If everything goes according to plan, everyone in B.C. who wants the COVID-19 vaccine will be immunized by next September, Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday.
The provincial health officer explained that a more detailed plan for vaccine rollout will be available early next week, but the first shots should be available early in the new year.
“We’re going to make sure we are absolutely ready by then,” Henry said. “We are planning to be able to put vaccine into arms in the first week of January.”
She expects that two vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna will begin arriving in B.C. early in the new year but only about six million doses will be available across Canada.
“That’s not enough for everybody,” Henry said.
The first priority will likely be to immunize the most vulnerable populations, including residents of long-term care homes, as well as health-care workers.
Two other vaccines produced by AstraZeneca and Janssen are anticipated in the second quarter of 2021.
“By the time we get into April of 2021, we’re expecting increased numbers of all the vaccines to be available and that’s when we can start offering it to more people across British Columbia,” Henry said.
It won’t be possible to reach everyone at once, so there will have to be a strategy for sequencing who receives it.
“As long as the vaccine continues to come in, as long as the safety and the effectiveness is good … we hope to have everybody done by September of next year,” Henry said.
She has repeatedly said the vaccine will not be mandatory.
Daily COVID-19 vaccinations jump as more doses arrive in B.C. – North Shore News
COVID-19 vaccinations are on an upward trend once again following the arrival of more doses in B.C.
The province’s entire supply of the Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE vaccine was used up early in the week, leading to dips in the number of people being vaccinated on a daily basis.
There have been 69,746 vaccinations as of Thursday (January 14), up from the 63,430 reported a day earlier.
Just over 1,100 vaccinations were administered during the province’s previous 24-hour reporting period — much lower than the 6,315 vaccinations reported Thursday.
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said about 25,000 additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have arrived since he last briefed media Wednesday.
“We’re expecting more Moderna vaccine before the end of the week and that allows us to continue across health authorities,” he said, adding workers and residents at long-term care homes remain the top priority.
The Moderna Inc. vaccine is easier to transport than the competing Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the latter of which must be maintained at temperatures as low as -80C before being thawed.
Once thawed, it must be administered within about five hours.
Those factors make Moderna more practical to bring to long-term care homes than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which initially was only administered at the manufacturer’s sites of delivery back in December before Pfizer loosened its restrictions.
More than 2.6 million doses of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna are expected to arrive in the province between April and June.
That’s up from the 792,000 doses due to be delivered between mid-December 2020 and March 2021.
The spring estimates do not include any vaccines that have not yet been approved by Health Canada.
For example, more doses could arrive in B.C. in the spring if regulators were to approve the AstraZeneca plc. vaccine, which was given the green light in the U.K. last month.
Vulnerable populations will be the focus of vaccinations between now and March but provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said more details will be forthcoming next week about plans to begin administering doses to the broader population.
“We’ve been thinking about this quite a lot,” Henry said.
“We know that we want to provide vaccine to people over the age of 18, who live in the communities, who aren’t in long-term care … How do we do that in a way that makes sure that everybody is in contact and knows where to go, doesn’t have to stand for hours in the rain as we’ve seen in some places, other places. So we are working on that. We have some great ideas that are coming together and we’ll be providing more data.”
Vaccine arriving in Ottawa on Tuesday will go to those who have had first dose – Ottawa Citizen
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the delay would not affect plans to have enough vaccines available for every Canadian who wanted to be vaccinated by fall.
Meanwhile, all residents in Ottawa’s long-term care homes have had the opportunity to be vaccinated — and that is cause for celebration, Etches said.
According to data from 24 of Ottawa’s 28 LTC homes, about 96 per cent of LTC residents have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, with data from the other four homes expected to follow.
“We are so pleased to have reached this milestone,” Etches said. “We still need the protection of staying two metres apart. That is what this lockdown is all about.”
Next on the priority list are residents of retirement homes and other older adults in congregate settings, older adults in Indigenous communities and people with chronic conditions receiving home care.
Etches says Ottawa’ is ready to get vaccines to people as soon as the doses are available. Retirement homes have already been preparing for the arrival of the vaccine by ensuring that consent forms have been signed, she said.
So far, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been available in Ottawa.
Etches said she has not received word on if or when the Moderna vaccine would be available in Ottawa. Moderna’s rollout has so far been prioritized for northern communities that do not have access to the specialized freezers needed to keep the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at -70 C. The Moderna vaccine is shipped at -20 C.
132 new COVID-19 cases reported in Waterloo, total number climbs past 8,000 – Global News
Waterloo Public Health reported 132 new positive tests for the coronavirus on Friday, raising the total number of cases in the area to 8,088.
This is the lowest number of new cases that the agency has announced since Jan. 3.
On the flip side, another 182 people were cleared of the virus, lifting the total number of resolved cases to 6,862.
There have been no new COVID-19-related deaths reported in four days leaving the death toll in Waterloo Region sitting at 179.
2nd case of South African COVID-19 variant appears in Canada
The number of active cases drops to 1,045 but there are now 37 people in area hospitals as a result of COVID-19, including 20 people who are in intensive care.
The COVID-19 vaccine has been administered in Waterloo Region 10,068 times, with 1,009 of those coming on Thursday.
There were no new COVID-19 outbreaks announced for Waterloo Region, however, there are still 42 remaining which continues to be a record number.
Elsewhere, Ontario reported 2,998 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the provincial total to 231,308.
Friday’s case count is lower than Thursday’s, which saw 3,326 new infections. On Wednesday, 2,961 new cases were recorded and 2,903 on Tuesday.
“Locally, there are 800 new cases in Toronto, 618 in Peel, 250 in York Region, 161 in Waterloo and 153 in Niagara,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.
The death toll in the province has risen to 5,289, after 100 more deaths were reported — marking the highest daily number of deaths.
However, the Ontario government noted some of the deaths included in Friday’s report are from one public health unit and are also from earlier in the pandemic that the provincial database had missed.
–With files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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