Global National: Jan. 16, 2021 | Mixed messages from Pfizer on COVID-19 vaccine dose reduction

In our top story: Provinces are scrambling to figure out the next steps in their vaccination efforts after Canada was caught off guard over Pfizer-BioNTech’s decision to cut the number of doses to be delivered. In an effort to ramp up its manufacturing capacity, the drug company says Canada can expect a 50 per cent reduction over the next four weeks, so those who already had their first dose may have to wait longer for their second shot. But as David Akin discovered, the pharmaceutical giant told some European countries that the impact for them will be less drastic.

Ontario’s COVID-19 caseload increased by more than 3,000 new infections on Saturday. There are fears the province’s intensive care units will soon be pushed to the brink, especially in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). As Morganne Campbell reports, some patients are being flown out of the GTA as intensive care units become overloaded.

To the U.S. where it’s less than five days until president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Police in Washington, D.C., have already arrested a Virginia man trying to get through a checkpoint near the Capitol building. He was found with fake inaugural credentials, a loaded handgun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition. It’s a tense situation in the U.S. capital, after the riot earlier this month and now, tens of thousands of soldiers are patrolling the streets. Jennifer Johnson reports.

But the concerns of possible violence are not confined to the country’s capital. Security is ramping up right across the US on Saturday after the FBI warned supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump may target all 50 state capitols on Wednesday. Preparations are underway for potential armed protests as early as tomorrow. Tonight, Mike Armstrong is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and as he explains, no one wants to be caught off-guard again.

Canada will have a representative at the inauguration. The two countries have long been allies, but the past four years have been tense. So our relationship with the new administration will be very important. Abigail Bimman spoke with Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., Kirsten Hillman, about what she expects in the years to come with a new administration.

For nearly a year now, Global News has been taking your COVID-19 questions straight to doctors. They’ve tackled countless topics from how the virus is transmitted to proper mask use and how Canadians can keep themselves and their families safe. Jeff Semple takes more of your questions to the experts.

On a lighter note, sea shanties are making a comeback. The folk songs that date back hundreds of years, with sailors singing them together while working in rough conditions, have even grabbed the attention of talk show hosts. They’ve brought people together in these modern and troubled times. Ross Lord tells us more.

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