Sunday, June 6, 2021

Canada: Vaccine injury compensation program accepting applications


CBC News shows that the federal government has begun accepting applications for its vaccine injury support program. Some people diagnosed with rare but serious conditions after their vaccinations aren't sure the compensation goes far enough.

Inside the Canadian lab shining light on long-term COVID-19 side effects


Global News shows that we are starting to learn about the long-term damage COVID-19 wreaks on many vital organs, but what about our blood vessels? There are troubling signs that the impact on our vascular system may leave a lifelong legacy of health problems in its wake. For The New Reality, Dawna Friesen speaks with Jake Pushie, a scientist at the University of Saskatchewan, who's using the most powerful device in the country to look for answers.

Canada's duty-free shops seek federal aid as pandemic travel rules crush business


Global News shows that the pandemic has forced many of Canada's retailers to pivot their business to survive. But Canada's 33 duty-free shops across the country, along its border with the United States, have faced very little options to adapt as strict pandemic travel rules effectively bring business to a halt. 

Products sold from duty-free stores typically have to leave the country, and cannot be sold locally, online, or even given away. 

As Mike Le Couteur reports, struggling store-owners are hoping for a plan from Ottawa to help them recover.

Canada Sports Gambling - the push for change


CBC News: The National in Canada shows that there is a growing push to change how Canadians can legally bet on professional sports to help keep billions in gambling money in the country and catch up with practices found in other countries.

Sports betting is certainly the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome. The frequency of sports bet upon varies by culture, with the vast majority of bets being placed on association football, American football, basketball, baseball, hockey, track cycling, auto racing, mixed martial arts, and boxing at both the amateur and professional levels. Sports bettors really place their wagers legally through a bookmaker or sportsbook.

WHO calls out Canada over COVID-19 vaccine inequity


CBC News: The National in Canada shows that the World Health Organization has called out richer countries, including Canada, for not helping international efforts toward COVID-19 vaccine equity, despite vaccinating their populations at a much faster rate than poorer countries.

Many countries have implemented phased distribution plans that prioritize those at highest risk of complications, such as the elderly, and those at high risk of exposure and transmission, such as healthcare workers.

As of 30 May 2021, 1.9 billion doses of COVID‑19 vaccine have been administered worldwide based on official reports from national health agencies. AstraZeneca anticipates producing 3 billion doses in 2021, Pfizer-BioNTech 1.3 billion doses, and Sputnik V, Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Johnson & Johnson 1 billion doses each. Moderna targets producing 600 million doses and Convidecia 500 million doses in 2021. By December 2020, more than 10 billion vaccine doses had been preordered by countries, with about half of the doses purchased by high-income countries comprising 14% of the world's population.

Canada: Alberta's oilsands outbreaks being blamed on federal government exemptions


Global News shows that more than 8,000 workers in Alberta's oilsands have now received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as the province tries to contain outbreaks at over a dozen work sites. 

Over 3,000 people have been infected in 2 outbreaks alone at Canadian Natural Resource's Horizon mine site and the Mildred Lake Site operated by Syncrude. 

As Heather Yourex-West reports, a federal exemption surrounding workers brought in from outside the country is being blamed. 

The province of Alberta in Canada has a lot of oil resources. The Athabasca oil sands (also known as the Athabasca tar sands) are large deposits of bitumen or extremely heavy crude oil, located in northeastern Alberta, Canada - roughly centred on the boomtown of Fort McMurray. These oil sands, hosted primarily in the McMurray Formation, consist of a mixture of crude bitumen (a semi-solid rock-like form of crude oil), silica sand, clay minerals, and water. The Athabasca deposit is the largest known reservoir of crude bitumen in the world and the largest of 3 major oil sands deposits in Alberta, along with the nearby Peace River and Cold Lake deposits (the latter stretching into Saskatchewan).

Together, these large oil sand deposits certainly lie under 141,000 square kilometres of boreal forest and muskeg (peat bogs) and contain about 1.7 trillion barrels (270×109 m3) of bitumen in-place, comparable in magnitude to the world's total proven reserves of conventional petroleum. The International Energy Agency (IEA) lists the economically recoverable reserves, at 2007 prices and modern unconventional oil production technology, to be 178 billion barrels (28.3×109 m3), or about 10% of these deposits. These contribute to Canada's total proven reserves being the third largest in the world, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela's Orinoco Belt.

USA unveils COVID-19 vaccine sharing plan with the world, Canada a priority


Global News shows that USA on Thursday unveiled plans to share its first 25 million of its COVID-19 vaccines with the world, with nearly 6 million doses targeted towards "regional priorities and partner recipients," including Canada and Mexico, among other countries.

At this point in time, it seems unclear how many doses Canada would be offered or if the country would accept them or which vaccine would be sent.

The United States will donate nearly 19 million doses through the COVAX international vaccine sharing program, the White House said during the briefing on Wednesday.

Through COVAX, some 6 million doses would go to Latin America and the Caribbean, about 7 million doses to South and Southeast Asia and roughly 5 million to Africa.

Other beneficiaries of the priority group include the Republic of Korea, the West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen and United Nations front-line workers.

A so-called "vaccine" is really a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease. A vaccine typically (but not always) contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins. The agent stimulates the body's immune system to recognize the agent as a threat, destroy it, and to further recognize and destroy any of the microorganisms associated with that agent that it may encounter in the future. Vaccines can be prophylactic (to prevent or ameliorate the effects of a future infection by a natural or "wild" pathogen), or therapeutic (to fight a certain disease that has already occurred, such as cancer).

In biology, a "pathogen" (Greek: πάθος pathos "suffering", "passion" and -γενής -genēs "producer of") in the oldest and broadest sense, is really any organism that can produce disease. A pathogen may also be referred to as an infectious agent, or simply a germ.

The term "pathogen" came into use in the 1880s. Typically, the term is used to describe an infectious microorganism or agent, such as a virus, bacterium, protozoan, prion, viroid, or fungus. Small animals, such as certain worms or insects, can also cause or transmit disease. However, these animals are usually, in common parlance, referred to as parasites rather than pathogens. The scientific study of microscopic organisms, including microscopic pathogenic organisms, is certainly called microbiology, while parasitology refers to the scientific study of parasites and the organisms that host them.