Did you wonder why the US loaned Canada 1.5M doses of AZ instead of selling it to us? It turns out that the US government is not allowed to resell any vaccines which the former administration contracted for. The US government assumes liability for problems with the vaccine in the US (as a result of the anthrax and H5N1 fears), but those protections don’t apply outside the US. Thus the US could give VaxCompany doses to Fogonia, and people in Fogonia could then sue VaxCompany, which the vaccine manufacturers balked at.
I presume that US companies can sell to other countries once the US doesn’t need any more, but the US has ordered 1.2 billion doses — twice what they need. Do they have to pay for all of them, even if they don’t need them any more? I don’t know.
Also, I dug into when the US is going to finish vaccinating. To vaccinate 100% of its population with two doses at their current rate, I estimate it’ll take them another 8 months. (I think I previously said it would be earlier, my bad. I was remembering Biden saying that all adults should be eligible to get vaccinated by May 1.)
Bottom line: we’re not going to get really large quantities of vax from the US for a long time, except when we have approved a vax that the US hasn’t (like AZ and potentially Novavax, but not J&J).
Huh. Despite what their press release says, you don’t need to wait to register to be notified when it’s your turn to book a vaccine. I already registered, and the site was responsive. Sources say it has not crashed, which is surprising some of my more pessimistic acquaintances. Note: leave the spaces out of your Personal Health Number.
Today had a vaccination rate about half of what it was last week. I think it was due to Easter Monday being a quasi-holiday. The US also had a vax rate of about half of what it had last week.
Dr. Henry talked a lot today about Variants of Concern. She seemed to downplay how scary they are. She pointed out that the number of active VOCs identified actually went down today, from 588 to 266. She also says that their percentage of all the cases is still small. Of the hospitalized patients, 13% have B.1.1.7 and 6% have P.1. (Note that P.1 especially is still going exponentially, so I don’t expect it to stay small.)
Also, interestingly, the dominant VOC is different in different places. Almost all of the P.1 is in VCH; Surrey is dominated by B.1.1.7.
She also mentioned that they are doing whole genome sequencing on “almost all” of the cases which the screening test shows as being concerning — which contradicts what my sources had said. Dr. H did say that they were considering backing off and only doing random sampling of the screened tests, but not that they had already done it.
A reporter asked to get the count of cases which the screening flags, since that data only lags by one day. Dr. Henry indicated that she’d try to get that, but cautioned that there were a significant number of false positives. (I got the impression that it was like 5% or 10%, not 45%.)
+1068 cases, +3 deaths, +18,466 first doses, +2 second doses.
VOCs: +67 cases of B.1.1.7, +0 caes of B.1.351, +140 cases of P.1.
Currently 328 in hospital / 96 in ICU, 8,671 active cases, 14,118 people monitoring, 95,691 recovered