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Are vaccines the light at the end of the tunnel?


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2 hours ago, ABoatNerd said:

Well here in Canada it is a bleak situation for vaccines, really there are few if any vaccines happening.

 

Essentially the Cdn federal government did the big vaccine deal (the majority of vaccine purchase) with China (CanSino) but the deal fell through and their vaccine has received no approval. China blocked shipment of vaccine samples that were to be sent to Dalhousie University (near Toronto) for trials. So the Cdn feds had to scramble for vaccine and were and will remain behind other countries in vaccine supply going forward. Canada has no vaccine production facilities. 

 

For example in Ottawa, Ontario, a city of + 1 million, there is no vaccine period. Some, but not all, people in LTC and hospital and staff in retirement homes/LTC and PSW's and first responders got a first dose of Pfizer, that is it. No date for any further vaccine.

 

Unlike the US, the limited vaccine shots are being done in public health offices - no drug stores. So very limited venues even if there was vaccine. 

 

Plenty of trying to divert the attention away from the vaccine shortage going on at the federal level. Essentially I have given up ever getting a vaccine any time soon given the incompetence at the Cdn federal level.  The CDC hopefully is paying attention to the Canadian situation and ensuring the northern border remains closed.

 

So not able to plan any trips period due to the vaccine situation in Canada.  This is one reason why numerous Canadians have flown to the US and got their vaccine shots, granted many have properties there. Not good at all.

 

Is it being organized at a national level or Province by Province?

 

- Joel

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Joel- the supply is national with allocations to provinces (nothing public about parameters). 

 

It is so bad in Ontario, the largest province, that our Premier Ford went public to President Biden on Thursday asking for vaccine.  If that is not a slap in the face of the Cdn federal government, dont know what is.

 

Very poor national vaccine situation in Canada.

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1 hour ago, cluso said:

 

Just a heads up.  On Thursday, January 21, 2021, the state of Florida restricted vaccines to residents only.  Apparently there were a lot of fly-in's and drive-in's from other states and countries that were overwhelming the system.  Even if you own property in Florida, you have to have proof that you are a permanent resident...  

Just need a deed,  or  snowbird lease 30 + days,  or  car regis,   fl driver's license, utility bill, hoa fees,  library card etc.    So " permanent resident"  for the required period.  We are in Florida  for extended stay this yr although I used to go back and forth to NY every few weeks  for work.....job still closed.  We are set up for second shot  already but will still bring all our proof..  the Rules are clearly set out.  (And those who already had the 1st shot wil be okay for shot no. 2)

 

Idea is to vaccinate those who are living here even seasonally to protect them and others, but not  short term tourists!   There's just not enough  of the State's allocation from the fed gov to go around locally let alone  include others...They need to look to their home states or countries.

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11 hours ago, D C said:

Thanks Rick.  Unfortunately, a whole lot of people will ignore information like that. 

 

That side effect table is great to convey what to expect. 

 

 

Yes..that was helpful. Makes it less scary!

 

Moderna #1 we had  sore arm pain, tiredness, some slight muscle pain..2 to 3 days.  Had taken Benadryl and ibuprophen ahead.  Will do the same for shot #2  and  expect a few extra days to recover!

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To the virologists / epidemiologists among us

can you please explain the Governments, (ours in particular) continuous reference to these “viral fragments” 


“Routine wastewater testing has returned a positive result for viral fragments of COVID-19 in sewage at the treatment plant”

 

The fragments’ test Positive for Covid but are “almost certainly from people who HAD Covid and are shedding fragments” 

And what is the difference between PCR testing and this type of testing?

BTW - what our Govt wants is for people in the actual treatment plant location to race off and get tested for C19. Helps their numbers and enables continued restrictions.

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Good for you hcat for getting a vaccine in Florida as a New York resident.  Unfortunately a huge amount of us Florida residents haven’t been so lucky.  Perhaps there is a time to be careful what you post on here,

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1 hour ago, Porky55 said:

To the virologists / epidemiologists among us

can you please explain the Governments, (ours in particular) continuous reference to these “viral fragments” 


“Routine wastewater testing has returned a positive result for viral fragments of COVID-19 in sewage at the treatment plant”

 

The fragments’ test Positive for Covid but are “almost certainly from people who HAD Covid and are shedding fragments” 

And what is the difference between PCR testing and this type of testing?

BTW - what our Govt wants is for people in the actual treatment plant location to race off and get tested for C19. Helps their numbers and enables continued restrictions.

