Two people have experienced an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine in B.C., something health officials said was “not unexpected.”
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed the allergic reactions during her coronavirus briefing on Tuesday, noting that both individuals were treated and fully recovered.
The province has distributed 11,930 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine so far, meaning less than 0.02 per cent of shots triggered an allergic reaction.
“We have had two people who have had an allergic reaction to the vaccine. This is not unexpected given what we have learned about the messenger RNA vaccines and what we have seen in other jurisdictions,” Henry said.
Officials have always said a small number of adverse reactions are likely, given how many people are expected to take the vaccine in the coming months.
The potential for an adverse or allergic reaction is why doctors, nurses and pharmacists typically ask patients to wait 15 minutes after receiving any immunization.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s “after care sheet” for the COVID-19 vaccine notes that some people may wish to wait longer – around 30 minutes – if there are concerns about a possible allergic reaction.
According to Immunization B.C., there are some common and mild reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine, such as soreness and swelling near the injection spot – a side effect also commonly associated with the annual flu shot.
“Vaccines are very safe,” the Immunization B.C. website notes. “It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get COVID-19.”
Henry also revealed that B.C.’s first doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived on Tuesday, and that more are expected later in the week. The timing could be impacted by winter weather in other parts of the country, she added.
In the meantime, Henry said health workers have been receiving training on how to administer vaccines and “monitor for events such as allergic reactions.”
The initial doses of Moderna vaccine will be going to remote and isolated First Nations communities that were identified by the government.
Central Island continues dominating COVID-19 case counts, active cases dip across B.C. – Nanaimo News NOW
There is a data discrepancy between Island Health and the province, based on the timing of COVID-19 results. NanaimoNewsNOW reports local verified data from Island Health.
A joint statement released by the provincial health officer and health minister revealed 407 new COVID-19 cases across B.C.
There number of active COVID-19 cases dropped by more than 130 to 4,260 cases are considered active in the province, a drop of 132 from the day prior.
Hospitalization rates dipped slightly, while people receiving intensive care rose by three to 71.
An additional 14 people passed away due to COVID-19 for a total of 1,168 since the pandemic began.
“Our greatest source of transmission comes from when we spend time with those outside of our household, work or school bubble. That is why staying small and equally important, avoiding all unnecessary travel, is what we need to do right now,” the joint statement read.
It announced 122,359 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., of which 4,105 are second doses.
On Twitter: @NanaimoNewsNOW
How other provinces are rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine – CTV News Winnipeg
Manitoba public health officials are expected to release a long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan Wednesday, which could include a timeline for when the general population can expect a jab.
“If you know there is a plan and you know how it’s going to roll out, it gives you a lot more confidence,” said Health Sciences ICU physician Dr. Dan Roberts.
The rollout in other provinces may provide some clues as to what Manitobans can expect.
British Columbia released its four-phase plan last week. Like Manitoba, health-care workers, long-term care residents and Indigenous people in remote and isolated communities are first priority.
Phase 2 includes people who are over 80 and weren’t immunized in the first phase, Indigenous people over 65, and vulnerable populations who lives in group settings.
Phases 3 and 4, which are expected to begin in April, include mass immunizations and is based largely on age.
Ontario has released a three-phase plan.
Phase 2 is expected to begin in March and opens the eligibility to essential workers and people with chronic health conditions. The Ontario government plans to begin vaccinating the general public in August.
The Manitoba government said it would have released a schedule soon if it wasn’t for the pause in vaccine shipments affecting the entire country.
“The delay (in the rollout) was so we had time to review and make sure nothing in our plan would be disrupted,” said Dr. Joss Reimer, Manitoba’s COVID-19 Task Force Medical Lead on Monday.
CALLS FOR MORE TRANSPARENCY
Kerry Bowman, a bioethicist at the University of Toronto, said despite the delay, the province could have provided more details.
“(Determining) what week and which month we can expect, under the conditions is very difficult. But what stands out with Manitoba is that is has defined (Phase) one and nothing beyond that,” said Bowman.
Roberts also would have liked to see more information out sooner
The Winnipeg physician has been pushing the province for more transparency on the rollout and said he had a meeting with the new minister of health and seniors care Heather Stefanson last week.
This past weekend Roberts toured the vaccine super site at the RBC Convention Centre.
“I was very relieved to hear the actual details of the plan they’re putting together and they actions they were taking.”
“At the end of the meeting they asked me for advice, I said, ‘provide some transparency.’ The medical community and the public need to hear what you’re doing to doing. They’re anxious to see this government get on a solid footing, to start over again and roll out the vaccine in a timely fashion,” he said.
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