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Latest COVID-19 update in B.C. brings total cases to 85650 since start of pandemic – CTV News Vancouver

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VANCOUVER —
Health officials in British Columbia announced 531 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, and confirmed another 51 cases involving variants of concern.

The province has now recorded a total of 85,650 cases since the start of the pandemic, 627 of which are known to have involved one of three COVID-19 variants that have caused some alarm among health officials.

The B.1.1.7 variant associated with the U.K. remains the most common, making up 580 of B.C.’s cases, and there have now been 33 cases involving the B.1.351 variant discovered in South Africa and 14 involving the P.1 variant associated with Brazil.

In a joint written statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said 109 of the variant cases remain active and “the remaining people have recovered.”

Earlier this month, Henry indicated that two recent deaths from COVID-19 involved variants.

There have been concerns that P.1 can impact antibodies from previous infections, allowing people to catch COVID-19 again, though a recent laboratory study found the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine capable of neutralizing the variant.

B.C. health officials also announced one more death from COVID-19, bringing the provincial death toll to 1,394. That’s significantly lower than the average of four deaths per day recorded over the last two weeks.

There are now 4,861 active cases across the province with 244 people in hospital, 66 of whom are in intensive care. Everyone else with a confirmed COVID-19 case is recovering at home, officials said.

The province has administered another 11,959 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since the last update on Tuesday, for a total of 355,340 doses, including 86,960 second doses. Henry and Dix also noted that B.C. is beginning to receive shipments of the AstraZeneca – SII Covishield vaccine, which officials are planning to use to address community outbreaks and to immunize some first responders and essential workers.

“This additional vaccine supply will be used to supplement our age-based province-wide immunization program,” they said.

“What is important for all of us to remember is that with every outbreak that is quickly managed and every worker who is immunized, all of us have increased protection. With each person who is immunized, it means our friends and loved ones are safer and we are all closer to putting COVID-19 behind us.”

B.C. health officials are still determining which industries will be given AstraZeneca vaccine, but said plans will be finalized around March 18.

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US will allow Canadians who had mixed doses of COVID-19 vaccines when border crossings resume Nov. 8 – northumberlandnews.com

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Are you planning to get a flu shot this year? – Castanet.net

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Canada’s top doctor warns the country could be heading for its first typical flu season since the pandemic began, even as health systems are still battling the fourth wave of COVID-19.

Last year Canada was spared the brunt of flu season thanks to strict public health measures to protect against COVID-19.

Surveillance data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows higher rates of infection than expected for some of Canada’s most common seasonal viruses, including respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says a heavy flu season could put extra pressure on already fragile health-care systems.

She says this is definitely not the year to have influenza wreak havoc.

That’s why public health says it will be more important than ever that people get flu shots to avoid complications like pneumonia and protect hospitals from becoming overloaded.

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10,000 in Waterloo region eligible to get 2nd COVID-19 shot right now, official says – CBC.ca

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More than 90 per cent of eligible residents in Waterloo region have had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

People who are 12 and up are eligible to get vaccinated, and able to get the second dose 28 days after the first, the Ontario government’s website says.

“To get second doses to 90 per cent, 20,683 second doses must be given. Out of those 20,000 people, approximately 10,000 are eligible now for their second dose and the remaining people will become eligible over the next month,” Vickie Murray, the region’s vaccine lead, said in a media briefing on Friday.

Murray said regional officials are pleased to see single doses reach the 90 per cent milestone, but they want to see second doses, which are at nearly 86 per cent, get there, too.

“Our goal is to continue to aim for the highest vaccination rates possible to protect our community from the spread of COVID,” she said.

As well, the region has given 5,854 third doses, offered to all people living in long-term care in the region.

Murray also announced Friday that as of Oct. 31, the vaccination at the Boardwalk in Waterloo will move to operating only between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. because those are the busiest times.

Vaccination bus motors on

The vaccination bus continues to be effective, Murray said. On Wednesday, she said 47 per cent of the doses given were first ones.

The bus will maked scheduled stops:

  • Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Cambridge Farmer’s Market.
  • Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 150 Main St. in Cambridge.
  • Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kitchener Public Library.
  • Thursday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Region of Waterloo International Airport in Breslau.
  • Sunday, Oct. 24 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sunrise Shopping Centre at 1400 Ottawa St. S., Kitchener.

Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, the region’s medical officer of health, said Friday that case rates have been “stable or slowly decreasing trend in the last few weeks.”

“We need to continue our efforts to increase our community immunity over the coming weeks and months,” she said, adding the highly transmissible delta variant remains a risk in the region and could be easily spread between people, especially the unvaccinated.

Murray encouraged anyone who is eligible to get the second dose to do so as soon as they can.

“That is going to be the best way to ensure that you’re fully vaccinated,” Murray said.

If regional staff find that a lot of people are delaying the second dose, they will reach out to them directly through emails and phone calls — something staff also did over the summer.

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