• Canadian flag 605 James Street North Hamilton, Ontario, L8L 1J9 905-529-8558 905-577-6306

Which Age Group—Old or Young—Should Get the COVID-19 Vaccine First May Depend on Timing

A young female medical professional holds a vaccine.

By Chris Bauch, University of Waterloo; Madhur Anand, University of Guelph, and Peter C. Jentsch, University of Waterloo

COVID-19 vaccines are on the horizon. Lately, it seems like each week brings news of another clinical trial demonstrating vaccine efficacy. But if supplies are initially limited, decision-makers will need to make hard choices about who should get them first.

One approach is to prioritize groups who are most vulnerable to serious outcomes like hospitalization and death, such as the elderly. Another approach is to prioritize groups who are most responsible for spreading the infection. The question is which approach will work best in a given population.

Our team decided to study this question using our combined 30 years of experience in population modelling, including the 2003-04 SARS outbreaks and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. We developed a mathematical model of COVID-19 transmission and vaccination in Ontario, published as a preprint (a manuscript yet to be checked for errors).

Read more…

Coronavirus Travel Advisory Canada: Here’s What Canadians Should Know

Wuhan seafood market closed after the New Coronavirus was detected there for the first time. (Jan. 20, 2020.)
Wuhan seafood market closed after the New Coronavirus was detected there for the first time. (Jan. 20, 2020.)

Since the first case of novel coronavirus was reported in China in late December 2019, this new strain of virus has spread around the globe. To date, there have been more than 23,000 confirmed infections in more than 25 countries, and the death toll is close to 500 people worldwide.

As of January 31, 2020, the Canadian government has confirmed four cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Canada, three cases in Ontario and one in British Columbia.

Canadians with upcoming travel plans, in the middle of a trip, as well as those who have recently returned from overseas, are advised to become informed on the current outbreak and take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety and that of those around them.

Read more…

Travel Health News – February 2019

A white page appears on a wooden desktop next to two starfish and a passport with money and a ticket inside. It says "Travel Health Alerts FEB 2019 Measles, Polio, and Zika Virus outbreaks in popular destinations. traveldoc.ca"

Measles outbreaks keep spreading to popular travel destinations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued travel notices for the following countries:

Brazil, Colombia, Congo, England, France, Greece Indonesia, Isreal, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Moldova, the Phillippines, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine.

Travellers are advised to receive the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before leaving the country.

Pregnant women are warned not to travel to India after reports of a Zika virus outbreak.

The Zika virus may cause severe birth defects and is spread through sex and mosquito bites.

Polio outbreak in Indonesia due to low vaccination rates.

The CDC advises adults heading to Indonesia get a single, lifetime Polio booster shot following the Polio vaccinations received during childhood.

Measles Outbreaks Reported in Israel, New Zealand, Moldova, and Colombia [Updated]

The stomach of a child wearing a green shirt, and who is being held up by two adult hands, is shown with a red bumpy measles rash.Travellers planning trips to Israel, New Zealand, Moldova, or Colombia should get vaccinated against the measles before departing, warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On Nov. 16, the CDC released three separate travel alerts after health officials reported outbreaks of the virus in Israel, New Zealand,  and Moldova. Four days later, the health agency also warned travellers about a measles outbreak in Colombia.*

The measles is an infectious airborne disease spread by breathing, coughing, and sneezing, which may result in serious complications leading to pneumonia or death. Signs and symptoms include a rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, as well as red and watery eyes. Read more…

CDC Warns Pregnant Travellers about Rubella Outbreak in Japan

Travellers headed to Japan should get vaccinated against rubella to protect themselves from an outbreak in the country, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Rubella is an infectious disease spread by sneezes and coughs.  Also referred to as the “German Measles,” it causes rashes and fevers that usually last between two and three days and symptoms are often mild.

Prior to entering Japan, the CDC recommends travellers receive the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.

Pregnant women, however, are warned not to enter the country due to the risks the rubella virus poses to developing babies. It is known to cause birth defects such as mental disabilities, deafness, cataracts, and organ damage.

Japanese health officials report that most cases are occurring in the Kanto region in locations such as Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama.

Source: CDC