Posts Tagged "AstraZeneca"

19Jun

COVID-19 update for June 19-20: Travel troubles the latest woe for AstraZeneca vaccine | B.C.’s premier gets second AZ shot | 109 new cases, one death

by admin

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 19-20, 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.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on June 18:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 146,902 (1,389 active cases)
• New cases since June 18: 109
• Total deaths: 1,740 (1 new death)
• Hospitalized cases: 128
• Intensive care: 48
• Total vaccinations: 4,296,151 doses administered; 823,371 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 143,748
• 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


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

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


LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.

5 a.m. – Travel troubles the latest woe for AstraZeneca vaccine

Blame Bruce Springsteen for beleaguered AstraZeneca’s latest woes.

The rocker’s recent concert announcement, which excludes people who haven’t been vaccinated by one of three vaccines, has some British Columbians wondering if they made the right choice.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been linked to rare blood clotting, has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Those who received two doses of AstraZeneca won’t be able to attend Springsteen’s live Broadway show in New York, which is only open to fans who can show proof of being vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine.

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Setting aside the fact that it’s almost impossible for someone in B.C. to travel to New York right now, the news is worrying many who followed advice from local health officials and took the first vaccine they were offered.

Michael Slavitch said he made two separate appointments for his second dose, but now plans to cancel his AstraZeneca shot and take an mRNA one instead.

Slavitch said he’s particularly concerned about whether his AstraZeneca vaccine, or mixing and matching, will be accepted by other countries as international travel opens up.

“I’m confused about what to do,” he said. “Our government is responsible for cleaning up this mess.”

-Glenda Luymes

5 a.m. – Where can you go in the U.S. if you got the AstraZeneca shot? Not everywhere

Canadians who have been dosed with the AstraZeneca shot may not be allowed into some events in the U.S. until the Food and Drug Administration gives the vaccine the green light.

Rocker Bruce Springsteen is reopening his live Broadway show in New York next week, but fans who want to attend need to show proof that they have been inoculated with vaccines approved by the FDA, such as Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.

Those who received AstraZeneca, yet to be approved for use in the U.S., would not be allowed into the event, setting what may be a disappointing precedent for Canadians looking to attend events across the border.

Live tapings of popular TV shows such as Saturday Night Live and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert have also excluded AstraZeneca vaccine recipients, in rules published online, with the explanation that they’re acting as per “the direction of New York State.”

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Other Broadway shows looking to return in September have also indicated that they will follow COVID-19 protocols established at the time of the performance, but have not yet specified vaccination policies for audience members.

More than 1.7 million Canadians have received the AstraZeneca jab, the London Daily Telegraph reported.

The issue may still be up for discussion, Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones told the Toronto Sun, with an assurance that Ontarians who received a double dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be treated the same as recipients of other vaccines.

“We will make sure that individuals in Ontario and Canada who received a Health Canada-NACI approved AstraZeneca will have the same rights as individuals who received other vaccines,” she said.

– Devika Desai

5 a.m. – An update on B.C.’s reopening plans

In B.C., seated gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed at banquet halls, movie theatres and theatre performances.

High-intensity fitness classes are allowed and bars can serve liquor until midnight.

Indoor faith gatherings are allowed with a maximum of 50 people or up to 10 per cent of a building’s capacity.

Recreational travel within B.C. is allowed, but the province is asking those planning to visit from other provinces to delay those
plans until more people have had their vaccines.

The province is testing every positive COVID-19 case for variants of concern and testing, tracking and tracing for each case remains a priority.

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Rules for masks and physical distancing remain in place.

-The Canadian Press

12 a.m. – One additional death and 109 new cases of COVID-19

The province recorded 109 new cases Friday and one more death bringing the total number of deaths to 1,740 in British Columbia since the beginning of the pandemic.

B.C. has now vaccinated 76.7 per cent of all adults in the province and 75.1 per cent of those 12 and older have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

12 a.m.  – B.C. premier gets second AstraZeneca shot

B.C. premier John Horgan says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Horgan shared a photo of himself to social media on Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card.

In the post on Twitter, he says the best vaccine is the first vaccine offered.

It comes a day after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there is no wrong choice for a second COVID-19 vaccine dose despite recommendations from a federal panel that people who received AstraZeneca first should choose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for a second shot.

