B.C. records 109 new cases of COVID-19 and 1 more death
There are 128 people in hospital with the disease, 48 of whom are in intensive care
B.C. health officials announced 109 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death on Friday.
In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said there are currently 1,389 active cases of the novel coronavirus in B.C. There have been no new cases in the Island Health region.
A total of 128 people are in hospital, with 48 in intensive care.
Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by 21 per cent from last Friday, when 162 people were in hospital with the disease.
But the number of patients in intensive care has risen in the same time period, up seven per cent from 45 a week ago.
So far, 4,296,151 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 823,371 second doses. As of Friday, 76.7 per cent of B.C. adults and 75.1 of those over the age of 12 have received a shot.
"Being fully vaccinated — with both doses — gives you and those around you maximum protection, which is why we encourage everyone to book your second dose as soon as you are eligible," Henry and Dix said.
They added that while staff at vaccination clinics are doing their best to make sure people receive two doses of the same mRNA vaccine — Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna — it's not always possible, and it may be necessary to mix and match.
"All of our vaccines are safe and highly effective and that is the case whether you have the same or different vaccine for your second dose," they said.
The provincial death toll from the disease is 1,740, out of 146,902 confirmed cases to date.
Vaccination push continues
In an attempt to get vaccines in the arms of as many people as possible, Fraser Health has announced a 32-hour "vax-a-thon" in Surrey this weekend at Guildford Recreation Centre, beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
The health authority is promising live music and door prizes for those who attend, and an overnight "mask-erade" complete with red carpet and selfie station beginning at 8 p.m.
Across the province, anyone who has not yet registered to be immunized is encouraged by health officials to do so now.
British Columbians aged 12 and over can register in three ways:
- Online through the Get Vaccinated portal.
- By calling 1-833-838-2323. Translators are available in 140 languages.
- In person at any Service B.C. location.
The province is aiming to have most people get their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine eight weeks after their first.
For the majority of people, second shots will be distributed the same way as the first ones.
Henry has said B.C.'s second dose program "is based on the same principles" as the first dose program — meaning seniors, Indigenous people and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are at the "top of the list."
The same goes for hotspot communities that were vaccinated en masse. People who fall under those categories will receive a notification from the province when they can book an appointment.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization said this week that AstraZeneca recipients should receive an mRNA vaccine for their second dose, like those offered by Pfizer and Moderna.
Henry addressed the recommendation Thursday, saying people in B.C. can still choose whichever vaccine they prefer.
"Here in B.C. our advice has not changed. You make the choice that is right for you," she said. "We can be very reassured that two doses of whatever vaccine you receive are safe and effective and work."
With files from Bridgette Watson, Rhianna Schmunk