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'We are on the verge of significant bankruptcies': Restaurants and pubs struggle under B.C.'s new restrictions – CTV News Vancouver

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VANCOUVER —
New measures introduced last Thursday by Dr. Bonnie Henry meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 by limiting social interactions appear to be having the desired effect, to the detriment of businesses.

At a news conference on Nov. 19, Henry ordered B.C. residents to limit social gatherings to their immediate household, or a small pandemic bubble for those living alone.

“This applies in our homes, vacation rentals and in the community and in public venues, including those with less than 50 people in controlled settings,” Henry said.

She made no specific mention of restaurants or pubs, and Ian Tostenson with the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association said there has been confusion about who can dine out.

“We haven’t seen the latest health order, it hasn’t been written from last week, so as far as we’re concerned, we’re telling people go to a restaurant but go to a restaurant in the spirit of hanging with people you trust in a small bubble,” Tostenson said.

Tostenson estimates over the last 10 days, restaurants have lost about 30-40 per cent of their pandemic sales as those who were confused by the orders chose to stay home.

Henry’s order was an expansion of a previous regional order that only applied in B.C.’s Lower Mainland. During prior news conferences, Henry made clear that while dining out was encouraged, people should only do it with their households.

On Monday, Henry clarified again that she wants British Columbians to spend the next two weeks only socializing in person with others from their household, or a bubble of one or two designated people for those who live alone. That applies to going to restaurants.

The restrictions are also hitting bars and pubs hard. Jeff Guignard with the Alliance of Beverage Licensees estimated business dropped by 50 per cent of pandemic levels.

“So you have people who are down to 25 per cent of where they were in 2019 and that’s just not sustainable. We’re on the verge of significant bankruptcies right now,” he said.

Restrictions are scheduled tin place until Dec. 7.

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All eligible British Columbians who want the COVID-19 vaccine to be immunized by September, say health officials – CHEK

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Anyone in B.C. who wants the COVID-19 vaccine and is eligible for it can expect to get the shot by the end of September at the latest, according to the largest immunization plan in the province’s history.

On Friday, Premier John Horgan, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Dr. Penny Ballem – who is in charge of B.C.’s vaccine rollout plan – provided a detailed timeline of when and how the vaccine will be distributed.

Dr. Henry says there are approximately 5.3 million British Columbians, 900,000 of whom are children, making them ineligible for the vaccine.

She says the remaining 4.3 million B.C. residents can all be vaccinated by September of this year.

There are four phases of the rollout plan. Phases 1 and 2 include the most vulnerable populations, with 3 and 4 including the broad public.

“The single biggest factor for death or severe illness is age,” said Horgan. “Someone over the age of 60 is five times more likely to become seriously ill or die than someone younger than 45.”

This is why the Province says the order of who will get the COVID-19 is dependant upon age, starting with the most elderly, all the way down to young adults.

In March, vaccine clinics will pop up in 172 communities around B.C., but for those more rural areas, mobile vaccine units will be deployed.

When those clinics are set up, Dr. Henry says anyone can pre-register and sign up for appointments based on age either online or over the phone.

“This is going to be and needs to be, an all of B.C. effort to make sure we can protect those most vulnerable, and everyone else,” said Dr. Henry.

From January to February, B.C. is expecting to receive a total of 800,000 doses. From April to June, 2.6 million doses are expected to land in the province and from June to September, an additional 6 million doses.

The current rollout plan is based on having the two approved vaccines in Canada, from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. B.C.’s top doctor says if another brand is approved, the rollout plan could move even faster.

Both of these vaccines require two doses per person, meaning 8.6 million injections are needed.

B.C. received early access to the vaccine in December and those doses are counted in phase 1.

By March, the province expects to have vaccinated 600,000 people, leaving approximately 4 million still needing to be immunized.

Between April and September, Dr. Henry expects 7.4 million doses to be administered.

She says there are nearly 250,000 people in B.C. who are over the age of 80 — these residents will be given the first priority.

A delay in the production of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has meant a delay in shots here in B.C. and the PHO says she hopes to start the immunization of all seniors by the end of February, despite wishing they could start earlier.

As of Friday, January 22, more than 100,000 British Columbians have been given the COVID-19 vaccine, with thousands already receiving their second dose.

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Here's when every age group in BC can expect a COVID-19 vaccination | News – Daily Hive

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The BC government has laid out its plan for COVID-19 vaccines across the province in every age group, calling it the “largest and most complex” immunization program in the province’s history.

During a press conference on Friday morning, BC Premier John Horgan, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, and Dr. Penny Ballem, who is leading immunization efforts for the province, announced details of the next phases in BC’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan.

͞The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us all in extremely difficult ways,” said Horgan. “Together, we have faced this pandemic with strength, courage and compassion, and we are starting to feel optimistic that one day COVID-19 will be in our rear-view.”

The plan will see approximately 7.4 million doses of vaccine administered to every British Columbian who is eligible to receive it between April and the end of September.

The province said its four-phased COVID-19 Immunization Plan – based on scientific evidence, expert advice, and guidance – got underway in December 2020 by first immunizing those who are most vulnerable to severe illness and death, including long-term care residents and the healthcare workers who care for them, remote and at-risk Indigenous communities, and seniors.

Already, Phase 1 – which is slated to continue until next month – has seen over 103,000 people in BC receive their first dose of vaccine.

Phase 2, starting in late February, expands immunizations to additional vulnerable populations, Indigenous communities and elders, healthcare staff, and all seniors over the age of 80.

