Who should get a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose — and when?

As the protection given by a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine begins to wane for many Canadians, the question is rapidly rising of whether eligibility for a fourth shot should be expanded — and if so, when. It’s a topic on which infectious disease experts are not in universal agreement. Currently, a fourth dose of … Read more

Infected with BA.1 Omicron variant? It won’t protect against newer subvariants: study – National

People infected with the earliest version of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, first identified in South Africa in November, may be vulnerable to reinfection with later versions of Omicron even if they have been vaccinated and boosted, new findings suggest. Vaccinated patients with Omicron BA.1 breakthrough infections developed antibodies that could neutralize that virus … Read more

Canada to end COVID-19 rapid test shipments. Experts say it could be ‘too soon’ – National

COVID-19 rapid tests — a tool that experts consider vital to fighting the pandemic — will not be shipped to Canadian provinces and territories come year’s end, and some fear “it may be too soon” for such a decision. “Rapid tests are an amazing tool. So if not those, then what,” Colin Furness, infection control … Read more

Dominant coronavirus mutant contains ghosts of pandemic past

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19.Hannah A. Bullock/The Associated Press The coronavirus mutant that is now dominant in the United States is a member of the omicron family but scientists say it spreads faster than its omicron predecessors, is … Read more

North Korea reports 1st COVID-19 death after ‘explosive’ fever spreads nationwide – National

At least one person confirmed to have COVID-19 has died in North Korea and hundreds of thousands have shown fever symptoms, state hint media said on Friday, offerings at the potentially pandemic dire scale of country’s first confirmed outbreak since the began. Some 187,800 people are currently being treated in isolation after a fever of … Read more

What new Omicron variants in Canada mean for COVID’s future

It’s been a while since a whole new COVID-19 variant burst onto the scene, but like a pop star with staying power, good old Omicron keeps finding new ways to reinvent itself. A new iteration of BA.2 — BA.2.12.1 — is rapidly growing in the northeastern US, and is already spreading in Canada. Meanwhile, scientists … Read more

2 new Omicron subvariants behind recent COVID-19 spike in South Africa: WHO – National

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) director-general said Wednesday that two Omicron COVID-19 subvariants are behind a recent spike in cases in South Africa. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus said that it is too soon to know if subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 cause more severe symptoms, but they are “another sign the pandemic is not done with … Read more