Tag Archives: Received

Health Canada received more Johnson & Johnson data on same day as U.S. approval

Health Canada on Saturday received additional data required to inform its decision on Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine — the same day the shot was approved in the United States.

“We were waiting on some manufacturing data, and that came in yesterday. So we’re starting to look at that,” Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser, said Sunday on Rosemary Barton Live.

“It’s really difficult to predict exactly when we might make a final decision because it really depends on that data. But we’re looking at … the next couple of weeks.”

The data received on Saturday is what health regulators need to ensure that “every dose of the vaccine that comes off the production lines meets quality standards,” Sharma wrote in an email to CBC News.

The approval timeline depends on that information, but it also depends on whether regulators need to discuss any questions that arise with the manufacturer. Work that happens in the final stages of review — including finalizing a risk-management plan for monitoring the vaccine after authorization — must also be completed.

The two-week approval target takes those steps into consideration but doesn’t account for unexpected issues that could crop up, Sharma said.

The government authorized the use of a third vaccine, the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, on Friday.

WATCH | Johnson & Johnson vaccine approval could come in the next couple of weeks:

Health Canada’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Supriya Sharma, said the agency is waiting on manufacturer data to make a determination on Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, but contingent on that data, approval could come in the next few weeks. 9:23

Single-dose shot makes for easier rollout

In a global trial, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Saturday, was found to be 66 per cent effective at staving off moderate to severe illness and was 85 per cent effective at preventing the most serious outcomes. 

Canada has ordered 10 million doses of the vaccine, with options for up to 28 million more. 

The best vaccine for an individual is [the] one that you can get.– Health Canada chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma

“In terms of the committee meeting that the FDA had, we had observers there as well, so all of that helps make for a more efficient review,” Sharma told CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton.

While the vaccine was approved as a one-shot regimen, the company is also testing the efficacy of administering two doses of its product.

“If a vaccine is only only dose, then that makes it easier for administration. You don’t have to do the followup to record people and track them down to get the second dose,” Sharma told Barton. “So all of that helps, but what really helps the most is getting as many vaccines authorized and get that supply in as quickly as possible.”

Not a question of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ vaccines

Now that more vaccines are earning approvals, Sharma said a “narrative” has emerged where people assume one shot confers better protection than another.

Efficacy, she said, simply means determining whether “something does what it’s supposed to do.” As far as COVID-19 vaccines are concerned, that means comparing one group of people who receive the shot against another group of people who didn’t and contrasting the number of cases in both groups.

“When we look across all the vaccines, the major five that are under review and authorized, if you look at that subsection that matters most — severe disease, hospitalizations, dying of COVID-19 — all of these vaccines are equally protective,” Sharma explained.

The chief medical adviser cautioned against pitting one shot against another, something she said can only happen in a “head-to-head” trial, which would see two vaccines being tested together in the same trial.

“The best vaccine for an individual is [the] one that you can get. That’s pretty simple,” she said.

“For people who are sitting back and waiting for another vaccine, I would say the longer, and the more people, who do that, the more we’re all going to be sitting at home if we’re lucky to have a home.”

You can watch full episodes of Rosemary Barton Live on CBC Gem, the CBC’s streaming service. 

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CBC | Health News

Khari Jones received death threats as CFL player in Winnipeg

Khari Jones doesn’t have to look far for a reminder that racism exists in Canada.

The Montreal Alouettes head coach divulged during a teleconference Tuesday he received death threats while he was the quarterback of the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers because of his interracial marriage. Jones is black and his wife, Justine, is white.

An emotional Jones — speaking just over a week after a white policeman kneeled on the neck of a black man, resulting in a tragic death in Minneapolis — said the threats came in the form of letters that remain in his possession.

“It’s just a reminder you always have to be on alert a little bit,” Jones said. “It could’ve been one person but one is still too many and to do that on the basis of a person’s skin colour is horrible.