Government of BC

Phase 3, starting in April, will expand to include people between the ages of 79 to 75, and will work backwards in five-year increments to include those age 60 and over. During this phase, people with certain underlying health conditions will also be included. As additional vaccines become available, people who are frontline essential workers or work in specific workplaces or industries may also be able to start receiving vaccines later in this phase.

Phase 4 is anticipated to begin in July 2021 for the rest of the eligible population, starting with people aged 59 to 55 and working backwards in five-year age increments until everyone over the age of 18 who wants a COVID-19 vaccine receives it.

Government of BC

The province said that starting in March, pre-registration for the vaccine will begin to open online and by phone for the general public, starting with those aged 79 to 75. People who are pre-registered will get a reminder to book their appointment as soon as they are eligible.

With the layout of the phases, the province also noted that no one will lose their place in line. For example, if an elderly relative is in Phase 2 and cannot be immunized at that time, they can be immunized at any point thereafter.

In total, approximately four million British Columbians are eligible to receive the COVID-19 immunization, and clinics will be set up in 172 communities across the province. There will also be mobile sites and home visits when necessary to support those who are unable to go to clinics.

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Health Officials provide COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan for upcoming months – MY PG NOW

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BC Health officials outlined the provincial COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan for the upcoming months, which plans to make the vaccine readily available to all 4.3 million BC residents over 18 by September.

“The Government of Canada has committed that every Canadian who wants to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will have access to a vaccine before the end of September 2021,” explained BC Health Minister, Adrian Dix.

BC’s eldest citizens will be the first in line, as they are basing the rollout on 5-year-age cohorts.

“Adults older than 60 years may have at least 5 times increased odds of hospitalization and mortality from COVID-19 compared to those aged less than 45 years,” explained Dr.Bonnie Henry, “this increased risk appears to magnify at least to some degree even for those older than 60 years, with those aged over 80 years having double the mortality risk of those aged 65-69 years.”

Between April and September, Northern Health is expected to receive 28,000 doses a week, which amounts to 5,600 per day.

“In some cases, if we have a very small community that we’re going to for vaccinating the older age group- if it’s a very small community and vaccines are available it’s possible we may decide to vaccinate the whole community right then rather than coming back three or four times,” explained Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead of the BC immunization rollout.

In March, the province will set up 172 vaccination clinics across the province, there will also be mobile sites set up wherever needed as well as home visits for those unable to go to clinics.

Starting in mid-to-late February, Health Authorities will be reaching out to seniors 80 years and older as well as Indigenous seniors aged 65 and up to give them more insight on how to pre-register for appointments.

Starting in mid-March and by five-year cohorts working backwards from age 75-79, citizens will be able to pre-register for a vaccine 2-4 weeks before they are eligible for their appointment.

Additionally, mobile sites will be set up wherever needed and home visits to support those who are unable to go to clinics will be available.

Health officials will begin pre-registering and setting up vaccination appointments in March, which will be available online.

FOUR PHASE PLAN:

  • More than 103,000 people in BC received a COVID-19 vaccine during the first phase of the rollout plan that ends in mid-February
  • Phase 2 expands immunizations to additional vulnerable populations, Indigenous communities and Elders, health-care staff and all seniors over the age of 80
  • In April, phase 3 begins and will expand to include people between the ages of 79 to 75 and work backwards in five-year cohorts to include anyone aged 60 and older.
  • People with certain underlying health conditions that make them clinically extremely vulnerable to the virus will be included in phase 3 as well.
  • Phase 4 is anticipated to begin in July for the rest of the eligible population, starting with people aged 59 to 55 and working backwards in five-year age groups until everyone over the age of 18 who wants a COVID-19 vaccine receives it.
  • Between July and August, anyone between the ages of 40-59 is expected to receive the vaccine
  • Anyone aged 18-39 can expect to be eligible for the vaccine between August and September

With each phase, more people will be eligible to be immunized and any extra available vaccines will be given to front-line workers between the ages of 18-64.

Additionally, BC Health officials explained that no one will lose their place in line if you cannot be immunized during your scheduled phase.

PEOPLE DEEMED EXTREMELY CLINICALLY VULNERABLE (REFERENCED IN PHASE 3)

  • Solid organ transplant recipients
  • With specific cancers, people with cancer that are undergoing active chemotherapy or anyone with lung cancer undergoing radical radiotherapy
  • With cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • Having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • Having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • Who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • With severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • With rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
  • On immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection (biologic modifiers, high dose steroids, AZT, cyclophosphamide)
  • Who had a splenectomy (spleen removed)
  • Adults with very significant developmental disabilities that increase risk (details to come)
  • Adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)
  • Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  • Significant neuromuscular conditions requiring respiratory support

VACCINE SUPPLY:

  • Canada has secured 6 million doses of the vaccine to be distributed between January to March
  • The federal government is expecting to receive another 20 million doses between April and June, then 45 million from July to September
  • From mid-December 2020 to the end of March, BC expects to receive 792,675 doses
  • BC expects to receive approximately 2,640,000 doses from April to the end of June
  • From July to September, BC is expecting to receive nearly 6 million doses

These numbers only account for the two Health Canada approved vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNtech, and doesn’t account for the AstraZeneca vaccine, which health officials claim is likely to be approved before the end of March.

Both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNtech vaccines require two doses administered about 35 days apart.

BC’s entire vaccine rollout plan is based on the findings and predictions of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization and doesn’t account for any unexpected delays in distribution.

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