What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 10
Here's CBC Ottawa's latest roundup of key updates during the coronavirus pandemic.The Ottawa Senators have placed a sixth player in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol, announcing Wednesday that defenceman Josh Brown has been added to the list. He played against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.
With Health Canada expected to approve Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 — and as it continues to review Moderna's pediatric version — parents of younger school-aged children must now decide whether they'll be queuing up to get their kids these shots.
As young people brace for climate change, kids TV is going green
Here's a quick refresher about vaccinations for children and school-related immunization.
Who's responsible for childhood immunizations?
Parents and guardians are ultimately responsible for getting their children immunized. Who actually gives kids their regular shots, however, depends on region. In some areas, it might be a nurse, or specifically a public health nurse, while elsewhere it may be a pediatrician or family physician/general practitioner. In some cases, like for a flu shot, it could be a pharmacist.
Provinces and territories distribute and manage delivery of vaccines, which are approved and procured by the federal government.
Health officials across the country have already been planning how to roll out COVID-19 vaccines for the 5-11 age group, ranging from setting up specific pediatric vaccination clinics (some with therapy dogs), incorporating pediatricians and family physicians and enlisting pharmacies as well.
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 16
Here's CBC Ottawa's latest roundup of key updates during the coronavirus pandemic.Ontario reported 552 new cases of the illness Monday, an increase of approximately 15 per cent over the same time last week, while Ottawa's new daily cases have been fluctuating, but not showing a dramatic surge.
In every province and territory, schools are also a common public space to host vaccination programs for students. Multiple regions have mentioned planning COVID-19 vaccine clinics in school spaces, as they've already done for older children, teens and families.
Looking to the COVID-19 vaccination rollout for younger kids, "there needs to be adjustments in the mass clinics to accommodate children and use of pain- and anxiety-management techniques, because we know that many children are afraid of needles and that could be a stressful event to be vaccinated in a crowd," said Ève Dubé, a medical anthropologist and researcher at the Quebec National Institute of Public Health.
Is immunization mandatory to attend school in Canada?
Childhood immunization is highly recommended by public health and school officials across Canada as a long-lasting, effective protection against vaccine-preventable diseases.
COVID-19 live updates: Quebec reports 2 deaths, 745 cases – most in two months
Updated throughout the day on Friday, Nov. 19. Questions/comments: [email protected] Top updates For kids 5-11, federal committee recommends interval of at least 8 weeks between doses Quebec reports 2 deaths, 745 cases – most in two months Province ready to start vaccinating kids 5-11 ‘as early as next week,’ Dubé says Video: Federal officials provide update on rollout of Pfizer vax for young children Canadian Grand Prix returns to Montreal next summer Health Canada approves Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids 5-11 Canada expected to announce easing of border measures today Opinion: High school students set a good example on masks A guide to Quebec’s COVID-19 vaccine pass
In order to attend school in Ontario, the Immunization of School Pupils Act requires proof of vaccination (or being granted an exemption) for a series of diseases, including diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tetanus and more. A section of New Brunswick's Public Health Act mandates that parents or guardians of students starting school — which is typically at kindergarten — show proof of vaccination (or have an accepted exemption).
British Columbia's Vaccination Status Reporting Regulation compels families to disclose a student's immunization record or seek an exemption. In the event of an outbreak — of measles, for instance — unvaccinated students are required to remain at home for a set period of time.
Other provinces and territories don't make vaccination mandatory, but schools in those regions may still review the immunization records of students registering for school for the first time. Alternately, public health officials or school nurses may review children's immunization records at the age they typically start school or at subsequent intervals.
Vaccine superheroes: Experts impressed with communications that target children
Whether using a video of Batman shadowing a public health professional or a picture of a purple cartoon character playing hockey, Canadian health units and science communication groups are trying to find ways to inspire young audiences to get the COVID-19 vaccine days before the country is expected to begin the next phase of its immunization drive. Health Canada approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids aged five to 11 on Friday after reviewing safety and efficacy data from the company for weeks, and doses are expected to arrive in the provinces and territories in the coming days.
