COVID-19 in B.C.: Second dose vaccination update; progress in Fraser Health region; and more

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      For a third consecutive day, the new case count has remained below the 200th case mark and both active and hospitalized cases continue to decrease.

      At today’s briefing, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provided more details about second doses and also spoke about progress in the Fraser Health region.

      B.C. update: June 3

      Henry announced there are 199 new cases (including three epi-linked cases) in B.C. today.

      By region, today’s new case count includes:

      • 89 in the Fraser Health region (44 percent);
      • 68 in Vancouver Coastal Health (34 percent);
      • 34 in Interior Health (17 percent);
      • six in Northern Health (three percent);
      • two in Island Health (one percent);
      • no one from outside of Canada.

      Both active and hospitalized cases continued to decrease.

      Today, there are 2,563 active cases, which is 99 fewer cases than yesterday.

      With a decrease of 22 patients, 224 people are currently in hospitals, and 62 of those patients are in intensive care units (eight fewer than yesterday).

      Sadly, there are two new COVID-19-related deaths. Henry said both individuals were in their 60s. The total number of people who have died during the pandemic is now at 1,709 fatalities.

      A cumulative total of 140,537 people have now recovered, which includes 299 recoveries since yesterday.

      Vaccinations

      A total of 3,426,827 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Modern,a and AstraZeneca vaccines have been administered in B.C., and 229,585 of those are second doses. 

      Almost 72 percent of all adults in B.C. and approximately 69 percent of those 12 and older have now received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

      Although Henry said that there are more supplies of Moderna arriving later this month, she said that as there have been some supply issues with Moderna off and on, there may some issues arising with Moderna being unavailable for a second dose for some people.

      The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) had previously said that it is safe for those who received Pfizer or Moderna to receive the other vaccine for the second dose.

      Although those who received Moderna for their first dose can rebook their appointment to receive Moderna for their second dose when it is available, Henry encouraged everyone to receive a second dose of the vaccine that is offered.

      Those who received AstraZeneca from pharmacies and want to receive their second dose of AstraZeneca, Henry said, this vaccine will be available through pharmacies, beginning on Monday (June 7). Henry said that the pharmacy where an individual received their first dose will be contacted by the pharmacy for a second dose appointment (Henry asked everyone not to call the pharmacies themselves).

      The other option for those who received AstraZeneca for their first dose is to receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine (mRNA vaccine) for their second dose through mass clinics.

      Booking invitations will start to be issued on Monday.

      When Henry was asked about what she thinks of the reduction in cases in Fraser Health, particularly in Surrey, she said she is pleased to see the progress in that highly populated and challenging geographic area.

      “This is absolutely what we were hoping to see,” Henry said.

      In addition to targeted immunization, health measures, and collaborating with various communities and workplaces to prevent transmission, she credited all the community leaders and members who contributed to the efforts.

      “I think it is absolutely a testament to the communities there, of banding together, people being able to be immunized, getting access to immunization, and we immunized as a priority teachers and childcare workers in the Surrey area to start with,” she said.  

      Dix said everyone “fantastic job” and commended to all the MLAs of all parties, religious leaders, community members, and the Surrey mayor.

      B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix, with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry
      Province of British Columbia

      Outbreaks and exposures

      There are six active healthcare outbreaks—five in longterm care facilities and one in an acute care facility.

      Sobeys listed Thrifty Foods at 3475 Quadra Street in Victoria as having one employee, who last worked there on May 20, as testing positive.

      Loblaw listed two of its stores as having staff members who tested positive:

      • Lonsdale City Market (1650 Lonsdale Avenue) in North Vancouver, where an employee who tested positive last worked on May 26;
      • Shoppers Drug Mart (1306 Lonsdale Avenue) in North Vancouver where an employee who tested positive last worked on May 30.

      The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added the following flights to its public exposures lists (affected row information is listed at the BCCDC website when available):

      • May 19: Air Canada 311, Montreal to Vancouver;
      • May 29: Air Canada 116, Vancouver to Toronto;
      • May 29: Air Canada 556, Vancouver to Los Angeles;
      • May 30: Turkish Airlines 75, Istanbul to Vancouver;
      • May 30: Swoop 164, Abbotsford to Winnipeg;
      • June 1: Sunwing 2854, Kingston, Jamaica to Vancouver. 

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