Fearing another wave of COVID-19, feds urge people to get a booster dose

Afiyana June 30, 2022 No Comments

Fearing another wave of COVID-19, feds urge people to get a booster dose

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Canada’s top doctor said Thursday that it’s imperative everyone eligible for a booster dose gets their third shot now before the new, more infectious Omicron variants take hold in the coming weeks. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said while COVID-19 case counts are currently stable, officials are bracing for a resurgence in late summer and early fall as immune-evasive variants like BA.4 and BA.5 become widespread and the country enters the respiratory virus season. Do you have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email us at ask@cbc.ca or join us live in the comments now. Tam said the best defence against this expected wave is getting up to date with COVID-19 shots. The primary series of shots — the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine — don’t offer enough protection and a third dose is needed for all adults and for certain high-risk adolescents, she said. Government data suggests the first two shots offer little protection against an Omicron infection — “There’s almost no protection,” Tam said earlier this month — and data from other countries similarly suggest the primary series offers negligible levels of protection against transmission. The first two doses do offset the possibility of severe outcomes like hospitalization and death but that protection wanes substantially over time, necessitating a third dose to jump start the immune response, Tam said. Canada lags other countries in booster dose coverage Tam said the benefits of a third dose are already well known. She said, based on data collected in April

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Nutrition warnings are coming to the front of some packaged foods in Canada

Afiyana June 30, 2022 No Comments

Nutrition warnings are coming to the front of some packaged foods in Canada

Canada will require that companies add nutrition warnings to the front of pre-packaged food with high levels of saturated fat, sugar or sodium in an effort to help grocery shoppers make healthier choices with just a glance. But ground meat will be exempt from the labels, after ranchers groups objected to Health Canada’s proposal earlier this month. The government says the labels are meant to help Canadians eat healthier, as the so-called “nutrients of public health concern” have been linked to conditions such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. “These regulations are designed to make it easier for us to make informed, healthier choices,” said Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos. Health Canada said the new labels will complement, rather than replace, the more detailed nutrition information that’s typically on the back of food packaging. In general, they’ll be placed on pre-packaged foods that contain more than 15 per cent of the suggested daily value of  saturated fat, sugars or sodium. For pre-packaged meals, the warnings will only go on items with more than 30 per cent of the recommended daily intake. Ground meat exempt from warning The proposed labels were at the centre of controversy earlier this month when a group of ranchers opposed the government’s plan to include warnings on ground meat. At the time, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association said the policy would “vilify” ground meat and make people think it’s a less healthy choice than whole cuts. Now, Health Canada has exempted ground meat from the warning labels, even if it’s high in fat or salt. The product

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COVID-19 boosters recommended for the fall, Canada’s vaccine advisory body says

Afiyana June 29, 2022 No Comments

COVID-19 boosters recommended for the fall, Canada’s vaccine advisory body says

People at high risk of severe disease from COVID-19 infection should be offered a booster shot this fall, regardless of how many boosters they’ve previously received, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) said on Wednesday.  That group includes everyone age 65 and older, NACI’s updated guidance said.  Everyone else — age 12 to 64 — “may be offered” the additional doses in the fall, NACI said.  NACI said it will provide recommendations on the type of booster to be given when evidence about multivalent vaccines — which prime the body’s defences against multiple variants, including Omicron and its subvariants — becomes available. “Manufacturers are working on new COVID-19 vaccines, including multivalent vaccines and vaccines specifically targeting VOCs [variants of concern], although their exact characteristics and timing of availability in Canada are not yet known,” NACI said.  World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement on Wednesday that Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 have caused COVID-19 case numbers to rise in 110 countries, “causing overall global cases to increase by 20 per cent.” Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, has also said those Omicron subvariants appear to be on the rise in this country.  2/3 However, some areas are reporting increases in some of these activity indicators. At the same time, the overall proportion of BA.4 and BA.5 among sequenced <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a> variants is increasing as we continue to closely monitor circulating viruses. &mdash;@CPHO_Canada On Tuesday, advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended that the next wave in COVID-19 booster shots should include a component that targets Omicron to combat the more recently circulating subvariants. NACI recommended that booster shots happen in the

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Shining some light on the obscure proteome

Afiyana June 29, 2022 No Comments

Mass-spectrometry based proteomics is the big-data science of proteins that allows the monitoring of the abundance of thousands of proteins in a sample at once. Therefore, it is a particularly well-suited readout for discovering which proteins are targeted by any small molecule. An international research team has investigated this using chemical proteomics.

