“We’ve been building a spaceship as we’ve been flying it, and we’re now entering into a new era, and new warp speed if you will,” Dr. Henry says about vaccine supply bonanza
More than a million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in B.C. this month, according to the provincial health officer.
“We have reached a new and encouraging point in the vaccine supply,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said. “Starting today, the vaccine that we will be receiving will be increasing significantly. In the month of May alone, we’ll be receiving over a million doses of vaccine available for people across the province.
“This is good news for all of us. It means that everybody who’s eligible, right now that’s down to age 16, will have access to a vaccine before Canada Day, and we think significantly before that.”
So far, B.C. has received 2,055,690 doses of Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines — with Pfizer accounting for the majority. Close to 1.8 million people have been administered vaccine, which is around 40 per cent of the eligible population.
Health Minister Adrian Dix confirmed 276,000 doses a week of Pfizer vaccine was to arrive in May, plus hundreds of thousands of doses of Moderna. It’s not known when more doses of AstraZeneca will arrive and a fourth approved vaccine from Johnson & Johnson has arrived in Canada but is not yet being distributed over concerns it may be tainted.
“That leads us to think about the interval we have between dose 1 and dose 2,” Henry said, adding that fewer than 92,000 people had received the required two doses.
“With the new increased supply that we have, we are looking at the potential of decreasing the interval (between first and second doses) to less than 16 weeks for most people. Right now, those people who received their vaccines early on in the program are getting notified about their second dose, and we’ve been doing that and we’ll continue to do that as more people get up to that three- to four-month mark in the next month.”
B.C.’s seven-day-average daily case count has been falling since April 21, one week after the government banned indoor dining and travel outside health regions. B.C.’s active case count is also falling, as is the number of people being admitted to hospital. This means the third wave of COVID-19 in B.C. is weakening.
Henry reported 2,174 new cases of the disease over the past three days and 15 deaths. All but one of those deaths was in persons aged over 70, bringing that total to 1,596. There are 7,327 active cases of COVID-19 of which 474 are being treated in hospital including 176 in intensive care.
Henry said the despite the increasing numbers of people immunized and improving case numbers, there will be no large indoor of outdoor events this summer, winter or fall. Her comment came as the Celebration of Light fireworks event in downtown Vancouver was cancelled for 2021.
“I can say there is not likely to be big events of any sort, even outdoors, through this summer and into the fall and winter of next year,” Henry said.
“But I can see many situations where we could have smaller, distanced, outdoor events this summer with perhaps hundreds of people.”
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