— Canadian Press


B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES

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:


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



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

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

18Jun

COVID-19: Travel troubles the latest woe for AstraZeneca vaccine

by admin

Some British Columbians worry they chose the wrong vaccine, but health officials were quick to reassure them.

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Blame Bruce Springsteen for beleaguered AstraZeneca’s latest woes.

The rocker’s recent concert announcement, which excludes people who haven’t been vaccinated by one of three vaccines, has some British Columbians wondering if they made the right choice.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been linked to rare blood clotting, has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Those who received two doses of AstraZeneca won’t be able to attend Springsteen’s live Broadway show in New York, which is only open to fans who can show proof of being vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine.

Setting aside the fact that it’s almost impossible for someone in B.C. to travel to New York right now, the news is worrying many who followed advice from local health officials and took the first vaccine they were offered.

Michael Slavitch said he made two separate appointments for his second dose, but now plans to cancel his AstraZeneca shot and take an mRNA one instead.

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Slavitch said he’s particularly concerned about whether his AstraZeneca vaccine, or mixing and matching, will be accepted by other countries as international travel opens up.

“I’m confused about what to do,” he said. “Our government is responsible for cleaning up this mess.”

Meanwhile, B.C. reported one death and 108 cases if COVID-19 in the past day on Friday. It said 76.7 per cent of adults have now have had their first dose of a COVID vaccine, while 823,371 people have had two doses.

Perhaps not as widely reported as the reopening of Springsteen’s show, the issue was further confused Thursday when Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization made a new recommendation saying that an mRNA vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna, is the “preferred” choice for a second shot. This was after saying on June 1 that AstraZeneca recipients “could” mix-and-match.

The evolving message upset Gwenny Farrell, a White Rock resident who booked her second dose of AstraZeneca on the first day it became available.

“I’m frustrated because now, after being told for months that the best vaccine is the first one that’s in your arm, I’m being told I may have made a mistake,” she said.

But B.C.’s public safety minister, Mike Farnworth, said he got his second AstraZeneca dose last week and would do the same if it was available this week.

His message to others who have received two doses is clear: “Don’t worry, you’re fully vaccinated.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who also got the AstraZeneca vaccine, said his government is working with U.S. and international officials to ensure Canadians who received AstraZeneca face few barriers to travel.

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Health officials also tried to put minds at ease, with both Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, and B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, saying discussions around vaccines and travel continue.

“Every country has authorized different vaccines,” said Tam. “It’s not just the United States. It could be different countries in Europe, it could be different countries in Asia. They’re all making different policy decisions at the moment.

“So I think the important thing is to engage in international discussions, whether they be the G7 or bilaterally with the United States or others, to come to a point where we can accept each other’s data.”

Henry said her expectation is that World Health Organization-approved vaccines will eventually become the standard that will be met around the world.

“We do expect that it will be the standard that WHO sets that allows us to have a measurable standard around the world. And all of the vaccines that are approved for use here in Canada, and all the combinations, are approved by WHO as well,” she said.

Henry was also asked about the possibility that people who have received a double dose of AstraZeneca could get a booster of Pfizer or Moderna to allow them to travel more freely. She dismissed that idea.

“There’s no evidence that … it’s needed, or that it provides any additional benefit,” she said.

“We know from real-world experience … that the vaccine effectiveness after two doses of AstraZeneca was exactly the same as after two doses of mRNA vaccines. So they work, they protect you.”

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Henry said discussions about boosters will be informed by science, and studies are underway to determine how long each vaccine provides protection: “We need to look at what happens as we go into the fall. It may be months from now that we’ll find that immunity decreases with one or the other combinations of vaccines, and it may decrease with all of them.”

Gabor Lukacs, an air-passenger rights advocate, said Canada needs to focus on the “paperwork” associated with vaccines to ensure Canadians’ vaccination records are accepted by other countries. He said it needs to come from government, not airlines, since health data is sensitive. He supports vaccination passports in theory, pointing out many countries already require proof of vaccination against local diseases as a requirement for entry.

Delta travel agent Trina Dang-Bordes said vaccinated travellers should be able to travel.

Dang-Bordes, who is with Marlin Travel in Delta, said it would be “unfair” if travel was restricted for those who had an AstraZeneca vaccine.

With files by The Canadian Press

gluymes@postmedia.com

twitter.com/glendaluymes

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

18Jun

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

by admin

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

Article content

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.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

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


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

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


LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.