In Alberta, for instance, public health reviews come in Grades 1, 6 and 9. If vaccinations are missing or incomplete, information sheets about them are typically sent home, along with parental consent forms, ahead of routine in-school clinics.
Video: International Medical graduates petition to help during COVID-19 pandemic (Global News)
Compelling immunization can increase uptake, according to research from the U.S., where every state has some vaccine requirements. But in Canada, it's less clear, said Dubé.
Ontario has required proof of vaccination for school attendance since 1982, she said, whereas Quebec doesn't. "But when we compare Quebec vaccine uptake versus Ontario vaccine uptake, it's quite similar."
Will COVID-19 vaccines be added to the current list of shots for children?
In early October, California became the first U.S. state to require COVID-19 vaccination for its K-12 students. Over the past few months, different voices in Canada have called for provincial health officials to add vaccination against COVID-19 to the existing list of childhood vaccinations, including the chair of the Toronto District School Board (Canada's largest school board), the head of public education advocacy group People of Education and Toronto's medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa.
Parliament resumes and horror in Milwaukee: In The News for Nov. 22
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Nov. 22 What we are watching in Canada OTTAWA — Members of Parliament return to the House of Commons today for the first time in five months. It's a new Parliament that looks almost identical to the old one, after an election Sept. 20 that saw only a handful of seats change hands and gave Justin Trudeau's Liberals their second consecutive minority. And it's facing many of the same issues: the ongoing battle against COVID-19, rebuilding the battered economy, climate change, Indigenous reconciliation.
At this point, however, it doesn't seem like Canadian provinces and territories are moving in that direction.
In late October, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said he won't be adding it to the province's list, but will consider the "ongoing threat" of COVID-19 as he reviews that decision going forward. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said in early November he also will not mandate that schoolchildren receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Do all regions have school-based vaccination?
The approach to immunizing kids varies across Canada, with differences that include who gives the shots, at what age or grade a particular vaccine is given, when immunization is officially recorded, what kind of followup from health workers exists and how vaccination data is collected and published.
However, all provinces and territories do regularly participate in vaccination programs in conjunction with local public health officials, with many held in primary and secondary school settings.
Standard vaccine programs were delayed last year due to the pandemic, but many catch-up initiatives for routine immunizations are planned or already underway.
The federal government lists the recommended immunization schedules that exist in each province and territory and provides a tool for families to figure out a schedule for children under six, as well as for students from Grade 1 through 12 (or Secondary V in Quebec).
Breast cancer screening guidelines based on flawed Canadian study, new paper says
A new paper calls into question a decades-old Canadian study that has informed breast cancer screening guidelines for women in their 40s around the world, which generally do not recommend a yearly mammogram. The commentary — co-written by researchers at The Ottawa Hospital, Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta and Harvard Medical School — will be published inthe Journal of Medical Screening this week.
How is Canada doing with childhood vaccinations?
Every two years, Statistics Canada conducts the Childhood National Immunization Coverage Survey (cNICS) to measure the proportion of kids who have received all routine vaccinations at the ages of two, seven, 14 and 17, as well as what parents and guardians know and think about vaccines.
Initial analysis of the most recent survey, which took place in 2019, found that while the majority of two-year-old Canadians received all the recommended suite of vaccines, there was still room to improve uptake. According to Canada's National Immunization Strategy, the goal for childhood vaccination coverage is 95 per cent by ages two and seven, and 90 per cent for adolescents.
No province or territory has met the childhood goals for all vaccines.
Newfoundland and Labrador comes the closest, meeting the goal for multiple vaccines and typically registering the highest coverage across Canada's regions.
Does a child always need parental consent for vaccinations?
The age that kids can themselves consent to receiving a vaccine (versus getting parental consent) varies across Canada and is based on whether they are assessed to be a mature minor by a health-care professional. That can start at age 12 in Manitoba and B.C., for instance, going up to 18 in Alberta.
A child or adolescent assessed as a mature minor must learn the risks and benefits of the vaccination from a health-care provider and understand this information ahead of granting consent. Their medical record would be kept confidential, so parents or guardians of a student deemed to be a mature minor may not be aware of the vaccination.