Posts Tagged "Pfizer"

10Jun

COVID-19 update for June 10: B.C. cases continue to drop | BCCDC study shows one shot of Pfizer or Moderna is two-thirds effective | Travel agents welcome lifting restrictions | U.K. cases up |

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 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 9:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 145,843 (1,975 active cases)
• New cases since June 7: 148
• Total deaths: 1,725 (three new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 195
• Intensive care: 41
• Total vaccinations: 3,749,758 doses administered; 390,264 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 145,843
• 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.

5 a.m. – BCCDC study shows one shot of Pfizer or Moderna is two-thirds effective and protects well against variants

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has released figures showing a single dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine reduced the risk of catching COVID-19 by 66 per cent, and worked against the Alpha and Gamma variants.

In an article released on Wednesday, the BCCDC reported mass single-doses in older adults were effective enough to lead to the decision to defer second doses when there are supply problems.

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The study was done during the second wave of COVID-19 in B.C. at the start of the year when the Alpha variant (initially found in the U.K.) and Gamma variant (initially found in Brazil) appeared.

The study said a single dose of mRNA vaccine reduced the risk of SARS-CoV-2 in adults under 70 by about two-thirds, with protection only minimally less than that against the Alpha and Gamma variants.

According to the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, ten per cent of all people who have received vaccine in B.C. are fully vaccinated with two doses. There have been 3.75 million doses administered, to 74.5 per cent of all adults in B.C.

-David Carrigg

5 a.m. – B.C. travel agents welcome prospect of easing travel restrictions

Word that Canada is working to ease COVID-19 quarantine rules for cross-border travellers was welcome news for Delta travel agent Trina Dang-Bordes, whose business has been mostly dormant for 14 months.

“My clients really can’t wait to get out there,” said Dang-Bordes, who is with Marlin Travel in Delta.

However, booking leisure travel for the summer would be premature.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu announced Wednesday that an easing of quarantine rules for Canadians and permanent residents returning to Canada by air as early as July is a first step to the phased reopening of the border.

Citizens and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival will not be required to undergo a three-day hotel quarantine upon arrival, provided they test negative for COVID-19 72 hours before their trip and have a plan for self-quarantine at home while awaiting results of a mandatory COVID test on arrival.

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-Derrick Penner

12 a.m. – B.C. reports 148 new cases, three deaths

B.C.’s daily COVID-19 case total continues to dwindle as the province reported 148 new infections on Wednesday.

It’s the ninth straight day that the province’s daily total has dropped below 200 cases.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said nearly 3.75 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., including more than 390,000 second doses.

The vaccination rate among all adults in B.C. now sits at 74.5 per cent.

Three more deaths were reported on Wednesday to raise the provincial death toll from COVID-19 to 1,725.

12 a.m.  – U.K. reports most COVID-19 cases since February

The U.K. reported the most new COVID-19 infections since the end of February, fuelling rising concern that the resurgent pandemic could delay plans to ease restrictions.

A further 7,540 cases were reported Wednesday, the most since Feb. 26, according to the government’s data dashboard. Officials have said they’ll keep a close eye on trends to see whether the country will have to delay the planned easing of restrictions on June 21, amid the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Hospitalizations, another closely watched variable, crossed 1,000 for the first time since May 12, the latest nationwide data showed. So far, deaths have stayed in line with recent low numbers, with six fatalities reported Wednesday, suggesting that the U.K.’s vaccination program is lessening the severity of COVID-19 cases.

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The government said it will provide an update on Monday as to whether it can continue with the easing of measures, which would see nightclubs reopen and most other restrictions lifted.

The Delta coronavirus variant of concern, first identified in India, is believed to be 60 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha variant which was previously dominant in Britain, a prominent UK epidemiologist said on Wednesday.

– Bloomberg


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.

9Jun

COVID-19: BCCDC study shows one shot of Pfizer or Moderna is two thirds effective and protects well against variants

by admin

B.C. Centre for Disease Control article states “A single dose of mRNA vaccine reduced the risk of SARS-CoV-2 in adults (less than) 70 by about two-thirds, with protection only minimally reduced against (Alpha) and (Gamma) variants.”

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The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has released data showing a single dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine reduced the risk of catching COVID-19 by 66 per cent, and worked against the Alpha and Gamma variants.

In an article released on Wednesday, the BCCDC reported mass single-doses in older adults were effective enough to defer giving second doses if there are supply problems.