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


B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES

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:


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



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

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

17Jun

COVID-19: Second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine no longer recommended in Canada

by admin

Pfizer or Moderna now considered a better second dose for someone who had AstraZeneca as their first shot

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British Columbians who chose to get a first dose of AstraZeneca should not get it for their second dose and instead get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a key federal advisory committee said Thursday.

Previously, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization said AstraZeneca recipients could choose whether to get a second dose of the same vaccine, or an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). But in new guidance released Thursday, NACI says Pfizer or Moderna are now “preferred” as the second dose.

The provincial health officer said latest studies show mixing AstraZeneca with an mRNA vaccine could increase immunity to COVID-19.

“It may in some people stimulate a stronger, perhaps more longer-lasting, immune response, so you may get the best of both worlds out of that,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

However, a key reason the NACI is moving away from AstraZeneca is because of the risk of blood clotting that is associated with the vaccine and affects one in every 600,000 people who receive that vaccine. AstraZeneca is the vaccine workhorse in the U.K. and Australia, but has been associated with more deaths per capita than the mRNA vaccines.

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In B.C., AstraZeneca was rolled out in March and April during the third wave of the pandemic as a way to immunize high-risk workers and people not yet eligible through the age-based rollout that mostly used Pfizer.

After AstraZeneca-related blood clotting appeared around the world in young people, Henry suspended use of that vaccine for people aged under 30. Around 280,000 British Columbians received a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine. National figures as of June 5 show that 2.1 million people in Canada had received a first dose of AstraZeneca, but fewer than 16,000 had received it as a second dose.

According to Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan, B.C. received 438,000 doses of AstraZeneca – or just under 10 per cent of the total number of doses delivered across the province.

By far, Pfizer is the most available vaccine in the province – with 3,385,590 doses delivered.

Moderna has only made up 17 per cent of deliveries in B.C., with 787,140 doses, however Henry said close to a million doses of that vaccine were expected over the next month.

This is fortuitous, as Pfizer deliveries in July will be significantly less than earlier promised.

“Today we were notified that there’s some upcoming challenges with the deliver of Pfizer vaccines in July, and as a result, the supply that we’ll be receiving in the first two weeks of July is now reduced,” Henry said.

“That is something that happens when we’re in a global pandemic with a global vaccine supply. We know these speed bumps happen, and while disappointing, they’re not unexpected, given the complexity of the global immunization efforts.

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There are no further shipments of AstraZeneca scheduled.

Henry reported 120 new cases over the past day and one death. There are 1,320 active cases of COVID-19 in the community and 131 being treated in hospital, of which 44 are in intensive care.

Twenty per cent of B.C.’s adult population is now fully immunized, while 74.5 per cent of people aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of vaccine.

with files from Canadian Press

dcarrigg@postmedia.com


Get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


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Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

7Jun

COVID-19 update for June 7: B.C. opens appointments for second dose of AstraZeneca | Cases declining across Canada

by admin

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

Article content

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for June 7, 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.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on June 4:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 145,049 (2,453 active cases)
• New cases since June 2: 183
• Total deaths: 1,710 (one new death)
• Hospitalized cases: 224
• Intensive care: 59
• Total vaccinations: 3,488,884 doses administered; 256,725 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 140,835
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 7

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

B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

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


LATEST NEWS ON COVID-19 IN B.C.

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.

6:40 a.m. – Moderna seeks EU, Canada approval for COVID-19 vaccine’s use in teens

Drugmaker Moderna Inc said on Monday it has submitted applications to the European and Canadian health regulators seeking authorization for the expanded use of its COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents.

The company said it plans to file for an emergency use authorization with the U.S. FDA and other regulatory agencies around the world for the vaccine’s use in adolescents aged 12 to 17.

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Moderna’s vaccine is already being used in the United States, the European Union and Canada for people over 18 years of age and vaccinating children has been considered important for reaching herd immunity against the coronavirus.

Children with COVID-19 mostly develop only mild symptoms or no symptoms, but remain at risk of becoming seriously ill, and can spread the virus.

– Reuters

6:40 a.m. – Canada to receive 2.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine this week

Canada is scheduled to receive 2.4 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week as more Canadians get their first and second jabs.

Those shots are the only expected shipments in what should be a comparatively quiet week of vaccine deliveries.

Moderna shipped 500,000 doses last week, with another 1.5 million shots due to arrive next week.

