at the Hay River RCMP detachment on Jan. 4, 2018, part of which was played in court on Friday, Cayen gave what he repeatedly said was an honest account of what happened the night Norwegian died. As hard as it is, you are doing the right thing. - Const. Jack Keefe He said when he arrived at Thomas's house the night of Dec. 26, 2017, Thomas and two other cousins, Sasha Cayen and Tyler Cayen, were there and seemed to have planned something. He said Thomas suggested they go out for a ride on his snowmobile and Tyler and Sasha urged him to do so. "And the next thing you know, they're talking about jacking Alex," Cayen told Const. Jack Keefe. Earlier in Thomas's trial, Tyler testified he and Sasha had been smoking crack cocaine and drinking that night. He said it was Thomas who first suggested the idea of robbing Norwegian. Both Tyler and Sasha testified that they had bought crack from Norwegian earlier that night, then returned to pull him out after he got stuck. He gave them some crack as a reward. Sasha admitted she texted Norwegian pretending to set up another buy to pinpoint his location for the robbery. Both said Thomas and Levi Cayen followed through on the plan. An areal photo of the area near Hay River, N.W.T., shows the isolated area known as 'The Portage.' right, where the victim was found and the West Channel area of Vale Island, where the cousins accused in the death live. (Public Prosecution Service of Canada) Levi Cayen told police that at one point his cousins suggested that his girlfriend may be with Norwegian. "That's how they … got me to go," he said. "That's the only reason I found myself on that skidoo was because I was curious to see if my girlfriend was out there." Throughout the interview at the Hay River detachment, Cayen worries aloud about losing his girlfriend and spending many years in prison. Keefe and Special Constable Steve Beck reassure him and praise him for his honesty. "Right now, you should be proud of yourself," Keefe says in the tape. "Damn straight," Beck says. "Because you are doing the right thing," Keefe continues. "As hard as it is, you are doing the right thing." Cayen told Keefe that when he and Thomas arrived at Norwegian's car, Thomas tried to break the driver's side window with a small bat he had brought but could not. Cayen said Thomas told him to break it with a metal pipe he had given him, as Norwegian climbed into the back seat and tried to get out the passenger side door. Cayen said he and Thomas caught Norwegian and beat him. Then Thomas tied his hands behind his back and searched his car for drugs but found none. He said Norwegian offered to take Thomas to where his stash of cocaine was and leave town, but Thomas did not believe him. Cayen said he went along with what Thomas suggested because he was terrified. He said he was not dressed for the weather and his only way home was on the snowmobile they had come on. Cayen told police that just before they left, Thomas took Norwegian's coat and put him into the driver's seat of the car. Cayen said the dazed victim tried to drive away but the car stalled and rolled into a snowbank. He said he suggested driving Norwegian to the hospital in his car, but Thomas rejected the idea. "Like, I didn't even want to sit around at Jimmy's when we got back," Cayen told Keefe. "The first thing I asked him was, 'Can I go call this guy some help?' He seemed like he didn't know what to do so I just took the skidoo." Cayen said he went to a payphone and alerted police to Norwegian's location. Norwegian was not found until a passerby found him in the car more than a day after the attack. At the end of the interview, Norwegian told the officers, "I told you everything, every single detail. Everything I know about that night you guys know."
Israel's military said it carried out strikes against armed groups, rocket launchers and military posts in Gaza after militants there crossed what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a "red line" by firing on the Jerusalem area for the first time since a 2014 war. The rocket fire and Israeli air strikes continued late into the night, with Palestinians reporting loud explosions close to Gaza City and across the coastal strip.
With the second-highest COVID-19 case rate in the country, Manitoba is re-entering lockdown and moving schools online in some areas. Meanwhile, some Albertans remain defiant of new restrictions and Nova Scotia tightens its borders.