The study was done during the second wave of COVID-19 in B.C. at the start of the year when the Alpha (initially found in the U.K.) and Gamma (initially found in Brazil) variants appeared.

“A single dose of mRNA vaccine reduced the risk of SARS-CoV-2 in adults (less than) 70 by about two-thirds, with protection only minimally reduced against (Alpha) and (Gamma) variants,” the study states.

According to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, ten per cent of all people who have received vaccine in B.C. are fully vaccinated. There have been 3.75 million doses administered to 74.5 per cent of all adults in B.C.

Henry reported 148 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and three deaths.

It’s the ninth straight day that the province’s daily total has dropped below 200 cases.

There are 195 people being treated in hospital for COVID-19, including 47 in intensive care.

with files from Scott Brown

dcarrigg@postmedia.com


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3Jun

COVID-19: If you got Moderna for your first dose, B.C. offers Pfizer for second dose

by admin

B.C.’s COVID-19 figures continue to improve, with 199 new cases reported on Thursday

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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.

“There will be some instances where (Moderna) may not be available,” Henry said.

“In that case you’ll be offered Pfizer as an alternative to the Moderna for your second dose. You can choose to rebook later in June when more Moderna is available, but I would encourage everyone to take the vaccine that you are offered when you go in for your second dose.”

She said Health Canada has promised more Moderna by the end of the month.

Henry said that as of Monday the 280,000 people who received a dose of AstraZeneca vaccine through the pharmacy and high-risk worker vaccination programs in March and April would receive notice that they are eligible for their second dose.

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Use of AstraZeneca was temporarily suspended in late April due to blood-clotting fears. However, Henry said the province had kept enough on hand for second doses.

“So people who received AstraZeneca in March and April, you have two choices now,” Henry said.

“You can receive a second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine, and we will ensure that we have enough AstraZeneca available for everybody who wants to receive their second dose of AstraZeneca.

“The other option that you have, if you wish to, is to receive a messenger RNA (Pfizer or Moderna) as your Dose 2.

“If you chose a second dose of AstraZeneca it will be administered at a pharmacy. If you want an mRNA vaccine it will be administered at an immunization clinic,” she said.

After the AstraZeneca doses on hand are used, B.C. will no longer use the vaccine.

“If you received your vaccine at a pharmacy, the pharmacy will contact you to book your next appointment. We ask that you please don’t contact the pharmacies to book — they will contact you,” Henry said.

Henry said there were 199 cases of COVID-19 reported over the past day 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.

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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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.

5May

COVID-19: B.C. to offer Pfizer vaccine to kids 12 and up, possibly before end of school year

by admin

B.C. health officials are working on a plan after Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in kids 12 and up.

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B.C. kids aged 12 and older could receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine before the end of the school year, according to health officials.

Following Health Canada’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine for use in children as young as 12, B.C. will integrate them into the province’s vaccine rollout, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Wednesday.

“We’re working on how do we do that and how do we do it in the most efficient way possible,” she said. “There’s lots of possibilities including making sure we can get that done prior to June.”

Henry said kids aged 12 and older could be fully immunized with two doses before the next school year, although younger children may have to wait until the end of the year because clinical trials for those ages are still ongoing.

Asked about vaccinating students at schools, Henry said B.C. is looking at how to vaccinate kids most efficiently.

“The good news is we have a lot of vaccines. If all goes as planned in the next few months, so between May and June, we will have quite a lot of vaccines, so we should be able to fit this into our program, and still reach that goal of having at least first doses into the entire population by the end of June,” she said.

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There are about 300,000 children between the ages of 12 and 17 in B.C.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Teri Mooring said the news comes as a “big relief” to teachers.

“I hope the plans include going to school sites to start vaccinating,” she said.

Mooring also wants to see the province’s the vaccination program for essential workers, like teachers, sped up so teacher have their second doses before September.

On Wednesday, Health Canada said the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can now be given to kids as young as 12, making Canada the first country to authorize its use for children 12 and older. The vaccine was previously authorized for anyone 16 and older.

A trial of more than 2,200 youth in that age group in the United States recorded no cases of COVID-19 among vaccinated kids. The trial used the same size doses, and the same two-doses requirement, as the vaccine for adults.

Health Canada’s chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma said the evidence shows the vaccine is safe and effective for adolescents.

Sharma said about one-fifth of all cases of COVID-19 in Canada have occurred in children and teenagers, and having a vaccine for them is a critical part of Canada’s plan.

She said while most kids don’t experience serious illness from COVID-19, protecting them with a vaccine also helps protect their friends and family, who may be at higher risk of complications.