Ottawa is also expecting another one million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of June, though a detailed delivery schedule has not been confirmed.

The fate of more than 300,000 shots from Johnson and Johnson that were first delivered in April remains unclear as Health Canada continues reviewing their safety following concerns about possible tainting at a Baltimore production facility.

The federal government says more than 60 per cent of Canadians have received at least one dose, and the number fully immunized with two shots is rising.

– The Canadian Press

6 a.m. – Here’s what you need to know about getting your second dose in B.C.

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B.C.’s vaccination program enters a new phase Monday, as the province opens appointments for the second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

People who received AstraZeneca for their first shot will have to decide between a second dose of AstraZeneca and getting Pfizer or Moderna instead. Those who want Pfizer or Moderna will need to register with the provincial registration system then wait for a booking invitation.

According to the Ministry of Health, people who received Pfizer for their first shot will receive Pfizer again. Those who received Moderna for their first shot will get either Pfizer or Moderna. Both the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines are effectively interchangeable and are safe to mix.

Read more HERE.

6 a.m. – Cases declining across Canada

Signs of summer’s pending arrival were greeted with other reasons for hope across much of Canada over the weekend as several provinces reported their lowest number of new COVID-19 infections in months and tens of thousands more Canadians were vaccinated.

The good news started with Quebec. Once the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, the province on Sunday reported only 179 new infections and no new deaths, a first for both measurements since September.

Ontario, meanwhile, logged 663 new cases on Sunday, the lowest figure seen since Oct. 18. Atlantic Canada was also reporting relatively low numbers, with 12 new cases in Nova Scotia today and fewer than 10 in the rest of the region.

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Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam in a statement called on Canadians to continue to guard against COVID-19 while also acknowledging the decline in new cases following a deadly third wave of infections through much of the spring.

“As immunity is still building up across the population, public health measures and individual precautions are crucial for COVID-19 control,” she said. “Thanks to measures in place in heavily affected areas, the strong and steady declines in disease trends continues.”

Some parts of the country nonetheless continued to struggle with high levels of infection, including Manitoba, where nearly 500 cases were reported on Saturday and Sunday combined.

The decline in new cases over the past week coincided with a drop in the number of Canadians being treated in hospital for COVID-19, Tam said, with fewer in intensive-care units and fewer deaths as well.

– The Canadian Press

6 a.m. – J&J vaccine drive stalls out in U.S after safety pause

Safety concerns about Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine along with overall flagging demand for vaccinations have slowed its U.S. rollout to a crawl, leaving close to half of the 21 million doses produced for the United States sitting unused.

J&J’s vaccine was supposed to be an important tool for reaching rural areas and vaccine hesitant Americans because it requires only one shot and has less stringent storage requirements than the two-dose vaccines from Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc.

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– Reuters

SUNDAY

12 p.m. – Canadian government grants travel exemption for Stanley Cup playoffs

The Canadian government approved a travel exemption for the National Hockey League on Sunday that will allow teams to cross the Canada-U.S. border for the Stanley Cup playoffs without the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Canada’s Immigration Ministry issued a statement saying the “national interest” exemption was granted after a review by public health officials.

Under the conditions laid out in the exemption, teams can only travel in and out of the country on private planes.

In Canada players will live in a modified bubble that will be limited to the team hotel and arena, and there will be no contact with the public.

Players will be tested daily as well as before they board planes and when they land.

The exemption will allow the winner of the NHL’s all-Canadian North division between the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets to play in the U.S. and host U.S. based opponents for the final two rounds.

The Canadiens currently lead the best-of-seven series 2-0.

– Reuters

8:45 a.m. – Three B.C. flights flagged for COVID-19 exposure

Three more B.C. flights have been added to the B.C. Centre of Disease COVID-19 exposure list.

The BCCDC says one or more infected people were aboard Westjet flight 3139 from Vancouver to Calgary on June 2, while an exposure was also reported on a Harbour Air floatplane (flight 1705) from Tofino to Vancouver on June 2, and on a returning Harbour Air (flight 1710) from Tofino to Vancouver on June 3.

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Those who were on board a domestic flight with a confirmed case are not required to self-isolate but must monitor closely for possible symptoms.

For row information, visit the BCCDC’s full listing of all exposure flights here.