 

This is way more detailed than you're looking for, but it gives some indication of the complexity of your question. This is US CDC information; I wouldn't expect Australia to be radically different from my experience.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/wastewater-surveillance/testing-methods.html

 

Wastewater (impolitely, sewage) is a very complex biological media. There have been enough studies over the last months to lead everyone to believe that monitoring wastewater is a decent surrogate for infection and viral shedding. Since you can't correlate to an individual, it's much harder to correlate to infectivity, disease, etc. But it does appear that people infected with SARS-CoV-2 shed the virus, or fragments of the virus, in stool, and it can be detected in wastewater.

 

I'm not real big on the use of "fragments" unless they're doing extensive multi-target PCR and are only finding some targets. That would lead you to believe the testing is finding incomplete virus (fragments), which isn't really surprising as the GI tract, wastewater treatment, etc., are all going to wreck havoc with the structure of the virus, and I'd really expect only pieces to survive. So when they say "fragments", my assumption is they mean incomplete (not capable of replication or transmission) virus, and they're trying to be technically correct, but confusing at the same time.

 

The actual testing of the wastewater is going to be PCR, just like a clinical specimen. The big difference if there's a HUGE amount of effort to extract the RNA from a very complicated biological matrix before actually running the PCR, and to neutralize naturally occurring inhibitors, inhibit contaminants, etc. That matrix is likely to contain other coronaviruses, for instance, which could overlap with SARS-CoV-2. There are typically very complicated criteria for calling a PCR positive or negative, and those are going to be even more complicated in a wastewater sample.

 

With the low prevalence of the virus in Australia, I can sort of understand encouraging people to be tested when you see the virus in an area. It would be of limited use in the US, I'd think. Australis is probably one of the few places where trying to make that correlation makes sense. Ultimately it could actually help ease restrictions if the wastewater testing (grouped population) and individual testing (swabs, for instance) correlate well and show a low prevalence.

 

Most of the time, it's useful to treat people as intelligent adults and try to explain things to them. Sounds like either the health authorities, or equally likely the "I have 30 seconds on the news tonight" crowd have tried to simplify things too much, and not given you enough information to understand what they're trying to say...

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3 hours ago, markeb said:

Most of the time, it's useful to treat people as intelligent adults and try to explain things to them. Sounds like either the health authorities, or equally likely the "I have 30 seconds on the news tonight" crowd have tried to simplify things too much, and not given you enough information to understand what they're trying to say...

markb - thank you for your explanation and it does make sense when you place it in the context you have re: Australian numbers.
You are correct the authorities are simplifying things too much - without ANY real info …… so again thanks 👍

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8 hours ago, Oville said:

Good for you hcat for getting a vaccine in Florida as a New York resident.  Unfortunately a huge amount of us Florida residents haven’t been so lucky.  Perhaps there is a time to be careful what you post on here,

We, like you have homes in diff states.  We go back and forth including  spending time in  Fla  during   summer months when many "Florida residents" & snowbirds  head north.  Have done so since the 1980s and do not consider ourselves outsiders or "vaccine tourists"

 

Hope you get your shot soon but pleae do not begrudge others who also want the same thing. We are all looking for a healthier future. Good luck! Stay safe.

 

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10 hours ago, Porky55 said:

To the virologists / epidemiologists among us

can you please explain the Governments, (ours in particular) continuous reference to these “viral fragments” 


“Routine wastewater testing has returned a positive result for viral fragments of COVID-19 in sewage at the treatment plant”

 

The fragments’ test Positive for Covid but are “almost certainly from people who HAD Covid and are shedding fragments” 

And what is the difference between PCR testing and this type of testing?

BTW - what our Govt wants is for people in the actual treatment plant location to race off and get tested for C19. Helps their numbers and enables continued restrictions.

 

Mark gave an excellent answer but still possibly too complicated for some here as many have requested we simplify.

 

Infected people have virus RNA in their stool.  So it is present prior to waste treatment and it is detectable by the PCR test which is very sensitive. Here is an example to illustrate the usefulness of this approach:

 

Some universities have monitored all of the waste stream coming out of a dormitory to see if anybody in the group of students residing there are virus positive.  If so then they go ahead and further test individuals.  If the dormitory is negative then no further testing so it saves time and expense. PCR can be run to detect whole virus RNA or smaller pieces (fragments) of virus RNA.  The virus RNA in a waste stream is likely degraded to some extent so testing for the smaller degraded pieces helps with identifying positives.

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In case anyone is interested, here is the new Florida residency requirement.

 

Better late than never.

 

Florida residency requirements.

The state of Florida requires that those receiving their first vaccine dose provide proof of residency meeting criteria 1, 2, or 3 below. 