Canada’s child-welfare system is broken and “will cost billions to fix,” says Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller. Miller spoke to IndigiNews on April 23 about the federal budget, which was released on April 19. It’s been more than two years since the federal government released a budget. In the meantime, groundbreaking child-welfare legislation — an Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families (also known as Bill C-92) — came into force on Jan. 1, 2020. IndigiNews asked Miller to explain what this budget will do for Indigenous children and families, including whether he believes Canada has committed enough money for the implementation of Bill C-92. We also asked why the government continues to fight the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s orders around compensation for First Nations children who were removed from their families and those who experienced delays and denials of services which should have been available to them under Jordan’s Principle. Here’s what the Minister of Indigenous Services had to say: The federal budget promises $73.6 million over four years to support the implementation of Bill C-92. This funding is in addition to $542 million announced by the federal government last November. But Miller says it still isn’t enough. The act provides a framework for Indigenous groups to “exercise their jurisdiction over child and family services.” So far, 27 nations have given notice to the federal government, stating their intent to exercise their jurisdiction, according to the government’s website. “I think we all recognize this is a system that has been broken for some time,” says Miller. “As part of transforming the system, we have to recognize that we need to support communities financially. That includes provinces continuing to step up their support.” Miller says it is very complex to transform a system in partnership with provinces that have “jurisdiction over child and family laws that have applied to Indigenous Peoples.” According to a spokesperson for B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), the province is “committed to working with the federal government and Indigenous communities and organizations to improve the lives of Indigenous children, youth and families.” MCFD Minister Mitzi Dean will be “participating in a federal-provincial-territorial meeting on May 6 to discuss Bill C-92 implementation,” the spokesperson adds in an email to IndigiNews. B.C.’s 2021 budget does not include any money for Indigenous communities that are implementing Bill C-92. Miller points out that last year his government already committed to spending “just north of” $540 million on the act’s implementation, and “calls for proposals are currently open under that envelope of funding.” This funding is meant to “support Indigenous partners in developing legislation and delivery models, engaging their communities, and hiring experts,” according to a statement from the federal government. It’s also meant to “fund participation of Indigenous groups at coordination agreement tables with provinces and territories.” “The numbers in the  budget were for the ramping up of those discussions,” Miller says. “These are all steps in transforming a system and moving it from a broken intervention status quo that it is now, that has affected Indigenous children and families, to one that is more prevention based, and that’s something that will occur over the long term.” The Assembly of First Nations and the Caring Society asked the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD), a think-tank based at the University of Ottawa, to “define a funding approach and performance measurement framework for First Nations child and family services.” In 2020, the IFSD published its recommendations, which included the implementation of a “block funding approach” which would allow service providers more flexibility. According to their report, the IFSD aimed to “reset the structure, funding and governance of the current First Nations child and family services system.” Miller says Indigenous Services Canada has “been working with the IFSD framework and working with the drafters of the report.” Asked whether he plans to follow the recommendations laid out in the IFSD’s report, he says, “[The IFSD] doesn’t necessarily mirror word for word the way our programs work. There’s still work to be done in and around capacity and that capacity often goes over and above what ISC does.” “My expectation is that we will have to continue to invest in those initiatives that serve the best interest of the child,” Miller says. As previously reported by IndigiNews, Richard Gray, who is the social services manager with the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission says he is concerned that confidentiality agreements are being signed during C-92 negotiations. “This is a huge problem and we can’t allow the feds to utilize these confidentiality agreements in negotiations or discussions,” says Gray at an Assembly of First Nations virtual gathering on First Nations child welfare. In response to this concern, Miller says, “Confidentiality agreements are intended, from a federal perspective, to preserve the integrity and the respect that we have with our partners so that we are not airing out our views or trying to negotiate in public. “In the short time I’ve had to learn this as a minister, it’s important as a matter of respect to do so. It is not intended to prejudice individual members or silence our First Nations partners,” he says. In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) ruled that the federal government was discriminating against First Nations children through its service approach. Since then, the CHRT has issued a number of non-compliance orders to ensure that the full scope of Jordan’s Principle is applied. Jordan’s Principle is a child-first principle in honour of Jordan River Anderson from the Norway House Cree Nation. Anderson was born with multiple disabilities and he lived his whole life in a hospital, while the provincial and federal governments argued over who should pay for the cost of his home care. He died at age five. IndigiNews asked Miller when the federal government will stop fighting the CHRT and funnel funds directly to First Nations. “We know that fixing the broken system of child and family services that has ravaged families and children is broken and it will cost billions to fix,” he says. “We’ve continued to fund Jordan’s Principle and it is a very large part of the Indigenous Services Canada budget.” The budget does not specifically mention new money for Jordan’s Principle. In March 2021, the federal government filed written submissions before the Federal Court in support of two applications for judicial review of CHRT rulings “which relate to compensation and the definition of a First Nations child for the purposes of Jordan’s Principle eligibility.” The federal government is arguing that the CHRT’s September 2019 ruling “demonstrates an overreach of jurisdiction which fails to adequately advance fair, equitable and comprehensive compensation.” In a report released on Feb. 23, the Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates it will cost the federal government anywhere from $2.4 billion to $15 billion to comply with the CHRT’s decision, depending on how you interpret the CHRT’s orders.“Obviously there are things that money can’t replace and that goes to the systemic nature of what these children have suffered,” says Miller. “This is a broken system that will cost billions to fix,” he reiterated. “We are invested in it, but it has to be done in partnership with our nation-to-nation partners and that is something no court case can fix.” See the full interview with Minister Marc Miller here. Anna McKenzie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
