One man’s vaccine experience in the battle to subdue COVID-19

It amounted to short-term pain for long-term gain. A small price to pay when you consider the alternative

One man’s vaccine experience in the battle to subdue COVID-19The number of Canadians who have received a COVID-19 vaccine is slowly increasing but it took a painfully long time to get there. Slightly less than 30 per cent of Canadians have received one COVID-19 dose of a vaccine from Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca. Only 2.7 per cent, or 1,018,381 people, are fully vaccinated as…

Ontario’s insane three-day COVID-19 roller-coaster ride

Political messages that flip-flopped. Controversial policies announced, modified and removed at a mere snap of the fingers

Ontario’s insane three-day COVID-19 roller-coaster rideSeventy-two hours – 4,320 minutes – three days. Doesn’t sound like an enormous stretch of time. In most cases, it’s not. Yet what Ontario experienced from Friday, April 16, to Sunday, April 18, could easily be described as an insane roller-coaster ride for the ages. Wild highs and lows. Political messages that flip-flopped and flop-flipped. Controversial…

More nuanced approach urged in deciding who gets COVID-19 vaccine

Job site and neighbourhood risks should be taken into account when setting priorities, experts argue

More nuanced approach urged in deciding who gets COVID-19 vaccineIt's time for a more nuanced approach to prioritizing COVID-19 vaccinations as more contagious variants become prevalent and a third wave of infections threatens to overwhelm hospitals in some provinces, according to an analysis published recently in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. “It’s time to move the debate away from age and medical risk factors,” said lead author…

How Canada botched its campaign for vaccines

The proven determinants of scientific progress – collaboration, a plan, guaranteed funding, transparency – are nowhere to be found

How Canada botched its campaign for vaccinesThe Human Genome Project (HGP) stands as one of mankind’s most remarkable achievements. Its significance is easily equal to, or even eclipses, James Watson and Francis Crick’s discovery of DNA’s helical structure, or Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. The goal was to determine the position and function of the more than 100,000 genes…

How to safely – and gainfully – prepare for the end of the pandemic

We'll likely be able to celebrate a more normal December holiday season in 2021. The hard part's getting there

How to safely – and gainfully – prepare for the end of the pandemicWe’ve just marked (I won’t say celebrated) the first anniversary of the pandemic. And we have a long way to go – but we need to stay diligent. A year ago, when it was just starting, most of us expected that the resulting fear, uncertainties and restrictions would be over in a few weeks. As…

Pharmacy students lend a steady hand with COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Doing their final work placements before graduation

Pharmacy students lend a steady hand with COVID-19 vaccine rolloutOn the first day COVID-19 vaccines were given at the southeast Edmonton pharmacy where Mina Nagib works, the atmosphere was electric. “People came dressed up to get their vaccine, wearing suits or traditional dress,” he said. “It was a celebrated event – a major milestone for the patients and for the pharmacists.” The student in…

U of A researcher to work with N.W.T. communities to promote vaccinations

Project to develop culturally appropriate program is among 19 projects to receive funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research

U of A researcher to work with N.W.T. communities to promote vaccinationsA University of Alberta researcher will consult with two Indigenous communities in the Northwest Territories to co-create a culturally appropriate promotion program for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection and the main cause of cervical cancer worldwide, but it is preventable with a vaccine for females aged nine to…

Made-in-Alberta COVID-19 vaccine candidate goes to clinical trials

DNA-based vaccine offers advantages that could make it easier to get into the arms of Canadians if approved

Made-in-Alberta COVID-19 vaccine candidate goes to clinical trialsA made-in-Alberta COVID-19 vaccine is taking a major step forward on the path to Health Canada approval with the start of a Phase 1 clinical trial. Entos Pharmaceuticals, an Edmonton company led by CEO and University of Alberta researcher John Lewis, has shipped a vaccine for testing to the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology in Halifax. The…

Why a federal election doesn’t make sense right now

In calling an election, the Liberal government would be putting politics before the well-being of voters

Why a federal election doesn’t make sense right nowHere are some good reasons why we shouldn’t be considering a federal election now. I offer them with some trepidation. Just prior to the last British Columbia provincial election call, I was writing down some reasons why I thought a B.C. election wasn’t a good idea at the time. Alas, the writ was dropped even…

COVID-19 vaccine task force transparency crucial

Any appearance of conflicts of interest must be eliminated

COVID-19 vaccine task force transparency crucialBy Joel Lexchin, Lisa Bero, Marc-Andre Gagnon, Quinn Grundy and Barbara Mintzes COVID-19 vaccines are starting to come into Canada again and hopefully there won’t be any further interruptions. Public acceptance of vaccines will depend on how confident people are that the best decisions have been made about which vaccines to purchase. If it looks…

Wastewater from care homes could be COVID-19 early warning system

Wastewater samples from manholes near long-term care facilities being tested to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2

Wastewater from care homes could be COVID-19 early warning systemUniversity of Alberta medical scientists are teaming up with public health officials, Edmonton’s drainage utility company and other collaborators to develop an early warning system for COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes. On Jan. 4, EPCOR began taking twice-weekly wastewater samples from manholes located at 10 Edmonton long-term care facilities, which are then tested by U of…

Global vaccine certification would help world bounce back from COVID-19

Surest way to restore free movement across borders and reboot ailing economies

Global vaccine certification would help world bounce back from COVID-19As the world looks to a post-pandemic future, a global COVID-19 vaccine certification program might be the surest way to restore free movement across borders and reboot ailing economies, according to University of Alberta political scientist Andy Knight. “We need to develop an international protocol – especially for small, more vulnerable states – that will allow…

Chinese propaganda politicizing COVID-19’s origin story

China is effectively playing the victim card

Chinese propaganda politicizing COVID-19’s origin storyIf there’s one thing we’ve learned throughout this pandemic, it’s how the science related to the virus can be constantly politicized. And to change COVID-19’s origin story, that’s exactly what China is doing. Many are talking about vaccine nationalism, with concerns that some nations are racing to access as many vaccines as possible. It’s disappointing,…

COVID-19 vaccine rollout bungled by federal government

If we’re all in this together, what on Earth are the feds doing when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccine rollout bungled by federal government“We are all in this together and we are there for you.” Does this ring a bell? It should. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it during a March 18, 2020, press conference – the week after the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 had become a global pandemic. In the days that followed, Canadian businesses…

Thankfully 2020 is over, but we’re not out of the woods yet

There's that little matter of actually rolling out the vaccines on a much wider scale in Canada

Thankfully 2020 is over, but we’re not out of the woods yetSad to see 2020 go? You’re in the minority … of one. Everyone else was quite ecstatic to roll out the welcome mat for 2021. The biggest issue we faced in 2020 was obviously the coronavirus pandemic. More than 85 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 worldwide, leading to nearly 1.85 million deaths as…
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