  1. Valid Florida driver license issued by Florida State Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
    OR
  2. Valid Florida identification card issued by Florida State Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
    OR
  3. If a customer cannot present #1 or #2, the customer can prove satisfactory Florida residency by presenting a copy of any two of the following items if they reflect a Florida residential address (Note: A P.O. box or commercial/business address is not sufficient and the two items cannot be from the same category):
    • Category A: a deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet, OR residential rental or lease agreement
    • Category B: a utility hookup or utility work order dated within 60 days before the date of vaccination
    • Category C: a utility bill dated within two months of the date of vaccination
    • Category D: mail from a financial institution, including checking, savings, or investment account statements, dated within two months of the date of vaccination
    • Category E: mail from a federal, state, county, or municipal government agency, dated within two months of the date of vaccination
    • Category F: proof of a Florida residential address for the individual’s parent, stepparent, legal guardian, or other person with whom the seasonal resident resides in Florida, PLUS a written statement from the person with whom the seasonal resident resides stating that the seasonal resident does reside with him or her.

 

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7 minutes ago, Crazy planning mom said:

The new CDC director said that the vaccine won't be in pharmacies at the end of February.

Do we think regular folks can get it May June? 

Hopefully the answer is YES.  I am counting on that personally. Let's remember that our vaccine supply in the US is being worked on day and night by both Pfizer and Moderna.   And there is a high probability of having vaccines by both J&J and AZ added to the supply by March.  And importantly the new administration has made it a priority by Executive Order on Day 1 invoking the Defense Production Act.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/news-wrap-biden-invokes-defense-production-act-to-ramp-up-supply-of-covid-19-vaccines

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1 hour ago, Crazy planning mom said:

The new CDC director said that the vaccine won't be in pharmacies at the end of February.

Do we think regular folks can get it May June? 

Good question.  Yesterday I read two articles written in the last few days from LA Times. One showed an updated timeline saying 50 plus should start late Spring (even though still behind essential workers, incarcerated etc.).  The next one I read stipulated at this rate priority for those over 65 would be necessary through at least June before anyone else would even be considered. That would place the 50 plus way down the line. It is all over the place.  In other words...what planners like you (and me) love to hear...."no one really knows".😕

 

 

M

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14 hours ago, ABoatNerd said:

Very poor national vaccine situation in Canada.

I couldn't have said it better !!  

With all the " studies, task forces, public consultations " and the many Agencies involved--- Nobody in the Federal Govt  ordered enough vaccine and Nobody followed up as to when are we getting it !!!

Lots of sound bites on tv with " beautiful faces " but, Nobody takes " responsibility "---  

Never mind this " We have to work together " crap "--- Do Something !!

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2 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Hopefully the answer is YES.  I am counting on that personally. Let's remember that our vaccine supply in the US is being worked on day and night by both Pfizer and Moderna.   And there is a high probability of having vaccines by both J&J and AZ added to the supply by March.  And importantly the new administration has made it a priority by Executive Order on Day 1 invoking the Defense Production Act.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/news-wrap-biden-invokes-defense-production-act-to-ramp-up-supply-of-covid-19-vaccines

I do not have your medical knowledge.  My expertise is in manufacturing.  Vaccine production is limited by initially getting vaccines approved.  If the J&J vaccine, for example, is approved then there will obviously be a much larger supply of vaccine - that is also easier to handle in rural/3rd World countries.  J&J has the capability of providing 1B doses in 2021.  The US will receive 100M doses early in the production cycle.  Canada 38M doses later as they did not buy until recently.  J&J also faster as it is one dose.

Materials for production and delivery seem to have been largely sorted.  The Defense Production Act will eventually increase production, but the limitation today is mostly the manufacturing line - not raw materials.  Syringes according to our state health department are in very short supply, but you cannot simply run the production line faster.  Manufacturers have been running full out for some months.

Production is an issue and Pfizer made a tough decision to shut down for a couple weeks in order to increase the production capacity - have heard double or a bit more.  This is important as this plant supplies every country EXCEPT the USA.

Astra Zenica is approved in several countries.  Not is the US - maybe questions about efficacy?  Not my area of expertise.

Novavax should be approved in Europe and elsewhere in a few weeks.  Their US trial is getting underway.

Thoughts - only my opinion - the US should be into the general public in May.  Here that is under 65 and not working in any sort of essential business - almost any business.  Canada will take a bit longer because their government hesitated is buying vaccines.  Probably summer.

The UK and Europe probably similar to the US since it appears they are giving EUA status a bit easier than the US as shown by AZenica early approval.

