Health articles: 1) Mask Requirements Return to RVH Ahead Of Fall Virus Season 2)Health Canada Approves Updated Moderna Vaccine For COVID-19


Courtesy of Barrie360.com – RVH Release Published: Sep 11th, 2023

News release – Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH)

RVH is updating its masking guidelines ahead of the fall respiratory season in anticipation of increased spread of influenza, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and COVID-19.

Effective Tuesday, September 12, RVH will return to mandatory masks in ALL clinical treatment areas including:

  • Patient rooms
  • Waiting rooms in the Cancer Centre, Dialysis Clinic and Emergency Department
  • When care is being provided in ambulatory or inpatient settings

Masks will remain optional, but recommended, in areas such as hallways, administrative spaces, meeting rooms and public areas like the cafeteria.

All visitors should continue to self-screen upon arriving at RVH. If they have any symptoms or are unwell, they should stay home and return to the health centre once they are well.

Patients requiring care, and who are unwell, should inform their care team upon arrival.

“RVH’s goal is to always maintain safety for patients, families and members of TEAM RVH. That is our top priority,” says Gail Hunt, RVH President and CEO.

“As we enter a season when respiratory illnesses typically increase among the population, RVH’s Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC), Workplace Safety and Occupational Health and Wellness teams have been working diligently to assess our mask-wearing protocol to keep everyone safe, while at the same time allow us to maintain some flexibility within the health centre. We will carefully monitor the situation over the coming weeks and adjust our policy as needed.”

RVH will keep the community informed of any masking changes via updates on the homepage of the health centre’s website – www.rvh.on.ca

Health Canada Approves Updated Moderna Vaccine For COVID-19

Courtesy of Barrie360.com and Canadian PressPublished: Sep 12th, 2023

By Mia Rabson in Ottawa

Canada’s senior public health officials are urging Canadians to get an updated COVID-19 vaccine this fall following the authorization of the first shot targeting the latest variants Tuesday.

Health Canada’s regulatory branch approved Moderna’s new Spikevax shot, which is formulated for the XBB.1.5 lineage of the Omicron variant. 

Moderna said in a statement the first doses would be shipped to arrive in Canada on Wednesday.

“There is strong evidence showing that the benefits of this vaccine outweigh the potential risks,” chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma said at a news conference in Ottawa.

Moderna began submitting data on clinical trials for the new vaccine at the end of June, and the decision follows an in-depth assessment of that data, Sharma said.

It’s recommended that all adults and children as young as five get one dose of the new vaccine, if it has been at least six months since their last dose.

Children between six months and four years of age should get one dose if they have been vaccinated for COVID-19 before, but two doses if they haven’t.

The decision comes as a small uptick in COVID-19 is appearing in Canada following months of what chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said were historically low levels of the virus.

While Tam said overall, that uptick has been inconsistent and sporadically located, it is time for people to top up their resistance to the virus.

“I think one of the reasons that we think there’s an increased uptick right now is this reduced immunity over time,” she said.

Nationally, she said there have been signs of increased positive cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Levels of COVID-19 have increased slightly in 10 of 40 cities where wastewater is being monitored by Health Canada.

The new vaccine targets the XBB.1.5 strain and its sublineages. That line of the virus accounts for 99 per cent of all positive tests in Canada currently.

Tam and Sharma said the Moderna vaccine shows a good immune response to all of them.

Health Canada is also reviewing submissions for XBB.1.5 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Novavax. Sharma said decisions on both will be forthcoming.

Patricia Dent

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