Here’s what happened Monday evening.
“We said our recommendations were preliminary and could be adapted with the evolution of knowledge,” Nicholas Brousseau, a public health physician with the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, said on Monday. He was referring to the 10-category priority list his committee recommended to the government in November, which lays out the order in which Quebecers are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Other countries and the province of British Columbia have sped up vaccination for people with health conditions. “Within about two weeks, we should be proposing slightly modulated recommendations that will resemble a lot what you’re mentioning,” he said.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was authorized for use Friday on all adults, including seniors, but the National Advisory Committee on Immunization is concerned there is limited data on how well the vaccine will work in older populations. Its advice opens the door for provinces to start vaccinating younger populations with the newly authorized vaccine much earlier than expected. Similar guidance was initially issued in Europe but began to be revisited Monday, with France overturning its earlier decision against using the vaccine on seniors, and Germany in the midst of reconsidering it.
The plan is for the transparent masks to be issued chiefly to the polling stations’ information officers, those who greet voters and guide them through the process, said spokesman Matthew McKenna. The federal agency expects many Canadians to avoid polling places altogether, and is bracing for a major uptick in the use of mail-in ballots. To ensure that happens smoothly, it’s planning an education campaign to explain the vote-by-post system’s safeguards, an Elections Canada spokesman said Monday. Preparations for a possible pandemic vote also involve ordering 19 million single-use pencils — 56 times the usual number of writing implements, which are typically shared by electors.
With files from the Canadian Press and Postmedia Network.