“Every once in a while, every blue moon I take a look at them. They never found the person who wrote the letters — he used a fake name — but he’s still out there, people like him are still out there. That was 20-something years ago and it’s still happening.”

WATCH | Eskimos lineman Justin Renfrow says he feels safer living in Canada:

After experiencing a violent incident of racial profiling in his home city of Philadelphia, Edmonton Eskimos offensive linesman Justin Renfrow made a decision to spend as much time in Canada as possible. 14:25

Jones, 49, played parts of five seasons with Winnipeg (2000-04). The soft-spoken and amiable Jones was named the CFL’s outstanding player in 2001 after leading the Bombers to a 14-4 regular-season record and Grey Cup appearance.

The five-foot-11, 195-pound Jones played for B.C., Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Hamilton from 1997-07. He rejoined the Bombers in October 2007 and retired as a member of the franchise. Jones began his CFL coaching career in 2009 as Hamilton’s quarterback coach.

Sadly, the threatening letters weren’t Jones’s first exposure to racism.

Wrongly arrested at gunpoint

In the early 1990s during Jones’s college days at UC Davis, Jones said himself, his brother, and some friends were wrongly arrested at gunpoint, forced to the ground and handcuffed by white policemen in Sacramento, Calif.

“It was a case of mistaken identity but we called it, at the time, being black while walking,” Jones said. “That’s just something that had happened with people you knew and it happened to me, four or five of my friends, my brother was there.

“It’s a horrible feeling to be pointed out for something like that.”

Jones’s eyes welled up discussing the tragic death last week of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in Minneapolis while in police custody. With Floyd handcuffed and lying face down, Derek Chauvin, a white policeman, kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, the final two minutes 53 seconds after Floyd became unresponsive.

Video of the incident was readily available on television and social media. After watching, Jones took to Twitter on Monday — a rarity for the Alouettes coach — to express his pain, anger and sadness over Floyd’s death.

“I can’t stop thinking about George Floyd,” Jones tweeted. “He is me.

“Breonna Taylor [a black woman fatally shot March 13 by Louisville police officers] is my daughter. I’m angry, hurt, and sad.”

WATCH | Canadian athletes speak out against racism:

Canadian athletes have been speaking out against racism and for change, including tennis youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime, basketball legend Steve Nash, and Olympians Kia Nurse, Karina LeBlanc and Perdita Felicien 2:38

Jones, entering his second season as Alouettes head coach, said he posted the tweet after talking with Montreal starting quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. Following the Floyd incident, Jones wrote his players about what he’d experienced in his life.

“That’s just what I felt when I saw the video,” Jones said. “The inhumanity of it was something that struck a chord in me, for sure, and I think in a lot of the world.

“I won’t watch it again. It’s in there now.”


Jones said he hasn’t spoken to his two teenage daughters about Floyd’s death. But he doesn’t feel he really has to.

“I just couldn’t stop crying [after watching the video] so they knew how it affected me and I think it affected them as well,” he said. “I’ve spoken to them a little bit over the years … fortunately we’ve moved quite a bit in Canada and for the most part, every place we’ve lived has treated my girls well and treated us well.

“I think fortunately for them they haven’t had to deal with [racism] on a first-hand basis all that much, if at all. I’ve often discussed with them what it can be like in the States, in certain places in particular, just to be aware and to be careful out there. “

But Jones said it is always a challenge.

“When you’re black, you know some things might happen to you,” he said. “I knew what to do and how to try to behave when I was stopped for a traffic ticket or something.

“There’s just a different way you have to respond to things when tensions are heightened. Canada is, believe me, much better and I feel much better about the social climate but there are still issues.”

CFL clubs, players speak out

Last weekend, the CFL and its nine teams all issued statements condemning racism. Saskatchewan Roughriders linebacker Solomon Eliminian, the president of the CFL Players’ Association, also outlined his experiences in a letter to union members.