As to cruising - would think the CDC and politicians will meet in a few weeks to discuss.  Two likely sticking points are the requirement that ports accept any ill patients - Jamacia and Mexico have extremely limited ICU beds and currently are having difficulty handling their own citizens AND until Canada gets sufficient vaccine - Summer? - when will they open their ports?

The good news is in a few months vaccines should be readily available almost everywhere.

 

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2 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Hopefully the answer is YES.  I am counting on that personally. Let's remember that our vaccine supply in the US is being worked on day and night by both Pfizer and Moderna.   And there is a high probability of having vaccines by both J&J and AZ added to the supply by March.  And importantly the new administration has made it a priority by Executive Order on Day 1 invoking the Defense Production Act.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/news-wrap-biden-invokes-defense-production-act-to-ramp-up-supply-of-covid-19-vaccines

Don't get your hopes too high on the defense production act.  Moderna & Pfizer are already maxed out and they have already plan increased production.  Remember, the idea of having many variety of vaccines was that if one doesn't work as well as planned there will be others in the pipeline.  Problem was the first ones appears to have the highest efficacy rate.  If they were nearer to 50% than 95%, demand may be nowhere as great.  I'm not sure if other vaccine companies can produce these mRNA vaccines.  If they can, it will probably take months to ramp up.  On the other hand, the other vaccines are in the pipeline.  Before we go ahead with other vaccine companies making the mRNA vaccines, make sure the mRNA vaccine can handle the latest mutations else we may be producing an outdated vaccine.

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There have been reported shortages of some of the vaccine formulation components, raw materials, packaging materials, syringes, etc.  Hopefully there will eventually be some relief on some of these items to keep the current and future vaccines leaving the lines at the highest possible capacity.  The Defense Production Act might help some of these shortage situations.  

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23 minutes ago, deadzone1003 said:

Don't get your hopes too high on the defense production act.  Moderna & Pfizer are already maxed out and they have already plan increased production.  Remember, the idea of having many variety of vaccines was that if one doesn't work as well as planned there will be others in the pipeline.  Problem was the first ones appears to have the highest efficacy rate.  If they were nearer to 50% than 95%, demand may be nowhere as great.  I'm not sure if other vaccine companies can produce these mRNA vaccines.  If they can, it will probably take months to ramp up.  On the other hand, the other vaccines are in the pipeline.  Before we go ahead with other vaccine companies making the mRNA vaccines, make sure the mRNA vaccine can handle the latest mutations else we may be producing an outdated vaccine.

I agree.  This is not a pro or con one party political statement at all - but some people believe that a change in presidency will result in miracles regarding vaccination.  We can hope for some positive change but no president is a miracle worker and logistics (among other things like availability of supplies to enable distribution) are still part of the problem and a change in leadership does not change that, especially not immediately.  

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The Defense Production Act cannot magically remove constraints--but it is not just about ordering greater production.   It also allows the government to cut the line by ordering that all production must be sold to the US notwithstanding contracts with other countries.  There are obvious foreign relations issues involved in such a move.  The Biden admin has been ambiguous about *how* it might use the DPA.  

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On 1/17/2021 at 9:46 AM, Janealmalu said:

I've been quietly reading this thread for months, and really appreciate the information and wisdom from so many knowledgeable posters, especially those in the medical field.  I'm ready now to humbly offer this observation.  

 

While many/most of us (including me) have been expressing frustration over the vaccination rollout, the states & localities have been quietly picking up the pace.  As of Jan 16, 2021, 13.7 Million doses have been administered with a daily average of ~ 850 thousand over the past week. 

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/

 

If that pace is maintained, the 20 Million mark will be reached around January 25.  Many seem to focus on missing the goal of 20 Million by end December, but this IMO looses sight of the larger view.  I recall one famous spokesperson saying 20 Million by end December would be a medical miracle.  If that's a miracle, I'd say 20 Million by end January along with a growing pace is pretty spectacular.  

 

But also consider this:  The US has vaccinated far more people than any nation (even the much larger China) and is ranked 5th globally in doses/capita only behind 4 much smaller nations (kudos to Israel, UAE, Bahrain, and the UK).  Moreover, the US with 4.3% of the world's population has given over 34% of the doses (factor of ~ 8 to 1).  All of this data is in the link (the site updates daily).   

 

Was the rollout shaky and uneven? Yes.  Does it need to improve?  Yes  Is it getting better?  Definitely.  Do we have reason to be frustrated?  Yes.   But all in all, we have much to be thankful for and proud of.  

 

 

 

Great news, the US passed the 20 MM dose mark yesterday, about 5-1/2 weeks after the vaccination program started in earnest, outstanding work.  More good news:  the 7 day average of daily doses has been steadily climbing from the outset and reached 1.06 MM this past 7 days.  This already exceeds the Million a day goal recently set.  Granted, there will be ups and downs maintaining and increasing that pace.  