RCMP have identified the victim of a fatal shooting at Vancouver International Airport on Sunday as a longtime gang associate who was the subject of a rare public warning more than three years ago. Karman Grewal, 28, was shot and killed outside the airport's departures terminal in front of several witnesses around 3 p.m. PT. He was well known to police, officers said Monday, and his death is believed to be related to the ongoing gang conflict in B.C.'s Lower Mainland. More than 10 people have been shot since mid-April. "As members of the public, you are undoubtedly and deservedly concerned … I can advise you that we are working around the clock in both overt and covert investigations to hit these gangsters at every possible turn," said RCMP Asst. Comm. Dwayne McDonald. The mid-afternoon shooting sent travellers scrambling for cover. Simonne Chalifoux, 58, told CBC News she saw bullets ricochet off the glass as she was sitting near a terminal window to wait for her flight home to Whitehorse. "I'm staring out the window and … the next thing you know, 'bam, bam, bam, pop, pop, pop.' It was so fast, so consecutive," said Chalifoux, who had been in B.C. to care for her father after surgery for a stroke. "I'm like, 'Holy crap, this just happened.' It took about 10 seconds to resonate … and then I realized I had to get out of where I was sitting immediately." Broken windows are pictured at Vancouver International Airport after the shooting on Sunday.(Maggie MacPherson/CBC) Questions about suspects' escape RCMP faced a series of questions Monday as to how the suspects escaped the airport. The airport is secluded on an island in Richmond, B.C., with a dedicated police and security presence. The major routes and bridges off the island were shut down after the shooting, but the suspects were able to get away. Police intercepted the getaway vehicle — an SUV — but suspects shot at the responding officers. They did not fire back or chase the suspects out of concern someone in the area might get hurt, officials said. Police responded to the shooting at Vancouver International Airport around 3 p.m. PT on Sunday. Investigators are looking for dashcam video from those who were in the area.(Maggie MacPherson/CBC) "That airport is immediately accessible to a majority of thoroughfares. When criminals commit crime, they don't play by the rules," said McDonald. "There's people in cars, everywhere," the officer continued. "Unlike the movies, when bullets start to fly, they eventually stop somewhere … we can't take that chance to allow a gun battle to rage through the streets." The killing was the first deadly shooting at the airport, though there was an attempted murder there in 2015. Chalifoux said RCMP officers on scene Sunday seemed shocked. "It really will stick in my mind how shaken up the members were themselves," she said. Grewal targeted before Grewal had previously been targeted in a gang-related shooting. RCMP released his photo, along with those of four other men, after a series of shootings in 2017. Officers said the men were still targets and a threat to public safety, as they had not co-operated with investigators. Three of the five men included in the public warning are now dead, including Grewal. "If someone remains in the gang lifestyle, it stops in only one of two ways: jail or death. It's as simple as that," said McDonald. Surrey RCMP have released photos of five men in 2017 after they were targeted in a series of shootings. Karman Grewal, top left, was killed at Vancouver International Airport on Sunday. Manbir Grewal, top centre, and Ibrahim Ibrahim, top right, are also dead.(Surrey RCMP) Charge laid in 2nd weekend shooting The shooting at the airport was the second in Metro Vancouver in as many days. On Monday, the RCMP's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) announced a murder charge had been laid in a shooting that left one man dead and hurt an innocent bystander in Burnaby, B.C., on Saturday. Ahmed Riyaz Tahir faces one count of first-degree murder in the death of Blerton Dalipi, who was known as Toni. Dalipi, 19, was shot after leaving a business on 6th Street between 12th and 13th Avenue. He died in hospital. Police responded to a shooting at 12th Avenue and 6th Street in Burnaby, B.C., on Saturday.(Justin Correia) RCMP revealed Monday a second man was hit by a stray bullet. He later showed up in hospital with gunshot wounds and is expected to recover from non-life threatening injuries. "This individual is an innocent victim and he just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time," said IHIT Supt. Dave Chauhan. According to court records, Tahir was charged with attempted murder in a New Westminster, B.C., shooting in 2019. The attempted murder charge was stayed and Tahir was given a five-year firearms ban and a one-year peace bond in December 2019.
Countries such as China, Russia, India and Cuba are developing and distributing their own COVID-19 vaccines, marking a biotechnology milestone for many of them. Here's a closer look at how they're doing it and what that means for the world, including Western countries such as Canada. Which countries outside Europe and North America are furthest along in developing COVID-19 vaccines? The highest-profile members of this group include Russia and China. The Sputnik V viral-vector vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute in Russia, and the inactivated vaccines from China's Sinovac and Sinopharm have already been ordered, donated or used in dozens of countries around the world. On May 7, the World Health Organization approved one of Sinopharm's vaccines for emergency use, paving the way for distribution through UN programmes. India's Bharat Biotech has also developed an inactivated vaccine, called Covaxin, that is in use in India. The company has also signed deals with firms in the U.S. and Brazil to produce versions of the vaccine domestically, pending approval. China, Russia and India all have other vaccines in late-stage clinical trials. Other developing countries with vaccines in late-stage trials include Cuba, Kazahkstan and Iran. Is this a surprise? Yes and no. Most people can't think of any time they've used a vaccine developed and exported by one of those countries, since "there haven't been products like that," said Achal Prabhala, co-ordinator of the accesIBSA project, a campaign to improve access to medicines in India, Brazil and South Africa. But many nations have built up the necessary infrastructure and expertise to develop their own vaccines, and weren't expecting easy access to vaccines developed in Europe and North America, which richer countries have been criticized for hoarding. A man flashes a victory sign after getting a shot of the Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 in La Paz, Bolivia, in April. The Russian vaccine and Chinese vaccines are the only ones available in many parts of the world.