Priority list for vaccine by Sept.

The federal health minister says the supplier working on Canada’s pandemic vaccine remains on target, and the vaccine should be ready in time for the provinces and territories to start immunization campaigns by the fall.

TORONTO — The federal health minister says the supplier working on Canada’s pandemic vaccine remains on target, and the vaccine should be ready in time for the provinces and territories to start immunization campaigns by the fall.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq told a news conference Wednesday that she’s optimistic GlaxoSmithKline will begin clinical trials by October, if not earlier.

If the vaccine passes safety and efficacy testing, Canadians would start being inoculated sometime in November.

Health officials said they’re still working on a priority list of who should first receive the vaccine, and they hope to have the list ready in September.

“We don’t need to make that decision today, as the production will be starting sometime in October,” Aglukkaq said.

Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada’s chief public health officer, said experts want to collect as much information as possible, including data from clinical trials of vaccines in other countries, before making the decision about who should be first in line for vaccination.

He said a priority list would decide which groups should get their shots in the first week as opposed to in the second, third or fourth week.

“The question is when do we say ‘OK, this is the prioritization list,’ and that won’t be probably until early, mid-September,” he noted.

The federal government’s long-standing contract with GSK is to provide enough pandemic vaccine for the entire population, if need be.

“I think the point for Canadians is that assuming there isn’t a huge problem that is unanticipated, unlike most countries, we actually have sufficient vaccine to provide that to the population who needs it and wants to have it,” Butler-Jones said.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, a U.S. government panel recommended that pregnant women, health-care workers and children six months and older be among those heading the priority list for swine flu vaccine.

The panel also said those first vaccinated should include parents and other caregivers of infants; non-elderly adults who have high-risk medical conditions; and young adults ages 19 to 24.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to set vaccination priorities for those groups during a meeting in Atlanta. The panel’s recommendations are usually adopted by U.S. federal health officials.

In a study published Wednesday in The Lancet, CDC researchers reported that pregnant women who get swine flu are at least four times more likely to be hospitalized than other people with the virus.

Although it’s not known if pregnant women are more susceptible to the H1N1 flu, the researchers said that once infected, they have a higher risk of complications.

Their analysis of the first 34 cases of H1N1 flu in pregnant women in the U.S. between April and mid-June showed six died after contracting the infection.

Pregnant women have accounted for an estimated six per cent of U.S. swine flu deaths since the pandemic began in April, even though they make up just one per cent of the population.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Lee seeks UCP nomination in Red Deer

Eyes Red Deer-North constituency

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Red Deer city council considers new business licence bylaw

All businesses operating in the City of Red Deer will require a… Continue reading

Saskatchewan farmer’s death triggers emotional harvest of love and respect

MILESTONE, Sask. — Volunteers have rallied to harvest the large wheat crop… Continue reading

Councillors want to represent Red Deer at AUMA

City council approves endorsement

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

MELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in… Continue reading

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program from Aimia

TORONTO — A consortium led by Air Canada has reached a deal… Continue reading

Scheer going to India to ‘repair’ relationship after ‘disastrous’ Trudeau trip

OTTAWA — Six months after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s foreign policy prowess… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month