- Canadians who had allergic reaction to first vaccine dose can safely get second, advisory committee says.
Melbourne, one of the world’s most locked-down cities that emerged from its latest spate of COVID-19 restrictions heading into the weekend, will see more curbs eased later this week when the state of Victoria reaches an 80 per cent full vaccination rate, officials said on Sunday.
Home to about five million people, the Australian city endured 262 days — or nearly nine months — of stay-at-home restrictions during six lockdowns since March 2020. That’s more total days than the 234-day continuous lockdown in Buenos Aires.
The next phase of reopening starts on Oct. 29, when 80 per cent of people across Victoria are expected to be fully vaccinated. People in Melbourne, the state capital, will be free to travel throughout Victoria and masks will no longer be required outdoors.
With a once-sputtering vaccine rollout now at full speed, authorities across Australia no longer plan to rely on extended lockdowns to suppress the virus. Victoria recorded 1,935 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths on Sunday.
As the state moves toward a “vaccinated economy” in which only fully inoculated people will be allowed into venues, a 90 per cent percent rate is expected around Nov. 24, Premier Daniel Andrews said.
He added that he wanted to see crowds in excess of 80,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the Boxing Day Test on Dec. 26 between Australia and England.
“It’s our approach to try and achieve life as close to normal as possible,” Andrews said.
Australians overwhelmingly support vaccinations; research by the Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne showed in October that only 6.9 per cent of the population were unwilling to be inoculated.
New South Wales state, whose capital Sydney spent 100 days in a lockdown that ended earlier this month, recorded 296 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths. Nearly 85 per cent of the state’s population have been fully vaccinated.
What’s happening across Canada
WATCH | Ottawa providing assistance to Sask. as province battles COVID-19 surge:
The Canadian Armed Forces will deploy up to six critical care nurses to Saskatchewan and will help with patient transfers as the province battles a fourth wave of COVID-19.
Starting Monday, people in Alberta will need to provide proof of two COVID-19 vaccine doses to be allowed into many restaurants, movies, sporting events and other businesses.
British Columbia is set to lift capacity restrictions on gatherings across much of the province on Monday.
Residents in swaths of the province will be allowed to attend events like hockey games, concerts and weddings without any limits on numbers, but capacity will be capped at 50 per cent in areas where vaccination rates are low, including parts of the Fraser, Northern and Interior health regions.
Attendees at all organized events in B.C. will be required to wear face coverings and show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
- Alta. officials look to dispel myth that vaccination lead to sexual dysfunction.
- P.E.I. launches fund for organizations needing tablets to verify Vax Pass.
- Need help setting up a vaccine passport? N.L. Public Libraries has you covered.
- New rules for indoor gatherings take effect in the N.W.T.
What’s happening around the world
As of Sunday morning, more than 243.4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a case-tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.9 million.
The number of COVID-19 infections recorded so far in eastern Europe surpassed 20 million on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally, as the region grapples with its worst outbreak since the pandemic started and inoculation efforts lag.
Hungary tops the region’s vaccination rates with 62 per cent of its population having gotten at least one shot, whereas Ukraine has given just 19 per cent of its residents a single dose, according to Our World in Data.
Meanwhile in Britain, some 333,465 people have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past seven days, up 15 per cent on the previous week and the highest total since the seven days to July 21. Hospitals are already struggling to cope with an influx of patients ahead of an anticipated winter crisis, a senior emergency medicine expert warned on Sunday.
In Asia, China has given complete doses of COVID-19 vaccines to about 75.6 per cent of its population as of Oct. 23, National Health Commission spokesperson Mi Feng said on Sunday.
China is giving booster shots to adults whose last dose was at least six months earlier, with priority groups including essential workers, older people and those with weaker immune systems.
In Africa, Namibia will suspend its rollout of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, its health ministry said on Saturday, days after the drugs regulator in neighbouring South Africa flagged concerns about its safety for people at risk of HIV.
In the Americas, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci says Americans can choose a COVID-19 booster shot that is different from their original inoculation but the recommendation is to stick with the vaccine they got first if it is available.