(Juan Karita/The Associated Press) U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba and the high cost of vaccines would make it difficult for the country to import any, said Helen Yaffe, a lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Glasgow who has studied and written about the development of Cuba's biotechnology industry. She said the country has produced its own vaccines for decades. "They had the capacity," Yaffe said, "but they also, arguably, had the need." Why are some of these vaccines controversial? 1. They were used for mass vaccination before clinical trials were complete. Russia was called "reckless" and criticized by health and science experts in Western media when the country became the first to approve a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use last August — before Phase 3 trials of Sputnik V had even started. It subsequently gave the vaccine to tens of thousands of health-care workers, teachers and military personnel before Phase 3 trial results were released. WATCH | Growing recognition of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine: But it wasn't the only country to use emergency approval to start vaccinating local populations before Phase 3 trials were complete — China, India, Kazakhstan and Cuba did the same. Prabhala, who is based in India, thinks domestic use by these countries before Phase 3 results may be justified during a deadly pandemic, given that vaccine developers typically know whether a vaccine is safe and whether it shows promise for protecting against a disease by the end of Phase 2 trials. 2. They haven't released or published enough data and ran trials differently. Colin Funk, an adjunct professor with Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., and a biomedical consultant with Vancouver-based Novateur Ventures, co-authored a paper in the journal Viruses earlier this year with another Novateur consultant, Craig Laferriere, comparing all the front-running vaccines around the world. Empty vials of the Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines fill a container at Tecnopolis Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in April.(Victor R. Caivano/The Associated Press) Funk said in an interview that it's been hard to get reliable information about the Chinese vaccines because most haven't published the results of clinical trials. Sputnik V's Phase 3 clinical trials were published in The Lancet in February, but results were hard to compare to other vaccines due to differing methods, Laferrière told CBC News. Sputnik V was recently rejected by Brazilian regulators. Meanwhile, the reported efficacy of Sinovac's vaccine varied from 50.4 per cent in Brazil to 91.25 per cent in Turkey. Some experts have said the lower efficacy in Brazil may have to do with the different protocols and virus variants in the population — even participants with very mild symptoms were tested for COVID-19, unlike other trials, and there was a highly transmissible P1 virus variant circulating. WATCH | Few people in China receive COVID-19 jabs despite vaccine development there: Prabhala thinks the fact that the trials were run in different countries under different conditions was actually a good thing. "I think they provide a sort of independent third-party analysis of the vaccine itself, and in a very real way for me, they give me more confidence than having one corporation release one set of data based on one very tightly controlled trial that it ran itself." However, he said, "I wish we could see little more detail of what the data looked like." 3. There may be biases rooted in culture and politics. "In general, there's incredulity at the idea that you could have original science that could work anywhere in the world that comes out of a place not in the West," Prabhala said. This exists even in non-Western countries, he said. He suggested Russia and China may face higher levels of mistrust than other countries "because of the autocratic nature of the state and sometimes the justifiable anger that people feel at the state's human-rights violations." But those aren't relevant to the actual performance of their vaccines, he said. "I think the question with any of these vaccines is: do they work and are they effective?" A nurse prepares to inject a health-care worker with a dose of the Soberana-02 COVID-19 vaccine in Havana, Cuba, in March. (Ramon Espinosa/Pool Photo via AP) How important are these vaccines for global immunization efforts? They've already been a big part of vaccination campaigns in their home countries. Vaccines from China and Russia have also been used in dozens of other countries around the world, many of which have limited or no access to other options. Chinese vaccines have made up tens of millions of doses delivered in Brazil, Turkey and Chile, Nature reported this week. In Brazil, vaccination of the elderly was linked to a quick decline in mortality compared to unvaccinated age groups, local researchers report in a study that hasn't yet been peer-reviewed. Meanwhile, in Europe, Hungary and Serbia have much higher COVID-19 vaccination rates than other countries on the continent. Prabhala said that's because they both ordered, evaluated and approved vaccines from Russia and China. A box of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is prepared for patients in Saint Margit Hospital in Budapest, Hungary, in April.(Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP) The reach of the Chinese and Russian vaccines could increase with a listing for emergency use by the World Health Organization — something one of Sinopharm's vaccines has already achieved. The WHO recently found Sinovac's vaccine was effective but the company didn't provide enough data, while Sputnik V has been submitted for WHO review. A WHO listing would allow their use by UN agencies, worldwide distribution through the global vaccine-sharing initiative COVAX and use in countries that don't have the capacity to do their own regulatory approvals. Meanwhile, Yaffe says Cuba's vaccines bring hope to populations in the global south. "If they wait for the big pharma companies for vaccines, then it could be many years until they have the possibility of being vaccinated," she said. Prabhala said more options are better for everyone — even richer nations that have secured deals with some manufacturers. He noted that Canada's initial vaccine rollout was off to a slow start compared to countries like the U.S. and the UK, largely due to manufacturing delays at both Pfizer and Moderna. "I would imagine, therefore, that had Canada had a wider choice of vaccines available ... the rollout would have been smoother and faster and would have given the country and its people much more security."
