WASHINGTON — Canada is asking the U.S. to step in and protect an entire nation from a deadly airborne virus that is spreading rapidly across the continent, and by next week, school children may be required to be vaccinated against it.
The deadly virus, dubbed COVID-19, is spreading rapidly across Canada through the country’s most precious public resource — childhood vaccines.
In Toronto, on July 18, two children contracted COVID-19. One child died, according to authorities, and so far in Ontario, another eight children have died from the disease.
At least 4,000 cases have been reported across Canada since July 1.
“All of the local outbreaks of COVID-19 are likely to grow,” said Dr. Erika Taylor of the Public Health Agency of Canada.
By next week, 12,000 children in Greater Toronto, the country’s largest city, could be ordered to be immunized or not re-enrolled in school. In all, the province will order up to 65,000 doses of the vaccine.
Concern is now spreading across the United States.
Parents of children at a Denver middle school are reportedly calling in the superheroes, the Black Knight Protectors, to help fight the upcoming threat.
As Russia’s spring saw the second-highest rate of visitor sickness, the Black Knight Protectors are credited with stopping the sickness at their school, launching “severe cerebral vasculitis” — a serious infection in the brain.
That was the year New Jersey’s legendary Scarlet Knights won the national championship in football, named the “Black Knights” so that they wouldn’t be compromised with symptoms.
Now, 15 years later, “Scarlet Knights” are returning to New Jersey, and it’s Patriot’s Day: July 29 — the birthday of John Hancock, the legendary founder of the first U.S. bank.
While there’s no need to worry about illness from the holidays, using the superhero name may come in handy if New Jersey’s Scarlet Knights are invaded by COVID-19.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, is asking the NFL and NBA to take the Super Bowl away from this country and award it to a Canadian team, the Marlboro Marauders.
After that, Canada’s superheroes say it’s their turn to beat the Black Knight Protectors.
Canadian parents who want to get their kids vaccinated can go to the Health Protection Branch, where they can get a form.
Canada’s Public Health Agency will advise whether a family member is under 18 to get vaccinated for the disease, and if not, what types of vaccines and doses to get.
In less than a month, Canadian authorities say, COVID-19 has killed a total of eight children.
“In Canada, children are either vaccinated or they are exempt,” said Taylor. “For parents whose child has been excluded or exempted, we would strongly recommend them to get the vaccine.”
This is not the first time doctors in Canada and the U.S. have clashed over vaccine policies.
Last year, parents in New Jersey protested after New Jersey’s health commissioner sent a letter to a cancer center in Canada demanding the doctor not vaccinate children.
“If a baby is healthy, there’s no reason not to vaccinate a baby — anybody is,” Kelly McCormick, president of the New Jersey Hospital Association, told the Washington Examiner.
“I think (vaccines) have saved millions of lives. … It’s not going to be settled before the end of the country,” McCormick said.
Meanwhile, after the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Philadelphia, 70 Philly elementary students had to be refitted.
By next month, Ohio Governor Larry Kasich is calling a special legislative session in Columbus, which will change the state’s immunization law to allow parents to opt out if a parent argues they have a medical condition or serious belief that warrants vaccine refusal.
*Ray Daniels is an independent photojournalist and PBS’ Schoolhouse Rock News Hour contributor. For more information, visit: davisabc.com.
The White House offered a comment on this story, but didn’t elaborate on the decision to vaccinate children or the strains of the virus that are spreading in Canada.
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