B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



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

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

4Jun

COVID-19 update for June 4: B.C. inches toward 80 per cent of eligible residents being vaccinated | 199 new cases, two deaths | Second dose of AstraZeneca available Monday

by admin

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

Article content

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for May 24, 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.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on June 3:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 144,866 (2,563 active cases)
• New cases since June 2: 199
• Total deaths: 1,709 (two new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 224
• Intensive care: 62
• Total vaccinations: 3,426,824 doses administered; 229,585 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 140,537
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 6

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


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

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


LATEST NEWS ON COVID-19 IN B.C.

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. – B.C. inching toward 80 per cent of eligible residents receiving a first dose

B.C. is edging close to 80 per cent of those eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine getting their first jab. And experts say the province should push to reach 90 per cent to achieve “practical” herd immunity.

Herd immunity, or population immunity, is normally considered the point at which enough people are vaccinated or have immune protection from previous infection so that the disease will not spread through the population. It varies for viruses.

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Simon Fraser University epidemiologist Caroline Colijn said Thursday that reaching herd immunity for COVID-19 where there is no transmission at all is not likely, but reaching a “practical” herd immunity is possible.

It is a world in which there may be some cases and occasionally people end up in the hospital, but there are no lockdowns, the health care system is not overwhelmed, and people can return to a more normal life, she said.

“I think that kind of practical herd immunity is within reach, and we can reach it so much better if we can get to 90 per cent or well above 80 per cent,” said Colijn, a Canada 150 research chair in mathematics for evolution, infection and public health with SFU.

Closer to 100 per cent is even better, she said.

But it means finding all those who would take a vaccine but are hesitant or face some kind of barrier, said Colijn.

-Gord Hoekstra

12 a.m. – Cases of COVID-19 declining in B.C.

Health officials said Thursday there were 199 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths.

There are now 2,563 active cases of the disease, of which 224 are being treated in hospital including 62 in intensive care.

All these COVID-19 figures are improving.

As of Wednesday, 71.8 per cent of adults in B.C. have received at least one dose of vaccine and 229,585 people have received their second dose for maximum protection (just over five per cent of adults).

One third of doses injected on Wednesday were second doses.

12 a.m. – Second doses of AstraZeneca vaccine available in B.C. on Monday

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Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said people who received an AstraZeneca vaccine for their first dose will be able to receive a second AstraZeneca dose as of Monday.

However, if they choose to receive an mRNA vaccine instead (Pfizer of Moderna), that will be permitted.

People who received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for their first dose and are due for their second may have to receive the Pfizer vaccine instead, the provincial health officer said on Thursday.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said “spotty issues with supply of Moderna” would lead to cases over the next few weeks where people will only have a choice of the Pfizer vaccine.


B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



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

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

1Jun

COVID-19: British Columbians who got AstraZeneca dose can choose another vaccine for their second shot

by admin

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reports 184 new cases of COVID-19 — the lowest daily case count since Oct. 20 last year

Article content

British Columbians who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine that is linked to fatal blood clots can get another vaccine for their second shot, the provincial health officer said Tuesday.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization, or NACI, has “confirmed the safety and effectiveness of interchanging vaccines and reaffirmed the recommendation to prioritize second doses for those at highest risk of severe illness and death,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

“NACI advises people who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine may safely receive either the same vaccine or an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) for their second dose.”

In April, B.C. began offering the AstraZeneca vaccine — which has been the backbone of the U.K. vaccine rollout — through pharmacies to people not then eligible for the age-based roll out of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. It was also used for COVID-19 hot spots and high-risk workplaces until it was suspended over rare blood clot side-effects.

Article content

In total, over 314,000 doses of the vaccine were administered in B.C.

Henry said 3,112,112 people in B.C. had now received at least one shot and 179,954 had been given the second dose need to ensure maximum protection. That means 70.4 per cent of adults in B.C. and 67 per cent of those aged 12 and over had been given one dose.

On Monday, there were 53,218 doses administered, including 11,268 second doses.

Henry reported 184 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths.

This is the lowest daily case count since Oct. 20 when 167 cases were reported.

Henry said there are now 2,800 active cases of the disease in B.C. — a one day drop of 153 cases. There are 254 people being treated in hospital with COVID-19, including 80 in intensive care (both these numbers are up slightly).

dcarrigg@postmedia.com


Get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


CLICK HERE to report a typo.

Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email vantips@postmedia.com

19May

COVID-19 update for May 19: Spanish study finds AstraZeneca vaccine followed by Pfizer dose is safe | Fraser Health epicentre of pandemic | 411 new cases and two deaths |

by admin

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

Article content

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for May 19, 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.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on May 18:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 140,075 (4,890 active cases)
• New cases since May 17: 411
• Total deaths: 1,650 (2 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 360
• Intensive care: 127
• Total vaccinations: 2,566,936 doses administered; 131,837 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 133,383
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 6

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Article content

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


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

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: 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


LATEST NEWS ON COVID-19 IN B.C.

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. – Spanish study finds AstraZeneca vaccine followed by Pfizer dose is safe and effective

A Spanish study on mixing COVID-19 vaccines has found that giving a dose of Pfizer’s drug to people who already received a first shot of AstraZeneca vaccine is highly safe and effective, preliminary results showed on Tuesday.

The Combivacs study, run by Spain’s state-backed Carlos III Health Institute, found the presence of IgG antibodies in the bloodstream was between 30 and 40 times higher in people who got the follow-up Pfizer shot than in a control group who only received one AstraZeneca dose.

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Meanwhile, the presence of neutralizing antibodies rose sevenfold after a Pfizer dose, significantly more than the doubling effect observed after a second AstraZeneca shot.

Around 670 volunteers between the ages of 18-59 who had already received a first dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine participated in the study, with some 450 given a Pfizer dose.

Just 1.7% of the participants reported severe side effects, which were limited to headaches, muscle pain and general malaise, said Dr Magdalena Campins, one of the study’s leaders.

-Reuters

5 a.m. – Fraser Health accounts for 75 per cent of new cases reported Tuesday

Fraser Health accounted for three quarters of all COVID-19 cases reported on Tuesday — despite its catchment serving 35 per cent of B.C.’s population.

The provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said 285 of the 411 new cases of COVID-19 reported over the past day had been in Fraser Health.

Vancouver Coastal Health — which cares for 25 per cent of B.C.’s population — accounted for less than 10 per cent of Tuesday’s cases, with 37.

B.C.’s seven-day average daily case count continues to fall, with Fraser Health holding 1,000-dose pop-up clinics in hard hit areas like north-west Surrey.

-David Carrigg

12 a.m. – Provincial health officer reports 411 new cases and two deaths

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 411 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and two deaths.

Henry said there are now 4,890 active cases of the disease in B.C., of which 360 are being treated in hospital including 127 in intensive care.

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Almost three quarters of the new cases were reported in the Fraser Health region – which remains the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C.

Henry reported one new COVID-19 outbreak – at the Cherington Place nursing home in Surrey – making six active health facility outbreaks.

As of Monday, there have been 2,566,936 doses of vaccine administered in B.C., of which 131,837 are second doses.

12 a.m. – Science World and PNE among anchor attractions to receive provincial lifeline

Science World and the Pacific National Exhibition are among the anchor attractions expected to receive up to $1 million each in funding after Premier John Horgan and Tourism Minister Melanie Mark announced a new $50 million grant to prop up struggling tourism operators.

However, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said he’s disappointed that the funding leaves the city-owned PNE “critically short of the funding they need to continue operating as we’ve known and loved for over a century.”

The B.C. major anchor attractions grant will provide $1 million in funding to anchor attractions that welcome 75,000 visitors a year and $500,000 to rural tourism attractions that welcome 15,000 visitors a year. Tour bus companies will also be eligible to apply for funding.


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



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

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

13May

COVID-19: B.C. man hospitalized with AstraZeneca vaccine-induced blood clot

by admin

Beginning Sunday, every B.C. adult, aged 18 and older, will be able to book a vaccination appointment.

Article content

A second British Columbian has been hospitalized for a blood clot after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, said the patient, a man in his 40s who resides in the Fraser Health region, is listed in stable condition after developing vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia.

It’s B.C.’s second case of VITT in less than a week. A woman in her 40s is recovering after being hospitalized for a clot last week in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

“For some reason, in some people, the vaccine seems to stimulate an immune response that develops antibodies against our platelets. This causes a type of clotting that is different from other types of blood clots … It is a very challenging one to treat,” said Henry.

There have been 28 suspected cases of VITT and four deaths associated with the 2.3 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that have been administered in Canada.

Article content

British Columbia has delivered 272,537 jabs of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Henry said anyone who develops VITT symptoms, which include persistent and severe headaches, pains in chest or abdominal, swelling or redness in limbs and shortness of breath, should contact their healthcare provider or call 811.

