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No new COVID-19 cases as Labrador-Grenfell Health postpones vaccinations for the elderly

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Labrador-Grenfell Health says it’s postponing vaccination for those 75 and older after nationwide decreases in the supply of the Moderna vaccine. (Greg Lovett /Northwest Florida Daily News/The Associated Press)

Labrador-Grenfell Health says it is postponing its plans to vaccinate people 75 years and older because of the reduced supply of the Moderna vaccine.

Recent announcements concerning nationwide decreases in the Moderna vaccine supply have led the health authority to delay the vaccinations, which were originally scheduled to begin the week of Feb. 8.

In a news release on Saturday morning, Labrador-Grenfell Health said the vaccinations will be rescheduled as soon as vaccine supply allows.

“Labrador-Grenfell Health is following provincial and national guidance on COVID-19 vaccination for priority populations. More information regarding continued implementation will be shared in the coming weeks,” the release reads. 

“While waiting for your opportunity for vaccination, and after vaccination, it is important for everyone to continue to follow public health guidance to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your communities.”

In her briefing on Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Janice Fitzgerald said Pfizer-BioNTech shipments are also delayed as the company has temporarily shut down some production lines at its factory in Europe for renovations that will allow the company to increase its output. 

“The timing of this delay is unfortunate,” said Fitzgerald at the time, as regional health authorities are holding onto vaccines to be able to give people their needed second doses.

A zero on Saturday, an outbreak in Alberta

Meanwhile, there are no new cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador on Saturday, following 10 new cases since Tuesday, of which five are connected to a cluster in the Eastern region with no identified source.

On Saturday, the health department said the investigation into the source of the first positive case associated with that cluster is ongoing. 

There have been no new recoveries, meaning there are 13 active cases in the province. One person is in hospital.

On Thursday, Fitzgerald also said there’s a suspected case — connected to the cluster — in a daycare in the Eastern Health region. As of Saturday, the case continued to be treated as a suspected case and has not yet been confirmed as a positive case.

No children or staff at the daycare have tested positive for the virus as of Saturday’s update, the health department said.

The first doses of the Moderna vaccine arrived in Labrador on Dec. 31. (PAL Airlines)

The Department of Health also is advising rotational workers about an identified COVID-19 outbreak at the Ovintiv Canada Pipestone oil sands site in Alberta. The department said it was notified about the outbreak by the Public Health Agency of Canada as people from this province work with the project.

Rotational workers with this project who have returned to Newfoundland and Labrador in the last 14 days must self-isolate, physically distance away from household members and call 811 to arrange testing.

These workers must now complete the full 14-day self-isolation period, regardless of test result.

Elsewhere, as a result of a new case on Friday connected to the two previously confirmed cases on the Marine Atlantic ferry MV Blue Puttees, public health is asking passengers who travelled on the vessel to and from North Sydney, N.S. and Port Aux Basques between Dec. 29 and Jan. 16 to arrange for COVID-19 testing by calling 811 or using the province’s online assessment tool.

In total, 79,688 people have been tested as of Saturday’s update. That’s an additional 399 in the last 24 hours.

Sunday’s COVID update is expected in a news release after 2 p.m. NT.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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