Ontario youth 12 and up can book vaccine appointments starting Sunday

Malawi's Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda places COVID-19 vaccines in an incinerator. AP

Three of the cases have been identified in the Central Health region, while the fourth was found in the Western Health region.

There are 617 people with COVID-19 in Alberta's hospitals, with 164 of them in intensive care.

The health secretary, Dr. Charles Mwansambo, said despite the slow uptake of the vaccine, the expiration was also because of the vaccine's short shelf life by the time the government received the donation. New daily cases have declined substantially from a peak of around 1,300 in January to seven Wednesday.

Pallister's appeal comes as the province grapples with a third wave of COVID-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm the health-care system.

The arrival in Kuala Lumpur marks an important milestone for the Covax Facility in its effort to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.

Almost 20 million doses have been administered to date.

The Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF), in a separate statement, said it expected another shipment of 559,200 AstraZeneca vaccine doses from COVAX at the end of this month.

The flight ban that began April 22 was set to expire on Saturday.

Ontario says a record-high number of COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given out in a single day.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 158,524 shots were administered in Ontario since Thursday's report. And Congo returned more than a million AstraZeneca doses acquired through Covax, CNN reported, because of worries that they could not administer the shots before their expiration date.

The province is reporting 1,890 new COVID-19 cases and 27 deaths from the virus today.

Researchers from the University of Oxford reported in The Lancet medical journal that people who got a first dose of AstraZeneca shot followed by Pfizer's vaccine four weeks later reported more short-lived side effects, majority mild.

As countries across the globe figure out how to cope with vaccine scarcity, researchers and public health officials are examining strategies for blending two different shots to make their vaccination drives effective.

Kandodo-Chiponda said the move is also in line with government policy, which prohibits the use of any expired health commodities. In May, Ontario expects to receive approximately 254,500 doses of AstraZeneca.

It was just days ago that Ontario made a decision to halt first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine across the province due to an increasing number of reports of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), the feared though exceptionally rare blood clotting phenomenon that has been linked to the COVID-19 immunization type.

He's urging people to choose lower-risk, outdoor activities and follow the public health advice of their respective jurisdictions.

There is no timeline yet for use of the AstraZeneca jab, which some countries have restricted or dropped from their vaccine campaigns over rare blood clot concerns, even though experts say the benefits outweigh the risks.

"This new data highlights the incredible impact that both doses of the vaccine can have, with a second dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine providing up to 90% protection", Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said, Reuters reported.