“Recognizing the symptoms and getting treatment early is important,” she said.

B.C. health officials reported 587 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday along with five additional deaths from the respiratory disease.

There have been a total 137,810 cases and 1,632 COVID-19 related deaths in B.C. since the start of the pandemic.

The are 5,691 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including 413 hospitalizations and 141 individuals who are being treated in intensive care.

More than 2.3 million doses of vaccine have been administered so far and more than half of all eligible adults in B.C. have received at least one dose. Just 2.8 per cent of the eligible population have had the necessary second dose.

Beginning Sunday, every B.C. adult, aged 18 and older, will be able to book a vaccination appointment.

Health Minister Adrian Dix urged everyone who was born in 2003 or earlier to register for the vaccination process as soon as possible.

Registration can be completed online at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated, by telephone through a provincial call centre at 1-833-838-2323 (between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.) or in-person at the nearest Service B.C. location.

More to come …

sbrown@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/browniescott


Get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


CLICK HERE to report a typo.

Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email vantips@postmedia.com

12May

COVID-19 update for May 12: 515 new cases, two deaths | Ontario to stop providing first doses of AstraZeneca

by admin

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

Article content

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for May 12, 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.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on May 11:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 136,623 (6,020 active cases)
• New cases since May 10: 515
• Total deaths: 1,624 (2 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 426
• Intensive care: 141
• Total vaccinations: 2,219,856 doses administered (110,516 second doses)
• Cases under public health monitoring: (not provided)
• Recovered from acute infection: 128,149
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 5

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Article content

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


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

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: 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


LATEST NEWS ON COVID-19 IN B.C.

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. – Almost a third of international air travellers allowed to skip quarantine hotel, but government won’t say why

Almost one third of all air travellers arriving in Canada have been allowed to skip the mandatory stay in a government-approved quarantine hotel, a rate of exemption from the controversial COVID-19 control measure that could undermine its public health goals.

About 88,000 arriving international air travellers were deemed exempt from the expensive hotel stay requirement, according to the most recent data from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The agency would not provide a breakdown of the reasons for these exemptions.

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The PHAC data shows at least 30 per cent of international air travellers, unlike others, didn’t have to show proof of a pre-booked and fully paid stay at one of the approved hotels near the airports in the four cities in Canada allowed to accept international flights: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.

In addition, many travellers have outright refused to go to a mandatory hotel — at least 798 of them have been issued tickets in just Ontario and B.C., facing a $3,000 fine for each day of non-compliance, according to the latest data — and an unknown number are circumventing the rule by flying into the United States and crossing into Canada by land, after which a quarantine hotel stay is not required.

An infection prevention specialist questioned the effectiveness of a public health measure that ignores a third of the people it is designed to control.

Dr. Gerald Evans, chairman of the infectious diseases division at Queen’s University and medical director of infection prevention and control at Kingston Health Sciences Centre, said the quarantine hotel exemption rate is “quite high.”

“It would (undermine the policy) as this means about one third of travellers may not be quarantined effectively,” Evans said.

-Adrian Humphreys, National Post
12 a.m. B.C. reports 515 new cases, two more deaths

British Columbia reported 515 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and two more deaths, for a total of 1,624 fatalities since the start of the pandemic.

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There are 6,020 active cases of the disease in B.C., of which 426 are being treated in hospital, including 141 in intensive care.

All of those numbers have dropped significantly over the last week. On May 4, B.C. reported 7,161 active cases and 486 hospitalizations, including 173 people in ICU.

In a joint statement, B.C. health minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there have been 2,219,856 doses of vaccines administered in B.C., 110,516 of which are second doses.

“We are calling on every adult in our province to join our efforts and register for your vaccine today. Last week, almost 400,000 people registered for their vaccine. We can break that record this week,” the statement said.

12 a.m.– Ontario to pause first doses of AstraZeneca vaccines

Ontario’s top doctor says the province will stop giving out first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Dr. David Williams says the decision has been made out of an abundance of caution because of increased instances of a rare blood clotting disorder linked to the shot.

The move comes hours after Alberta said it won’t give out more first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the time being because there aren’t any confirmed shipments coming.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has been linked to a new blood clotting syndrome that is extremely rare but can be fatal.

– The Canadian Press


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



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

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

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