COVID-19 numbers in B.C. continue to go down, with 1,360 new cases announced since Friday. That count includes 443 from Friday to Saturday, 493 from Saturday to Sunday and 424 in the last 24 hours. Since the pandemic began, B.C. has recorded 139,664 cases.
Of the new cases, 291 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region (including Richmond), 861 in the Fraser Health region, 36 in the Island Health region, 126 in the Interior Health region and 47 in the Northern Health region.
There are 5,021 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and 350 of those people are hospitalized, 132 of whom are in intensive care.
To date, 2,528,398 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C.; 130,023 of those are second doses.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said it takes “as long as three weeks, or longer” for vaccine protection to take hold.
She added that everyone who received the AstraZeneca vaccine for their first dose will have the option of getting that brand of vaccine for their second dose as well. In early June, the province is awaiting results of a U.K. survey studying efficiency of using AstraZeneca as a first dose and Pfizer as a second dose.
In response to a question about second doses, Henry said a second dose will provide better short-term protection in the form of antibodies, as well as “more durable and longer-lasting protection.” That booster dose protection will “see us through the next year, she said.
“We don’t yet know how long the single-dose protection lasts, but we absolutely do know that getting a booster dose will give longer-lasting protection,” said Henry.
Sadly, there were 14 new virus-related deaths reported over the past three days, bringing that total to 1,648. Of the people who died over the weekend, four were in their 80s, four in their 70s, four in their 60s, one in their 50s and one in their 40s.
Active outbreaks continue at three long-term care, assisted living and independent living facilities and two acute care facilities.
For 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.
Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel