COVID-19 update for June 18: mRNA vaccine now preferred as second dose after initial AstraZeneca shot: NACI | Farmers push for border re-opening | 120 new cases, one death

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for June 18, 2021.

We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


As of the latest figures given on June 17:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 146,794 (1,451 active cases)
• New cases since June 16: 120
• Total deaths: 1,739 (1 new death)
• Hospitalized cases: 131
• Intensive care: 44
• Total vaccinations: 4,231,871 doses administered; 768,008 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 143,579
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 3


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IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

5 a.m. – From first ministers to farmers, many pushing for Canada-U.S. border reopening plan

The manager of an American dairy with three locations near the Canada-U.S. border wants politicians to lay out a plan for reopening.

“Cows keep producing whether the border is open or not,” said Mitch Moorlag, general manager of Edaleen Dairy. “We need to know when demand (from Canadian customers) will come back so we can be ready.”


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Moorlag, whose business is partly built on the concept of the cross-border milk run, isn’t the only one calling on Canada’s federal government to give some indication of when and how COVID-19-related restrictions will ease.

The B.C. Premier’s Office confirmed the topic came up at a First Ministers’ meeting between the provincial premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday.

The feds have been deciding on a monthly basis whether to renew the restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border, with the current order due to expire Monday. While there isn’t consensus between the premiers on when the border should reopen to non-essential travel, many are pressing Ottawa to share its plan.

“There was unanimity among the provinces when we closed the border, but since then there has been a back-and-forth across Canada — north and south, east and west — on what is the best way forward,” B.C. Premier John Horgan said earlier this week.

Horgan raised the topic at Thursday’s meeting, sharing British Columbian’s views on the need for a safe reopening and more information on how it will proceed, including an early signal to the cruise ship industry.

The federal government has hinted that the reopening might not begin Monday, but the new order could outline a plan for a gradual reopening starting in July.

-Glenda Luymes

12 a.m. – One more death, 120 new cases and more supplies of Moderna expected next week

B.C. has vaccinated 76.5 per cent of all adults, according to health officials.


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The province has administered 4,231,871 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including 768,008 second doses, and 74.8 per cent of everyone 12 years of age and older have now received their first dose of vaccine.

The province recorded 120 new cases on Thursday and one additional death of a person in their 80s, who died at the outbreak at Richmond Hospital.

There are three long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities affected.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry noted that there will be “upcoming challenges” with the delivery of doses of Pfizer vaccine in early July, and supply will be reduced.

But B.C. will be receiving more Moderna shipments next week.

Following the NACI recommendation, Henry also assured the public that mixing and matching of the vaccines is safe and effective.

12 a.m. – mRNA vaccine now preferred as second dose after initial AstraZeneca shot: NACI 

Canada’s federal expert advisory panel on vaccines is now recommending people who got the AstraZeneca vaccine for their first shot should get an mRNA vaccine for the second shot.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization said Pfizer or Moderna are “preferred” as the second dose based on growing evidence that a second mRNA shot produces a better immune response as well as to mitigate potential risk of blood clots that has been associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The committee also recommended those who receive a first dose of an mRNA vaccine should be offered the same product for their second dose. If that product is not available, another mRNA vaccine can be used to complete the two-dose series.


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-David Carrigg


Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:


LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press


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