Montreal running back James Wilder Jr. has been a vocal advocate as well. The former Florida State star has participated in peaceful protests in Houston, where he’s currently training, and been active denouncing racism on social media.

“I think James is a smart person, I’m going to talk with him,” Jones said. “I never want to push the players one way or the other.

“I think these are smart men, they see what I see and they have brains too. I want them to do what they feel is necessary and some things go beyond your job. I’m proud of the players for their responses. I want to go protest too, I want to be out there too. I understand his [Wilder’s] pain and frustration with everything.”

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CBC | Sports News

Adam Sandler Says It Would Be ‘Funny as Hell’ If He Received an Oscar Nomination (Exclusive)

Adam Sandler Says It Would Be ‘Funny as Hell’ If He Received an Oscar Nomination (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

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Received a new heart recently? This mom may be looking for you

A Brampton woman is on a mission to find the man who received the gift of her son's heart earlier this year.

Sharon Vandrish's journey began back in September 2017, when doctors told her that they were going to unplug her son, Keerin Reid, from life support. He was 23 years old.

Keerin had been in hospital for three days after suffering from an accidental fentanyl overdose before doctors declared him brain dead. 

His mother said she immediately wanted to "find something positive out of the tragedy."

"At least we could save the lives of others through his passing," she said in an interview.

"That gave me some level of comfort."

Vandrish donated her son's organs — including his heart — to four people through the Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN).

The network, which is the provincial body responsible for organ donation in Ontario, facilitates communication between recipients and a donor's family six months after the operation takes place.

Sharon Vandrish describes her late son as 'very supportive' and 'loyal.' (Submitted) 

Vandrish took the first step.

"I remember saying that if the size of my son's heart was measured by how much he loved me, then it wouldn't fit in the recipient," she said.

She and the recipient of her son's heart struck up a correspondence.

"I just wanted to get him to know Keerin, to make it more humane than just an organ. He was a person."

Through their letters, Vandrish learned that the recipient was a 54-year-old father of a boy and a girl. She also found out that shortly after the transplant, he picked up hobbies that were dear to her late son.

Keerin was an avid gardener, which she explained in one of her letters. The recipient broke down in his reply, confessing that he had recently taken it up. 

"Its a roller-coaster of emotion because you want to know that person is OK … and you want to know that your son's memory lives on," she said. 

Confidentiality laws

After exchanging three powerful letters, Vandrish wants to meet the man himself.

"It just seems like a natural progression to me," she said. "I just think it would close the loop on this whole process."

But according to Ontario law, organ donations must be kept strictly confidential. Even the letters exchanged between the pair pass through the foundation to be vetted first to ensure they do not breach the rules.

"Personal information is protected to safeguard both the donors' families and recipients, ensuring that neither is subject to an undesired relationship," TGLN said in an email. 

“Organ and tissue donation is an emotional process, and the feelings of both donor families and recipients are difficult to predict or assume.”

Sharon Vandrish carries a charm with her late son's thumbprint and his initials on her bracelet. (Yanjun Li/CBC)

Vandrish doesn't agree.

"If we've both said yes, I don't understand why you'd want to prevent that," she said. She has reached out to the foundation directly, but they advised her to lobby her MPP.

"I don't know how to lobby my legislature, nor do I imagine they'd care about my little situation," she said. "It's probably a drop in the bucket compared to bigger issues."

She took to Reddit instead.

Vandrish's appeal comes just months after a Newfoundland woman, Jodi Loder, was able to feel her brother's heartbeat after a similar search.

Loder's brother died in 2016 in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. The recipient, Robert Buttle, lived over a thousand kilometres, away in Battersea Ont. But after two years — thanks to social media, a CBC interview and sheer determination — Loder was able to connect with him. 

"It was amazing, just to put my head on Rob's chest and listen to it the same way I listened to Jeff's. It was beating the exact same beat," she said of the experience. 

"It felt like home."

This is the same type of heartfelt connection that Vandrish is looking for. 

Her message to the stranger out there with her son's heart?

"No pressure but if this is something that interests you. I'm sure there are many ways that you can get ahold of me. I would welcome the opportunity."

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CBC | Health News

Hundreds of patients may have received less than full dose of chemo, Cancer Care Ontario finds

Hundreds of cancer patients in dozens of Ontario hospitals may not have received the full amount of chemotherapy drug prescribed to them in the past year, a review commissioned by Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) has found.

CCO found that more than the expected amounts of the drug remained in the IV tubing, resulting in a variation in intended dose delivery to 1,000 patients.

Dr. Robin McLeod, vice-president of clinical programs and quality initiatives at CCO, said Mississauga Hospital brought the issue to the organization's attention in June.

"They were concerned that there were patients at their hospital that may have been getting variable amounts of cancer drugs when it was given to them intravenously," McLeod told CBC Toronto.

"The tubing which the drug goes through had been changed and so there was longer IV tubing … They'd also changed their pump and that may have led to it."

Dr. Robin McLeod, vice-president of clinical programs and quality initiatives at Cancer Care Ontario, says Trillium Hospital in Mississauga brought the issue to her organization's attention in June. (Associated Press)

McLeod cannot say which company supplied the IV tubes.

She said there had also been a change in how hospitals flushed the drug through the IV tubing and that may have also been an issue.

Additionally, she said, the drugs given to patients — pembrolizumab, nivolumab and panitumumab — were much more concentrated in a smaller amount of liquid.

"It's quite likely that there's always a bit of fluid that's left behind, and with that, some of the drugs," McLeod said.

"Given that the drug was diluted in 50 ccs, if they left a relatively small amount it would translate into more that was left behind."

CCO said that when it became aware of the issue, it sent a safety bulletin to all 74 Ontario hospitals that deliver systemic treatment. The bulletin asked the hospital to review policies and procedures to ensure that the intended dose is reaching the patient.

Twenty-eight hospitals identified approximately 1,000 patient records for review by the medical team. (Cancer Care Ontario)

Thirty-five of the hospitals identified issues dating back to the initial administration of the three drugs.

Of those hospitals, 28 identified approximately 1,000 patient records for review by the medical team. While the other seven hospitals identified issues, no patients were treated with the drugs at those sites.

Less than 10 patients needed retreatment, CCO says

"In total there were 1,000 individuals who were identified that might have received a variable amount of drugs but it was thought by the physicians that less than 10 required retreatment," McLeod said.

"As far as we know, all of the patients have been notified but if there is concern we recommend that the patient should contact their doctor who is looking after them."

A spokesperson at North York General Hospital in Toronto all its affected patients have been notified.

"We have four active patients. They have all been notified and we have since rectified the problem," senior communications specialist Nadia Daniell-Colarossi told CBC Toronto.

"When administering highly concentrated monotherapy drugs, it has been identified that some of the dose may remain in the infusion tubing," she wrote in an email to CBC Toronto on Thursday evening. "Since this was identified, North York General Hospital has changed administration techniques to ensure that all of the intended dose is delivered."

CCO said it reported the issue to other cancer agencies in other provinces as well as the Ontario Hospital Association, Health Canada and ISMP Canada, an independent national non-profit organization that monitors medication safety.

They also plan to do a root-cause analysis with ISMP Canada. That process is likely to take six months, McLeod said.

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Mariah Carey Received 'Multimillion-Dollar Settlement' From Ex-Fiance James Packer, Kept Engagement Ring

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Mariah Carey may have never said “I do” to James Packer — but he’s paying her for their split anyway.  A source tells ET that the 47-year-old singer received a “multimillion-dollar settlement” from Packer after their breakup. The two, who had announced their engagement in January 2016, went their separate ways in October 2016 after a blowout fight in Greece a month earlier. Last November, a source told ET that Carey was seeking a $ 50 million “inconvenience fee” from her billionaire ex-fiance…

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