Coronavirus: What’s occurring in Canada and around the globe on Wednesday

The latest:

  • U.S. to reopen land border to totally vaccinated Canadians subsequent month.

  • Some unvaccinated people are going public after getting COVID-19. Will it persuade others to get the shot?

  • Alberta’s vaccine passport will be in place into subsequent yr, Kenney says.

  • Still fearful about getting a vaccine for COVID-19? Here’s easy methods to perceive the uncommon, however actual, dangers.

  • Have a coronavirus query or information tip for CBC News? Email: [email protected].

WATCH | The U.S. will reopen land border to Canadians beginning in November:

U.S. to reopen land border to vaccinated Canadians in November: lawmaker

The U.S. will reopen its land border to Canadians starting in November, Rep. Brian Higgins says. 1:25

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday that COVID-19 cases are dropping overall in North America but remain high in the American Midwest, Alaska and Canada’s Northwest Territories, where infection rates are 10 times the national average.

Infections are also dropping across South America, though cases are up in the greater Caracas area of Venezuela, and in parts of Chile’s southernmost regions.

In the Caribbean, Barbados is reporting the highest number of COVID cases and deaths since the pandemic started, with a five-fold increase in infections over the last month, PAHO said.

The regional branch of the World Health Organization called for concerted action in the Americas to help every country reach WHO’s vaccination coverage target of 40 per cent of their population by the end of this year.

People line up to receive their vaccine in Managua, Nicaragua. The country has only vaccinated 20 per cent of its eligible population against COVID-19. (Maynor Valenzuela/Reuters)

So far, only nine countries in the region have vaccinated 50 per cent of their people, while six — Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Haiti, Guatemala and Nicaragua — have yet to reach 20 per cent vaccination coverage, according to PAHO.

Without concerted action to increase the vaccination rate and public health measures, it is possible that COVID-19 could become endemic in the region, PAHO Director Carissa Etienne warned in a weekly briefing.

What’s happening across Canada

Quebec out of the blue postpones vaccine mandate for health-care staff

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé says the province will prolong the Oct. 15 deadline for necessary health employee vaccination to Nov. 15 to permit staff extra time to get their pictures. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press) 0:58

WATCH | Getting a flu shot this yr could also be much more necessary than typical: 

Flu shot very important as pandemic lingers, says specialist

It’s hard to predict what kind of influenza season Canada might see this year, so people should get both their COVID-19 vaccines and a flu shot, even at the same time, says Dr. Susy Hota, Medical director for infection prevention and control at Toronto’s University Health Network. 5:12

What’s happening around the world

As of Wednesday afternoon, about 238.9 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus-tracking tool. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.8 million.

In Europe, Hungary has agreed to provide care to several dozen COVID-19 patients from neighbouring Romania in the coming days. Romania has struggled with record coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. The country has received 5,200 doses of monoclonal antibodies from Italy to assist with a rapid surge of infections amid low vaccination rates.

In the Asia-Pacific region, airlines are ramping up flights and ticket offers as some of the world’s strictest pandemic-related travel rules begin to ease.

In Africa, one of the largest religious denominations in Zimbabwe is also one of the most skeptical about the COVID-19 vaccine. Some followers of the secluded Apostolic Church believe vaccines are linked to Satanism. To combat that, authorities have formed teams of campaigners who are also churchgoers to dispel misconceptions about the vaccines in their own churches.

In the Americas, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is wrestling with how to decide on booster doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Other manufacturers want to offer boosters six months after primary vaccination. But J&J proposed a range of times, from two months to six months. In a review posted Wednesday, FDA scientists didn’t reach a firm conclusion, citing shortcomings with J&J’s data.

WATCH | Texas governor outlaws vaccine mandates:

Texas governor outlaws vaccine mandates

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has banned any COVID-19 vaccine mandates, together with for personal companies, while U.S. President Joe Biden is encouraging all employers to require vaccinations. 1:35

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