A Siberian doctor who treated poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny last year reappeared on Monday after being reported missing while on a hunting trip, Russian news agencies cited the regional government as saying. A search was launched in the forests of the Omsk region, about 2,200 km (1,370 miles) east of Moscow, after physician Alexander Murakhovsky left a forest hunting base in an all-terrain vehicle on Friday. Murakhovsky exited the forest himself and made contact with residents of the village of Basly, RIA news agency quoted the Omsk regional government as saying.
THE LATEST: B.C. officials will update COVID-19 numbers for the first time in three days at 3 p.m. PT. On Friday, B.C. announced 722 new cases of COVID-19 and seven more deaths. There were 6,757 active cases in B.C. on Friday, down 1,000 from last Monday. More than 45 per cent of eligible British Columbians have received at least one vaccine dose. 445 people are in hospital with the disease, 157 of whom are in intensive care. British Columbians hope encouraging signs about the direction the pandemic is taking will continue on Monday when three days of infection numbers are released. Friday, when the last update was given, marked the 19th straight day the province's rolling average fell, signalling that the curve of the province's third-wave is continuing to bend downward. The rolling average now sits at just above 694 cases per day. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who announced a "circuit breaker"-style lockdown on indoor activities on March 29, says the measures are working to limit the spread of the disease in the province. British Columbians are also not permitted to travel outside three regional zones, under an order in effect until the end of the May 24 long weekend. Mounties in British Columbia have set up checkpoints at various locations on the province's highways, but say that, so far, no vehicles have been forced to turn around and no fines have been handed out. Hot spots While the rolling average of new cases in B.C. continues to decline, certain neighbourhoods across B.C are still experiencing high rates of transmission, especially in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions. Over the weekend Fraser Health officials declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a poultry processing plant in Surrey, B.C. Officials said in a news release that 29 staff at Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd. have tested positive for the virus, and the facility has been ordered to close for 10 days beginning Friday. There have been no reported cases of food or its packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and there is no recall of chicken products distributed from the plant. Vaccinations going fast As of Friday, 2,042,442 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered, with 99,461 of those being second doses. The province says 45 per cent of those who are eligible have received at least one dose. Of the total population of British Columbia, including those who aren't eligible for a vaccine, such as children, 39.6 per cent of individuals have received at least one dose. Health authorities have said at least 60 to 70 per cent of the total population should be immunized to achieve herd immunity. 43 and up booking now Currently, anyone 18 and older in British Columbia can register for their vaccination now if they have not already done so. This can be done online through the "Get Vaccinated" portal, by calling 1-833-838-2323, or in person at any Service B.C. location. People in B.C. aged 43 and above can now receive a vaccine by booking an appointment. People living in hot-spot neighbourhoods, people who are pregnant and front-line workers are also being prioritized. Read more: What's happening elsewhere in Canada As of Sunday, Canada has reported 1,286,666 cases of COVID-19, with a five per cent decrease in active cases from the week before. A total of 24,625 people have died of the disease. What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Common symptoms include: Fever. Cough. Tiredness. Shortness of breath. Loss of taste or smell. Headache. But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia. What should I do if I feel sick? Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911. What can I do to protect myself? Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean. Keep at least two metres away from people outside your bubble. Keep your distance from people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wear a mask in indoor public spaces. More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.
Alberta reported 1,633 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths on Sunday, as Edmontonians enjoyed one last patio day before firmer restrictions take effect at midnight Sunday. There are now 25,197 active cases in the province, as Alberta contends with the highest provincial case rate in the country. Variant cases make up about 44.5 per cent of active cases in Alberta under the province's rolled back testing for coronavirus variants this week. Currently, 668 people are in hospital with the illness, including 155 in intensive care unit beds, up slightly from Saturday, when there were 661 people in hospital including 148 in intensive care unit beds. Since the pandemic began, 2,110 people have died from COVID-19 in Alberta. Of the two deaths recorded on Sunday, one involved a man in his 50s in the Calgary zone, and the other was a man in his 60s in the Central zone. Both deaths occurred on Friday. Provincial labs completed 15,509 tests for the disease on Saturday for a positivity rate of about 10.3 per cent, down from 18,809 tests from the previous day, with a positivity rate of about 11 per cent. Last rush The next slate of COVID-19 restrictions will come into force Monday, including the closure of patios and personal services, such as hair salons and tattoo shops. In Edmonton, downtown patios and hair salons were busy Sunday, the last day Albertans could get a haircut before the restrictions take effect. In Edmonton, some hair salons were overwhelmed with booking requests Sunday, the last day Albertans could get a haircut before new restrictions take effect.(Gabrielle Brown/CBC Radio-Canada) Christina Yun, salon owner Dollhouse Hair Boutique, said the changing restrictions have been "difficult." The rush before this third shutdown of the pandemic was busy, but not as busy as before the second round, Yun said. "With the restrictions it's kind of been like a yo-yo," Yun said. "It's been really busy and then really slow, and then really busy and then really slow. "I'm hoping with the vaccinations that we will only see three weeks of it." The ongoing vaccination program has now delivered 1,889,039 doses. As of Monday, Albertans 12 and older will be eligible to book a vaccine appointment. Here are the province's 25,197 active cases broken down by health zone: Calgary zone: 11,312 Edmonton zone: 5,917 North zone: 3,749 Central zone: 2,844 South zone: 1,333 Unknown: 42
