2021-04-09/10 BC

Sorry no post yesterday, I was knocked flat by my first dose of AstraZeneca.

Mass Vax Clinics

The province that people over 60 are now eligible to register on the online site. A friend of mine who is 66 promptly got an appointment for the 15th.

Prisons

Dr. Henry has repeatedly talked about prisons as being places to pay close attention to. She talked about outbreaks in specific prisons and extra efforts to contain them; she put prisoners in the Phase 2 vaccination bucket. I read today that in prisons in the US, 34% of prisoners are known to have gotten COVID-19. THIRTY-FOUR percent. Thank you, Dr. Henry, for treating the prisoners like human beings.

Schools

With the good results of the Pfizer vaccine for teens 12-15, I expect that Pfizer will be approved down to age 12 soon. At that point, I expect there will be enormous pressure to vaccinate teens. On the one hand, Dr. Henry keeps insisting that they are not seeing a lot of transmission in our schools. On the other hand many people point to studies which show that there is transmission in other country’s schools, and some evidence which says that the VOCs spread more easily among children.

Several months ago, I looked carefully at the data to try to figure out what the data said, and… I couldn’t. The studies which aggregated data didn’t try to explore what measures were taken in the schools in questions. Many didn’t even say what age groups they were talking about (which is particularly bad in the US, because “school” is colloquially used for universities as well).

I am quite happy to believe that schools which take zero measures to make classes safer have significant transmission.

I’m quite willing to believe that kids are safer in school than outside school, as Dr. Henry has said. Kids believe themselves to be indestructible and crave social interaction.

I’m also willing to believe that BC public health has done a good job and has figured out how to keep transmission rates low in the school. (Unlike many anxious people in BC, I still think the government is doing a good job. Now, at the absolute worst point of the pandemic for us, we are seeing about 2.5 cases per 10K, which is still low for many places in the Northern Hemisphere. Our cumulative case count is 2 per 100, while the US has 9 per 100 — more than 4x ours. But I digress.)

I am also willing to believe that the VOCs are so much more transmissible that what was safe in schools is no longer safe. We will know next week, as the kids have now been back from Spring Break for long enough.

It is very clear that many parents and teachers are very concerned about transmission in schools, and this is very bad for their mental health.

It is also pretty obvious that it is very easy to vaccinate children when they are in school, and much harder once school ends. It also looks to me like if the kids go at the end of the line, their turn to get the first shot will be very close — possibly after — the last day of school.

So I think it will be very politically difficult for Dr. Henry to not give kids relatively high priority in the vaccine queue.

Statistics

+1,262 cases, +2 deaths, +39,976 first doses (of which 7442 were AZ), +42 second doses.

Currently 332 in hospital / 102 in ICU, 9,574 active cases, 15,673 under observation, 98,336 recovered.

They gave VOC numbers, but I don’t know how to interpret them, given that they said they were no longer testing all the samples.

The dashboard’s numbers were screwy, so I assumed that no vax deliveries arrived yesterday. With that assumption, there are currently 378,491 doses in the freezers, which will take 9.5 days to draw down at yesterday’s (record-breaking!) vax rate. We have distributed as many doses as we had received by 9 days ago.

So we are starting to slip behind supply a little.

However, note that ~192K of the vax on hand is AstraZeneca, leaving only 186 kilodoses for the age-based clinics.

Charts

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