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B.C. shifting gears toward vaccine first dose as supply stagnates

British Columbia will focus on delivering the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines rather than administering the second dose.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the move aims to provide protection to more people sooner, rather than increased protection for those who have already gotten the first dose.

The reasoning behind the limited supply and conservative tactics are due to delays in Pfizer’s vaccine delivery to Canada.

“The next two weeks we will receive very little new vaccine,” said Dr. Henry. “We are not sure how much vaccine we’ll be receiving in February. We know the federal government is doing as much as possible to obtain vaccine.” 

So far B.C received 144,550 doses of vaccine and 119,850 have already been administered.

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Six cases of the more transmissible COVID-19 variant from the U.K. has been discovered in B.C. as well as three cases of the South African variant, which according to Moderna, is more resistant to its vaccine. 

Meanwhile, eleven outbreaks in long-term care homes have been declared over, as B.C. recorded 1,344 new coronavirus cases and 26 deaths over a three day period.

There were 527 cases between Friday and Saturday, 472 cases between Saturday and Sunday and 346 cases between Sunday and Monday.

4,392 active COVID-19 cases were reported province-wide, with 328 people in hospital and 68  in intensive care. In total 234 new cases were in Interior Health, 50 people are hospitalized and 11 are in critical care.

“Sadly, Interior Health lost three people over the weekend to COVID-19, including a death associated with the outbreak at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of these individuals,” said  President and CEO of Interior Health Susan brown. “We continue to see COVID-19 cases across all settings – from long-term care to within the community. This virus respects no boundaries, however, we can slow it’s spread and reduce the risk of further tragic losses by continuing to follow all public health orders and precautions.”

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