The latest news on COVID 19 developments in Canada on Dec. 15, 2020

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OTTAWA — The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times eastern):

11:50 a.m.

Canada’s vaccine advisory panel says more testing is needed before COVID-19 vaccines should routinely be offered to pregnant or breastfeeding women, kids under 16, or patients with compromised immune systems.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is encouraging vaccine-makers to expand clinical trials to include more study of their products in those groups.

But the committee’s experts also say if there is evidence the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh the potential risks of COVID-19, it could be offered to pregnant women, children as young as 12, or people who are immunosuppressed, with informed consent.

11:40 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has signed a contract to receive up to 168,000 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine before the end of December.

The Moderna vaccine has not yet been approved by Health Canada but Trudeau says deliveries could begin within 48 hours of that happening.

Trudeau also says Canada is set to receive about 200,000 of its total early shipment of COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer next week.

He says there will also be 70 sites across the country ready to administer these doses, a big jump from the 14 distribution sites in place this week.

11:35 a.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting six new cases of COVID-19 and now has 57 active cases.

Health officials say three of the cases are in the Halifax area while two are in the northern health zone and one is in the western zone.

All the new cases are close contacts of previously reported cases.

Premier Stephen McNeil also confirmed that the province received its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today.

11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 1,741 new COVID-19 cases today and 39 more deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.

The Health Department reported a sharp rise in hospitalizations — 69 more patients compared with the prior day — for a total of 959.

The province says authorities administered 298 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault is expected to announce new COVID-19 lockdown measures during a news conference this afternoon.

10:35 a.m.

Ontario is reporting a new single-day record of 2,275 new COVID-19 cases today.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 711 new cases in Toronto, 586 in Peel Region, 185 in Windsor-Essex, and 154 in York Region.

She says the province has conducted nearly 39,600 tests since the last daily report.

The province says the latest data reflects a 27-hour period for most of Ontario’s public health units because of a change in how the figures are gathered.

8:20 a.m.

Jo-Anne Miner became the first person to receive the vaccine in Ottawa.

Miner, 48, is a personal support worker at St. Patrick’s Home in Ottawa.

She says she “feels fine,” after receiving the vaccine and she hopes everyone gets the shot “to protect our most vulnerable.”

She was the first of 100 people scheduled to receive the vaccine today in Ottawa.

 

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