 

The US is now 6th globally in vaccinations per capita, as the tiny nation of Seychelles has climbed into 3rd place.  And the US still has far more vaccination than any other nation, and with just 4.3% of the world's population has administered 1/3 of the doses. 

 

Deep thanks and gratitude to the men and women across the nation (and of course other nations) sacrificing to make this great work happen. 

 

I do have one question.  Israel has already and amazingly vaccinated (1st dose) over 38% of their population.  At what point (vacs/capita) should we expect to see a noticeable reduction in C19 cases/hospitalizations/deaths?  I'm not referring to herd immunity, rather, at what point (which would be in advance of herd immunity) should we expect the impact of the disease to noticeably decline?   FWIW, right now the shape of Israel's case count curve looks about like the US (sharply declining from a recent peak).  

 

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/

 

  

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, junglejane said:

The Defense Production Act cannot magically remove constraints--but it is not just about ordering greater production.   It also allows the government to cut the line by ordering that all production must be sold to the US notwithstanding contracts with other countries.  There are obvious foreign relations issues involved in such a move.  The Biden admin has been ambiguous about *how* it might use the DPA.  

Good point.  Again, not giving an opinion pro or con, but the recent administration was strongly accused of nationalism (the accusation is fact; whether you agree with is or not is opinion) which must be closely considered in how we go forward with this.  

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4 minutes ago, Janealmalu said:

 

Great news, the US passed the 20 MM dose mark yesterday, about 5-1/2 weeks after the vaccination program started in earnest, outstanding work.  More good news:  the 7 day average of daily doses has been steadily climbing from the outset and reached 1.06 MM this past 7 days.  This already exceeds the Million a day goal recently set.  Granted, there will be ups and downs maintaining and increasing that pace.  

 

The US is now 6th globally in vaccinations per capita, as the tiny nation of Seychelles has climbed into 3rd place.  And the US still has far more vaccination than any other nation, and with just 4.3% of the world's population has administered 1/3 of the doses. 

 

Deep thanks and gratitude to the men and women across the nation (and of course other nations) sacrificing to make this great work happen. 

 

I do have one question.  Israel has already and amazingly vaccinated (1st dose) over 38% of their population.  At what point (vacs/capita) should we expect to see a noticeable reduction in C19 cases/hospitalizations/deaths?  I'm not referring to herd immunity, rather, at what point (which would be in advance of herd immunity) should we expect the impact of the disease to noticeably decline?   FWIW, right now the shape of Israel's case count curve looks about like the US (sharply declining from a recent peak).  

 

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/

 

  

 

 

 

I guess we do need to look at the bright side sometimes.  At the same time, even at a million doses per day, it will take close to a year to get everyone fully vaccinated.  And while we have far more vaccinations than many other countries, we also have significantly higher numbers of infections and deaths.  It is very hard to be optimistic when, for example, in my state they are saying it could take 12 weeks to vaccinate the group starting next week, and in my own county they are saying the group could take 6 months to vaccinate!  I don't know who to believe and it is very stressful.

 

I do completely share your thanks and sincere appreciation to everyone working so very hard to get the vaccines out to everyone.  

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3 hours ago, Pinboy said:

I couldn't have said it better !!  

With all the " studies, task forces, public consultations " and the many Agencies involved--- Nobody in the Federal Govt  ordered enough vaccine and Nobody followed up as to when are we getting it !!!

Lots of sound bites on tv with " beautiful faces " but, Nobody takes " responsibility "---  

Never mind this " We have to work together " crap "--- Do Something !!

Not entirely true.

 

Back in December, Canada was accused of having purchased far too many doses given the size of the population. The government agreed that was the case, but indicated that any surplus would be given to third-world countries once all Canadians desiring one had been vaccinated.

 

The current shortage, which will be rectified by mid-February, is due to Pfizer's temporary shutdown. While this clearly has a negative impact on the timetable for getting the vaccine in the arms of Canadians, the government anticipates that by March, the total number of doses received should be back on track. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been ordered, some 20 million from AstraZeneca alone, but we continue to wait for the necessary approvals of these particular vaccines, just like so many other countries.

 

Yes, lots of sound bites on TV, particularly from Ford in Ontario. He rants and raves about Pfizer, as is his right (and his style), but let's not forget that he is the one who only got around to appointing someone to actually coordinate the Ontario rollout of the vaccine just a scant few weeks before receiving the first shipment. 

Edited by Fouremco
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