Health Canada warns people with COVID-19 ingredient allergies as cases surpass 450K

As cases of the novel coronavirus continue to surge ahead of the holiday season, Canadian health officials are now warning that people with any allergies to COVID-19 vaccine ingredients should not take it.

The warning comes amid news of two people in the United Kingdom having experienced severe allergic reactions to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a statement from Health Canada released Saturday. Both of those people had a history of severe allergies and have since recovered after experiencing their reactions on Tuesday.

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The health agency said that it will still keep its current recommendations on the vaccine’s usage, adding that people with severe allergies should consult their doctor before taking the vaccine.

On Thursday, the federal government announced the creation of a “pan-Canadian” vaccine injury support program aimed at protecting Canadians facing the rare but possible side effects of taking vaccines.

The warning comes amid another 6,011 new cases of COVID-19 in the country, which has pushed Canada’s total infections to 454,482. Another 99 deaths were also recorded, raising the country’s death toll to 13,350.

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Coronavirus: How the brain is being impacted by COVID-19

A total of 366,808 patients have since recovered from the virus, while over 16,109,000 tests have been administered since the start of the pandemic. A total 3,164 people are currently in hospital due to the disease, an increase of Friday’s high of 3,139.

Saturday’s data paints a limited snapshot of the virus’ spread across Canada however as British Columbia and both the Yukon and Northwest Territories do not release new case figures over the weekend.

On Friday, UPS Canada shared photos of what the they said were the first batches of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine being processed in Germany before being delivered to Canada. The first batch of 30,000 vaccines is slated to arrive in Canada Monday, with several provinces already slated to start administering them to their at-risk and frontline health-care worker populations.

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam continued to warn Canadians that the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t over despite the country’s nearing rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.

“Knowing access to safe and effective vaccines for all Canadians is within sight might lead some to think COVID-19 is no longer a problem, but the reality is very different,” wrote Tam in a statement Saturday, who also maintained warnings of the country’s daily coronavirus cases reaching as much as 12,000.

“Nationally, we remain in a rapid growth trajectory.”

Quebec and Ontario reported the highest number of new cases Saturday, with both adding over 1,800 more cases.

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Quebec added another 1,898 cases, as well as 40 additional deaths linked to the virus on Saturday. The province’s health department previously laid plans to start vaccinating residents of two long-term care homes starting Monday.

Public health authorities in Ontario reported another 1,873 cases Saturday, pushing the province’s infections to 138,504. Another 17 deaths were also reported, while York Region and Windsor-Essex area will move to a partial lockdown Monday in order to curb the province’s rising caseload.

Click to play video 'Federal authorities warn of holiday coronavirus case count spike' 1:45 Federal authorities warn of holiday coronavirus case count spike

Federal authorities warn of holiday coronavirus case count spike

Alberta recorded another 18 deaths from the virus Saturday, pushing the province’s death toll to 684. Another 1,738 infections were announced by provincial health authorities on Saturday as well.

Manitoba added 358 new cases and 18 deaths. The province currently has 20,750 COVID-19 infections, of which an unknown number are considered probable. Health authorities there are now beginning to schedule vaccinations for health-care workers, with around 900 working in long-term and critical units slated to received the vaccine Wednesday.

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Saskatchewan reported 274 new COVID-19 cases and 11 more deaths on Saturday. The province’s total caseload and death toll now stands at 11,749 and 86, respectively.

All provinces in Atlantic Canada also reported new cases of the virus Saturday.

Newfoundland and Labrador added another three cases, while New Brunswick reported just one more.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Canada on the path to rapid growth trajectory' 2:03 Coronavirus: Canada on the path to rapid growth trajectory

Coronavirus: Canada on the path to rapid growth trajectory

Nova Scotia added another seven cases, pushing the provincial total to 1,409. Another five cases were also reported in P.E.I. as well, of which all were travel-related, according to the province’s top doctor.

Nunavut reported another two cases on Saturday as well, raising the territory’s caseload to 247.

Cases of the novel coronavirus continue to surge worldwide, with at least 71,541,000 infections being diagnosed to date. The global death toll has also surpassed 1.6 million as of Saturday, with the United States, Brazil and India continuing to lead in both cases and deaths.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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