COVID vaccine dose interval extended again

·2 min read

Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 438 new cases of COVID-19 in the province today. She also noted that there had been issues with the new data system and that there will be a discrepancy as an additional 254 cases over the past seven days are added to the system as a correction of previously reported numbers.

16 new cases were reported in the Interior Health Region.

There have been only two new COVID-related deaths in BC in the past 24 hours, however, there are 243 people in hospital with 63 in ICU.

There have been 22 new confirmed variants cases, bringing the total to 182 with 159 of those being the more concerning B117 variant and 23 being the B1351 or South African variant.

While most have come from travel and close contact of travellers, Dr. Henry informed the public that the Provincial Health Office is unclear where 25% of these cases have come from.

“That reflects that we have transmission going on in communities, particularly, as we know, in the Lower Mainland,” said Dr. Henry.

283,182 people have now been vaccinated in BC, 86,537 of which have received their second dose.

Today, Dr. Henry also announced that the time interval between doses would once again be increased.

“We have now made the determination that we will be extending the dose interval between first and second starting today, and that extensions will be up to four months,” said Dr. Henry, who explained that the first dose has been effective despite a much shorter interval between doses being recommended by vaccine manufacturers.

Phase Two of BC’s immunization plan has now begun, and it is hoped that more than 400,000 British Columbians will be immunized in the next month. The focus will remain on high priority, high risk people and groups, and vaccines will then be rolled out to seniors and elders aged 80 and older.

Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald