Coronavirus update: Universities take divergent paths on COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates

Good evening, here are the top coronavirus headlines tonight:

Main titles:

  1. A second vaccine has been approved for children under five, after Health Canada concluded that the benefits of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine outweigh the potential risks for children.
  2. Ontario received its first shipment of bivalent vaccine, as did Quebec.

A growing number of health agencies have changed the way they report coronavirus data. An overview of current numbers in Canada for reported cases, COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations can be found here.

COVID-19 updates from Canada and around the world

  • As bivalent vaccines arrive in Canada, there is growing interest in booster shots. In Quebec, the director of public health, Dr. Luc Boileau, told reporters that citizens will have a choice between the old generation vaccines and the new one, adding that he thinks people will prefer the bivalent vaccine targeting the Omicron. However, it is not recommended for people under 30.
  • Universities across the country, many of which started classes this week, are showcasing various approaches to health measures, including vaccination mandates and masking. These decisions are causing concern among some professors and students, who believe the restrictions are either too lax or too strict.

Pandemic recovery

As school started in Ontario this week, many families were looking forward to a more “normal” experience – one that included in-person learning and extracurricular activities.

With the busy travel season typically running through the summer, Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of United Airlines, told a recent transportation conference that travel bookings, so far, have defied this historic trend, with no drop in ticket sales between August and September. As such, travel issues could continue well into the fall.

Global notice

Editorial Board: “COVID Zero” is impossible this fall. But ‘COVID Manageable’ is within reach

Duncan Dee: It is entirely under government control to avoid another messy travel season

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More reading

For something lighter, Gary Kapelus’ COVID-19 parody videos offer comic relief for a decidedly unfunny topic. Need lyrics to sing about sewage? Want to sing about COVID-19 to the tune of “Come On Eileen?” It covers you.

Information Center

Everything you need to know about Canada’s travel rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated people

When will COVID-19 be endemic? The four factors that will shape the future of the virus

Health Canada has approved the first bivalent vaccine against COVID-19. Here’s what you need to know about it

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