“It will also support the return to a more normal life for our children, who have had such a hard time over the past year,” she said.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the company expects to have data on trials in kids between two and 11 years old in time to apply for authorization in the United States in September. The company has generally applied to Canada for approval around the same time.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expects to authorize the vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds next week.

More to come …

With files by the Canadian Press and Katie DeRosa

gluymes@postmedia.com

twitter.com/glendaluymes

17Apr

COVID-19 update for April 16: Ontario on strict lockdown | 1,005 new cases as hospitalizations hit daily high | Pfizer steps up with 8 million doses as Moderna slashes vaccine delivery | Mounties urge people to observe Vaisakhi safely | Premier gets AstraZeneca jab

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 April 16, 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 April 16:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 117,080 (10,081 active cases)
• New cases since April 15: 1,005
• Total deaths: 1,530 (6 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 425
• Intensive care: 127
• Total vaccinations: 1,282,091 doses administered (87,970 second doses)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 15,877
• Recovered: 105,291
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 12

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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: 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 p.m. – Ontario gives police new powers to enforce stay-home order and ban on outdoor gatherings

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has extended the stay-at-home order by two weeks and has imposed further restrictions on outdoor activities and retail in the hopes of flattening the surge of COVID-19 cases in the province.

The announcement followed new COVID-19 modelling released by provincial science advisers on Friday, which showed that Ontario could top 20,000 cases a day if strong measures aren’t imposed.

Police enforcement of the stay-at-home order will also be enhanced, said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. Police will have the authority to ask anyone who is outside what their address is and to ask why they’re out, she said.

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Police will also be able to pull over vehicles to check that occupants are only out for essential purposes, she said. Those violating the order could be fined up to $750. The new authority, she said, will last for the duration of the stay-at-home order.

— National Post and Canadian Press

3 p.m. – Hospitalizations hit record high again, as more than 1,000 new cases reported

On Friday, B.C. recorded more than 1,000 new COVID cases, six additional deaths, and a third straight day of record hospitalizations, with 425 people in hospital with the coronavirus, surpassing the record of 409 set Thursday.

Out of hospitalized patients, 127 are in intensive care, up two from the previous day.

B.C.’s 1,005 new cases are spread across the province, with the majority in the populous Fraser Health, 536 cases, and Vancouver Coastal Health regions, with 259 cases. There were 49 new cases in Vancouver Island Health, 110 in Interior Health, and 51 in Northern Health.

— Cheryl Chan

12 p.m. – Pfizer steps up with eight million more doses to Canada as Moderna slashes April shipments in half

OTTAWA — Canada will receive eight million additional doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine with increased shipments beginning in May, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday, hours after Moderna said it would cut its vaccine delivery.

Moderna announced its next shipment would be cut roughly in half, with 650,000 doses arriving in the last week of April instead of 1.2 million. The Massachusetts-based company also said it could miss its second quarter target of 12.3 million by as many as two million doses.

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10 a.m. – Surrey RCMP urge Vaisakhi celebrants and Kissan supporters to follow COVID-19 health orders this weekend

While large-scale Vaisakhi celebrations have been cancelled again this year in Surrey because of the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities are concerned about small gatherings.

Surrey RCMP say officers are also aware of Kissan rallies and a Sikh motorcycle event set to take place this weekend.

Mounties are urging the public to abide by current public health orders, which have placed restrictions on outdoor gatherings and prohibit indoor gatherings.

Outdoor social gatherings are permitted with up to 10 people spaced two metres apart unless from the same house.

Mounties say hand sanitizer supplies must be available and a gathering cannot enter a fully enclosed structure.

The Surrey RCMP will be conducting increased patrols throughout the weekend enforcing the orders as well as ensuring public safety.

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“This is a challenging time for the community and we understand that with the nice weather, it may be tempting to gather in large groups to celebrate,” said Surrey Insp. Harm Dosange.

Anyone wishing to report violations of the COVID-19 public health orders should contact the City of Surrey bylaw call centre at 604-591-4370 or the Surrey RCMP non-emergency line at 604-599-0502.

8 a.m. – Canada’s incoming supply of Moderna vaccine slashed in half through end of April

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada’s incoming vaccine supply from Moderna will be slashed in half through the rest of April.

Anand said in a statement that Moderna will ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million.

Moderna said the limited supply is due to a “slower than anticipated ramp up” of their production capacity.

Anand said the company also told Canada that one to two million doses of the 12.3 million scheduled for delivery in the second quarter may be delayed until the third quarter.

Anand added the federal government will continue to press Moderna to fulfill its commitments.

Earlier Friday, the Canadian Medical Association called for “extraordinary” measures, including sharing provincial health-care resources and dropping the per-capita approach to vaccine distribution, to address the COVID-19 crisis unfolding in several provinces.

— The Canadian Press

7 a.m. – B.C. premier receives AstraZeneca jab

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Premier John Horgan is set to roll up his sleeve today for the AstraZeneca jab.

The premier said on Twitter late Thursday that he had booked the AstraZeneca vaccine at a local pharmacy on Friday. The premier lives in Langford, west of Victoria.

“Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,” he said in the tweet.

Earlier this week, Horgan, 61, said he was waiting his turn in the age-based program.

Horgan said he and his wife, Ellie, registered for the vaccine through the province’s Get Vaccinated portal, which is for British Columbians who will get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine through the age-based vaccination program.

However, he also told reporters that he would have “no hesitation whatsoever” to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

5 a.m. – More virulent variants continue to surge in B.C., up to 60 per cent of cases, and growing

Coronavirus variants now make up about 60 per cent of new cases in B.C., as infections continued an exponential surge in recent weeks, according to statistical and computer-modelling information released by the province on Thursday.

The predominant variants in B.C. are the B.1.1.7 variant identified in the U.K. and the P.1 variant identified in Brazil, each accounting for about half of variant virus cases. There is a small amount of the B.1.351 variant first detected in South Africa in the province as well.

The variants, mutations of the virus that cause COVID-19, are a concern because they spread more easily and can cause worse outcomes.

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In the past several weeks, case numbers in B.C. have been hitting record highs of 1,000 or more each day.

Hospitalization cases have also been on the rise, particularly in the 40 to 59 age group, although death rates have not risen.

In part, that’s because older people, who are more susceptible to becoming sicker and dying have been vaccinated at higher rates. More than 75 per cent of people aged 80 and over gave been vaccinated and about two thirds of people 70 to 79. Nearly 27 per cent of the eligible population of 4.3 million has received a first dose of one of three vaccines available in the province.

— Gord Hoekstra

5 a.m. – Risk of transmission in schools low, said officials, as hospitalizations hit record high

The risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools is low, with the vast majority of cases among students and staff acquired outside of school, according to figures presented Thursday by B.C. health officials.

Despite increasing overall case counts, B.C.’s provincial health officer showed no indication that she’s considering school closures. Ontario has shut down in-person learning indefinitely and Calgary moved Grade 7 to 12 students to remote learning for two weeks.

“There’s a lot of talk about closing schools. We are not seeing that as an issue,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said, adding that despite exposure notices, which can be “distressing,” data shows structured settings like schools with COVID-19 safety protocols have been successful at curbing infections.

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Henry said cases among children tend to rise when they are not in schools, as during the spring and Christmas breaks.

Henry cited transmission studies among staff and students in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions that tracked exposures over two separate time periods using detailed contact tracing.

— Cheryl Chan

12 a.m. –More than 300 overseas travellers with COVID arrived in Canada over six weeks this year

More than 300 air travellers arriving at Vancouver airport over six weeks this year tested positive for COVID-19 when they landed, according to data released by a federal health agency.

From Feb. 22, the first day Canada required international arrivals by air to quarantine for three days at a hotel, until April 7, 23,252 passengers landed at YVR and were tested for the coronavirus, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

In total 306, or 1.3 per cent, tested positive, said Tammy Jarbeau in an email.

That worked out to almost seven passengers a day.

“The majority of these travellers that arrived by air were staying at a government-authorized accommodation when they tested positive and were then redirected to a designated quarantine facility or another suitable location to limit their interaction with other Canadians,” she said.

The agency also reported that over the course of the pandemic, police in B.C. followed up with 8,300 travellers who were required to quarantine for 14 days at home, she said.

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— Susan Lazaruk

12 a.m. – 1,205 new cases, three additional deaths

Health officials reported more than 1,200 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

Out of the 1,205 new cases, 301 were in Vancouver Coastal Health, 730 in Fraser Health, 38 in Vancouver Island Health, 69 in Interior Health, and 66 in Northern Health. One case was reported in a person who normally lives outside of Canada.

The new cases bring active cases in the province to 10,052. Hospitalizations continue to rise. There are 409 people in hospital, with 125 in intensive care.

There were three additional deaths reported, bringing the death toll in B.C. to 1,524 since the pandemic began.


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

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