Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the COVID-19 response in British Columbia:
“Today, we are reporting that 70.4% of all adults in B.C. and 67% of those 12 and older have now received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. In total, 3,303,334 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 191,222 of which are second doses.
“We have had 184 new cases of COVID-19, including 10 epi-linked cases, for a total of 144,473 cases in British Columbia.
“Of the new cases, 48 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 113 are in the Fraser Health region, one is in the Island Health region, 19 are in the Interior Health region, two are in the Northern Health region and one new case is a person who resides outside of Canada.
“There are currently 2,800 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. A further 139,899 people who tested positive have recovered. Of the active cases, 254 individuals are currently hospitalized, 80 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
“There have been no new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 1,703 deaths in British Columbia. Our condolences are with the family, friends and caregivers of the people who have died as a result of COVID-19.
“Today, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) provided guidance on the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines for first and second doses. NACI confirmed the safety and effectiveness of interchanging vaccines and reaffirmed the recommendation to prioritize second doses for those at highest risk of severe illness and death.
“More specifically, NACI advises people who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVISHIELD vaccine may safely receive either the same vaccine or an mRNA vaccine for their second dose. Additionally, people who received a first dose of one type of mRNA vaccine may safely receive another mRNA vaccine for their second dose.
“Building on the plan for second doses of mRNA vaccines shared last week, this latest guidance will help inform the approach we take here in B.C. for those who received the AstraZeneca COVISHIELD vaccine. More information will be provided on this later this week.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to do things we have perhaps never done before to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. We have learned, adapted and worked hard to keep each other safe.
“We began by adding the layers of protection into our daily lives – wearing masks, staying home when ill and getting tested when we have symptoms. We are now taking the next important steps of getting our first and second vaccine doses.
“The more people who are fully vaccinated, the less risk there is that the virus can spread in our communities, and the more quickly we’ll be able to confidently put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us. Let’s keep moving forward.”
BC's Restart plan:
To see the May 25, 2021, presentation, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BCRestartPlan.pdf
The latest vaccine information:
Register for your vaccine now: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register or call 1-833-838-2323.
For vaccine information, visit the BCCDC dashboard: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data Or: www.bccdc.ca
Provincial health officer's orders and guidance:
To see the May 20, 2021, presentation, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/20210520_PHO-Presentation.pdf
The latest updates, guidance and information on COVID-19, and where to get tested:
The latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a testing centre near you: http://www.bccdc.ca/ or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.
Mental health support:
Mental health and anxiety support: www.bouncebackbc.ca
Non-health related information:
Financial, child care and education support, travel, transportation and essential service information: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
Or call 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days a week.
COVID-19 exposure events, updates and information by health authority, visit:
BCCDC (flights, work sites, etc.): http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/public-exposures
Fraser Health: fraserhealth.ca/covid19exposure
Interior Health: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/public-exposures/
Island Health: https://www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/covid-19/outbreaks-and-exposures
Northern Health: https://www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/outbreaks-and-exposures
Vancouver Coastal Health: http://www.vch.ca/covid-19/public-exposures
For the latest videos and livestreaming of COVID-19 media availabilities, visit:
Two backgrounders follow.