HALIFAX — A United Nations committee on racial discrimination is asking the federal government to respond to allegations it committed racist actions in its treatment of Mi'kmaq lobster fishers in Nova Scotia. The April 30 letter of notice from the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination asks Leslie Norton, Canada's permanent representative to the U.N., to respond to allegations by Sipekne'katik First Nation by July 14. The First Nation has argued that it has the right to fish for a "moderate livelihood" when and where they wish, based on a decision from the country's Supreme Court. The court later clarified that ruling to say Ottawa could regulate the treaty right for conservation and other purposes. Members of the Sipekne'katik band encountered violence from non-Indigenous residents last fall, resulting in the destruction of a lobster pound and the burning of a band member's van as the First Nation conducted a fishery outside of the federally regulated season in southwestern Nova Scotia. The federal minister has repeatedly noted the principle of closed seasons exists for conservation purposes and has said her department will negotiate the distribution of commercial licences, which occur within existing seasons, tailored to the needs of each First Nation. Talks with the band broke down earlier this year, and Sipekne'katik says it is planning to resume a self-regulated lobster fishery outside of federal seasons. However, the United Nations committee says it is considering allegations the RCMP and the federal Fisheries Department "failed to take appropriate measures to prevent these acts of violence and to protect the fishers and their properties from being vandalized," and that treaty rights weren't respected last year. "The committee is concerned about allegations of lack of response by the state party authorities to prevent and to investigate the allegations of racist hate speech and incitement of violence online as well as acts of violence and intimidation against Mi’kmaq peoples by private actors," says the letter of notice to the Canadian representative. The committee's letter noted its prior recommendations requesting governments that have signed the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination "take steps to prevent racist hate crimes against all ethnic and minority groups, migrants and Indigenous peoples." The letter asks Canada to respond to the allegations and indicate what actions have already been taken to deal with allegations of racism. The notice is signed by Yanduan Li, the chair of the committee and a representative of China. The First Nation's leader, Chief Mike Sack, said in a news release Sunday that it intends to proceed with a lobster fishery beginning in June, despite the lack of an agreement with the federal Fisheries Department. Sack has said he will request United Nations peacekeepers if federal enforcement officers remove his band's lobster fishing gear from the fishing area in southwest Nova Scotia. He said the involvement of the racial discrimination committee is encouraging. "Being recognized by a body that represents marginalized people experiencing the destructive and intergenerational effects of systemic racism is a new milestone in our community’s efforts to overcome poverty and oppression,” said Sack in the release. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2021. Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press
Case counts in Iqaluit's city's jails and shelters are rising, Nunavut's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, said at a press conference on Monday. However, most of the COVID-19 transmission in the city is still a result of parties and people visiting each other indoors, Patterson said. Last week three parties had been identified as causing virus transmission in Iqaluit; he said another party happened this weekend. No charges have been laid against people breaking isolation rules, but Patterson said the RCMP are investigating a few complaints. In one case, Patterson said he understood there was enough evidence to proceed with charges. Findings from contact tracing, like the parties, can't be turned over to law enforcement, Patterson said. The active investigations that could result in charges come from complaints that are not related to the parties, but to individuals with COVID-19 who broke isolation. Five individuals who are fully vaccinated have tested positive for COVID-19. All or most are asymptomatic, Patterson said. "The fact that only five have occurred indicates that the vaccine is effective and is consistent with all the data coming out about how effective it is at eliminating infection," he said. Just over 50 per cent of Iqaluit adults have been fully vaccinated, Patterson said. WATCH | Dr. James Patterson gives update at press conference Monday: Continuing a trend from the weekend as of Monday, the number of people recovering from COVID-19 was outpacing new cases, and all 70 of the territory's cases were concentrated in Iqaluit. There are now six cases of COVID-19 among the residents of the Uquutaq Society's men's shelter and 12 positive cases isolating at the Baffin Correctional Centre. After a mass screening last week, Patterson said the government will know in a week or so whether there is transmission in the jails. At this point, all inmates have been isolated for a while already. There are now two alternative isolation sites in the city: the Frobisher Inn and the Aqsarniit Hotel and Conference Centre. Thirteen people are isolating at the Aqsarniit Hotel and 10 at the Frobisher Inn. Anyone with "higher needs," such as addictions management, is at the Frobisher, where the government is providing the needed support. Patterson took a moment to discourage certain habits that can spread COVID-19, such as sharing cigarettes. Being outside gathering in groups — without masks and without physical distancing — can put the entire group at risk, he said. Staff member at Iqaluit Elders' Home tests positive A staff member tested positive for COVID-19 at the Iqaluit Elders' Home over the weekend, prompting it to be emptied. The Iqaluit Elders' Home has been closed and elders moved out of the facility after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. (Patrick Nagle/CBC ) Four elders were flown to Embassy West care home in Ottawa, one returned home to be with family and another went to another elders' home in the territory. All six elders were tested on Friday before they were moved out. That screening test, which happens weekly at the home, was how the case was initially detected. With most of the staff in isolating, Patterson determined there wasn't enough staff left to provide safe care for the next two weeks. "When we lose not only nurses but other staff to something like this, in most communities in Nunavut there's not a large pool to draw from on short notice," he said. While essential workers were some of the first in the territory to be offered the option to be vaccinated, not all decided to get the vaccine, which is how the virus entered the facility, Patterson said. Later in the press conference, he said he didn't know the vaccination status of the person who tested positive. "It's a personal decision for everyone and … it's not appropriate to start outing people in that way," he said. Kinngait restrictions to ease On Saturday, the last active cases in Kinngait recovered. With that change, Patterson said it is safe to ease restrictions in the community effective Wednesday. The travel ban in and out of the community will be lifted, though anyone returning from Iqaluit must still isolate for 14 days if they return to the community. Masks are still mandatory, but indoor gatherings of five people plus a household will be allowed. Outdoor gatherings can grow to 50 people with physical distancing. Arenas and other indoor public places are allowed to be open at 50 per cent capacity or 50 people, whichever is fewer. The community's schools will move into stage three, which is a blend of in-school and remote learning. Elementary school students will be in class three days a week and middle and high school students will attend in-person two days a week, with staggered schedules and no group activities. Daycares can reopen.