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New clues on unsolved genetic diseases in children

Afiyana June 29, 2022 No Comments

Scientists have discovered a new way to interpret unsolved Mendelian diseases — diseases inherited from either parent due to gene mutations in the developing egg or sperm — through studying the inheritance of a protein known as SMCHD1 which is coded by the SMCHD1 gene.

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B.C.-led lawsuit nets $150M proposed settlement with Purdue Pharma over opioid harms

Afiyana June 29, 2022 No Comments

B.C.-led lawsuit nets $150M proposed settlement with Purdue Pharma over opioid harms

A proposed $150-million settlement with Purdue Pharma Canada covering all provinces and territories has been reached for the recovery of health-care costs related to the sale and marketing of opioid-based pain medication. British Columbia Attorney General David Eby said Wednesday that it’s the largest settlement of a governmental health-care cost claim in Canadian history. “We know that no amount of money can bring back those who have died, but we are committed to holding corporations and others accountable for acts of alleged wrongdoing committed in the manufacturing and distribution of opioid products,” Eby said in a statement Wednesday. In a lawsuit filed in 2018, the province targeted over 40 drug manufacturers and retailers in an effort to recover health-care costs related to the drug crisis that has killed thousands across the province. Eby said the proposed settlement was accepted by governments across Canada and a plan is being worked on to determine how the money will be divided, based on the impact of each province. “The money will be going to supporting provincial programs to fight the opioid epidemic that we believe Purdue’s actions contributed to through their deceptive marketing,” he said. Over 27,000 people died across the country from toxic street drugs between 2016 and September 2021. Officials claimed Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, downplayed the risks of its drugs when advertising them to physicians, especially when it comes to their addictive potential, contributing to the opioid crisis. Resulting health-care expenses like addiction treatment, emergency response and hospital bills were a result of the “wrongful conduct of opioid manufacturers, distributors and their consultants,” the province said. The lawsuit was

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Many pain medications can be used for spine-related pain in older adults

Afiyana June 28, 2022 No Comments

Now a new review study has found acetaminophen is safe in older adults, but non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen) may be more effective for spine-related pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories should be used short-term in lower dose courses with gastrointestinal precaution while corticosteroids show the least evidence for treating nonspecific back pain.

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ArriveCan app could have use beyond pandemic, public safety minister says

Afiyana June 28, 2022 No Comments

ArriveCan app could have use beyond pandemic, public safety minister says

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said the much-criticized ArriveCan app could help speed up border bottlenecks and may have uses beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. During a tour at a customs checkpoint in Windsor, Ont. Tuesday, Mendicino said the ArriveCan app — the COVID-19 screening tool border city mayors have asked the government to scrap — could be a useful technology moving forward.  “ArriveCan was originally created for the purposes of COVID-19 but it has technological capacity beyond that to really shrink the amount of time that is required when you’re getting screened at the border,” he said.  “So that’s the vision is really to utilize the platform to decrease the amount of time, so CBSA officers can really focus on the problem areas, like if you’re trying to smuggle a gun or trying to smuggle drugs.” The app was introduced during the pandemic to allow travellers to report their trips and vaccination status. Ottawa requires that travellers use the ArriveCan mobile app, or its desktop version, to submit their travel and COVID-19-related health information before arriving in Canada. Travellers who fail to do so can face a 14-day quarantine and even a $5,000 fine. Border city mayors say the tool is a barrier for tourists looking to enter Canada, and for trade.  Chief says to eliminate the app Some Indigenous people have issues with it, too. “We have issues with the ArriveCan,” Chief Charles Sampson of Walpole Island First Nation told CBC News. “In particular, our people in many instances don’t have the technology to download the app and don’t have the necessary iPhones to go back and forth and take with them to their trips to the United States.” Chief Charles

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