The federal government, province of P.E.I. and Abegweit First Nation are partnering to reconnect the Scotchfort community to the Hillsborough River. The river was an essential transportation route and food source for previous generations of the Abegweit First Nation, but the Scotchfort community is now separated from the river by Route 2, a major highway that runs through the centre of the province. In a joint announcement on Monday morning, the province said it would transfer six hectares of land, between the highway and the river, to the band for a nominal fee of $1. The federal government announced $4.4 million for active transportation and social infrastructure on the land, which will link the corridor to the Confederation Trail as well as to the Hillsborough River. "This project includes the construction of several structures to create a safe and direct access to the waterfront and multi-use trail," said a government news release. "We are very grateful and excited for the support from our provincial and federal partners and look forward to our continued partnership as we advance these projects in the spirit of reconciliation and mutual prosperity," Abegweit First Nation Chief Junior Gould was quoted as saying in the news release. Some of the funding announced Monday will go toward the development of the Epekwitk Mena'taqug Centre, a business and retail centre. Initial funding for that project was announced in August 2019. More from CBC P.E.I.
LIMASSOL, Cyprus — The Islamic State group is using stealth to regenerate its forces by developing its military capabilities underground, and France is deploying its warships and aircraft in the region to help troops on the ground root out the threat, a senior French naval officer said Monday. Rear Adm. Marc Aussedat, who leads a task force centred around France’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, said that 18 advanced Rafale fighter aircraft are carrying out reconnaissance flights in Syrian and Iraqi airspace to gauge the actions of IS, and to bring their weapons to bear if necessary. “Why are we doing this mission? ... First of all, is to give to these forces, coalition and Iraqi security forces, the means to fight the regeneration of Daesh on the ground. Daesh is hiding, Daesh is developing its capacity underground,” Aussedat told reporters, referring to the Islamic State group's Arabic-language acronym. France’s regional military muscle-flexing has manifested itself in Task Force 473, a naval force of several warships including anti-submarine frigates and an air defence destroyer that’s centred around the De Gaulle. The country already has a frigate deployed in the east Mediterranean on a permanent basis. The primary mission of the task force’s five-month deployment in the east Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean is to assist Operation Inherent Resolve, a U.S.-led mission of forces from several countries tasked with eradicating IS remnants following its three-year occupation of large swaths of Syrian and Iraqi territory. Aussedat said the French task force has also helped in the fight against piracy and international trafficking in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean where it temporarily took command of Task Force 50, a U.S. naval force led by the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, to help build trust and co-operation between the two navies. According to Aussedat, the deployment also aimed to project French power and to “show the French flag” in regions where the country has “strategic interests” including the eastern Mediterranean. French energy company Total, along with Italian partner Eni, is licensed to drill for oil and gas off Cyprus. “The presence in these areas is made to prevent and to fight for stability, for the freedom of navigation, for our freedom of action and of course the interests of France but also of the partners which are linked with us,” Aussedat said. “It’s also a way to ensure our ability to appreciate, to assess the situation on a national basis, but also a European basis or on a NATO basis to prevent crises, but also to intervene if necessary.” Those partners include a Belgian and Greek frigate, as well as a U.S. destroyer that had earlier joined the task force. The French task force will end its deployment with a joint exercise in the western Mediterranean with U.K. aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. The Charles de Gaulle made a similar port of call to Limassol a little over a year ago when reporters were allowed aboard the ship, but this year COVID-19 restrictions prevented that. Cyprus’ Defence Ministry said it would carry joint manoeuvrs with the French task force as part of a bilateral defenceco-operation agreement. Menelaos Hadjicostis, The Associated Press
Halifax Regional Police have arrested a man for robbery in connection with an incident in March that sparked conversations about racial profiling among law enforcement. Police said the man, Robert Roech Chan, 28, was arrested Sunday night on an outstanding warrant. On March 26, officers were called to the 200 block of Wentworth Drive in Halifax for a weapons complaint. Three men were arrested at the scene, including two who were later released without charges. A fourth man fled on foot and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Videos shared online Hours after the incident, videos surfaced on social media showing an interaction between a white police officer and the fourth man, who is Black. The officer, who could be seen pointing a gun at the man — was heard saying something that sounded like, "I will fill you full of f--king lead." A number of people publicly condemned the language used by the officer, including Premier Iain Rankin, who called the comments "disgusting." The officer in the video was assigned to administrative duties while an internal investigation was carried out. That investigation is now complete and the officer has been returned to active duty. MORE TOP STORIES
BEIJING (Reuters) -China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday the use of the United Nations as a platform for a virtual event on the repression of Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang was an insult to the institution. China has urged U.N. member states not to attend the virtual event, planned by Germany, the United States and Britain.
TORONTO — Ontario has become the latest province to signal it will likely mix COVID-19 vaccine brands as the country prepares for a flood of Pfizer and Moderna shots while some doctors questioned further use of Oxford-AstraZeneca. Health Minister Christine Elliott said Monday it's likely that Ontarians who have received a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine may get a different shot for their second dose. "We don't have a supply date for more AstraZeneca, so it's very likely that we will need to mix the different products together," she said. Elliott said the province is waiting for the results from a U.K. study on mixing different vaccines and on advice from a federal immunization panel. "I expect that should come very soon, because there are some people who are coming up in terms of times for their second shot." Quebec has also said that it plans to mix vaccines due to supply shortages, substituting the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for the Moderna vaccines in order to quickly give booster shots to long-term care residents. Dr. Theresa Tam, the country's top doctor, has also said that Canada is closely following the results of the U.K. study on mixing doses. Molecular biologist and science communicator Samantha Yammine said some Canadians who have already received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine may be comforted to know they have the option of a different dose, given recent attention directed at shot. "It's nice to know that people will have the option depending on what risks they're comfortable to take on," she said in a recent interview. Yammine, who goes by "Science Sam" on social media, said the pandemic has given rise to an "infodemic," with a flood of advice about areas like the low risk of blood clots from viral-vector shots compared with mRNA vaccines. Conflicting advice coming from experts and officials, even if well-intentioned, can overwhelm the public, Yammine said. And Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine has been in spotlight in Canada in recent weeks. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization, or NACI, attracted criticism when it recommended that Canadians who aren't at high risk from COVID-19 may want to wait until a dose of Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna is available, calling them the "preferred" vaccines. Since then, the chair of the committee has said people who took the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot did the right thing, and some prominent physicians have suggested on social media that Canada could focus on distributing mRNA shots with millions of doses expected to arrive over the next few weeks. Dr. Andrew Morris, an infectious diseases specialist and a a member Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table, argued on Twitter this weekend that while AstraZeneca "was a good vaccine that served its purpose," Canada has enough Pfizer and Moderna shots to avoid using AstraZeneca, removing the risk of rare but serious blood clots. Yammine said the biggest damage from NACI's initial remarks was feelings of remorse among people who took the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot. She stressed that people should not regret taking the vaccine and said it's still advisable for people in virus hot spots to take the first vaccine they can get, but highlighted the importance of local guidance for those in lower-risk areas who are trying to make sense of the advice. "What we really need now, in my opinion, is for the provinces to now do the risk calculation for the people in their province, because it's all a gradient, it's not black or white," she said. Yammine has also shared infographics on social media comparing normal side-effects and possible signs of the rare blood-clotting disorder in some COVID-19 recipients, so people who have received the shots can seek treatment if necessary. "We don't want people to be scared and freaking out, but we want you to know what to look out for, so that you're prepared and you can get the treatment that you deserve," she said. Jessica Mudry, an associate professor in health communication at Ryerson University, said communication about the difference between vaccines has been poorly handled by officials and it may end up hurting Canada's vaccination campaign. She said new government plans to mix doses without preparing the public for that possibility ahead of time may backfire among people who took already one shot and are now caught off guard. "I think that this kind of this concept of the cocktail, you do one, then you do a different one, is actually going to be quite difficult for people, because people don't like surprises," Mudry said. Even with more mRNA vaccines on the way, Yammine noted that Canada should be careful before outright dismissing shots like Oxford-AstraZeneca's because they are important to ending the global pandemic and Canada has a strong health-care reputation on the world stage. "We act locally but we have to think globally," she said. "By us just saying, no, these vaccines are not for Canadians, what message does that send to people in crisis around the world who don't have the luxury of choosing a vaccine." This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2021. The Canadian Press