2021-05-27 BC

Variants

B.1.617.2 is now dominant in the UK. This is legit something to worry about, as one dose of vax is only about half as good as two doses. Fortunately, we don’t have a lot of it in BC — yet.

Press Briefing

Dr. Henry said:

  • We’ve passed 3M doses given, yay!
  • We are changing the dose interval for people who got Moderna and Pfizer to 8 weeks because we can.
  • AZ people, you need to hold tight for a few more days. We’ve seen that AZ has a better response with a slightly longer interval and we are waiting on the mix&match studies. I assure you that we will have enough AZ to provide second doses for all who want it. NB: that sure sounds to me like yet another signal that the AZ people will be able to choose between AZ and Pfizer.
  • Unlike Ontario, our AZ stock is not going to expire until the end of June, so we have time.
  • We are going to go in roughly the same order that we distributed the doses. The first people to get invitations to book second doses will be people over 70, Indigenous people, and the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable.
  • We aren’t sure about our Moderna supply, so we might have to give some of y’all Pfizer as your second dose. Don’t worry, though, because NACI says it’s okay. We expect that our Moderna supply will level off by the end of June. NB: I don’t know if she meant, “go to zero” or “become more reliable” by that comment.
  • Because Moderna has looser temperature requirements, they will use Moderna preferentially in rural/remote locations.
  • People who got their shots outside of mass vax clinics (e.g. whole-of-community, occupation-based, incarcerated folks, transients), don’t worry, we will come to you. (We have already started, in fact.) Although, if you register, that will make it easier for us!
  • I expect that everyone will have their second dose by the end of summer. NB: When is the end of summer, exactly? Labour Day?
  • There is new guidance for religious gatherings. You can have indoor gatherings of up to 50 people (with appropriate measures). The full rules are on the PHO website. This includes funerals and baptisms but not weddings, weddings are still limited to up to ten people.
  • REGISTER!
  • GET VAXXED!

Dix mostly talked about the surgical re-opening:

  • Last time we stopped surgeries, we promised you that we wouldn’t forget you, and we didn’t! Look at all these statistics which show that we really upped the number of surgeries we performed, even with extra COVID-safety measures.
  • Hospitals can’t immediately restart surgeries at full speed because they need some time to reconfigure beds and deploy staff back to where they came from.
  • Surgeries are going to come back on-line individually, but all of them will be fully back by June 7.
  • REGISTER!
  • GET VAXXED!

If you want to see all of the stats, go look at Dix’ slides, I’m not going to go into detail.

Q&A

Remember, I summarize and snarkify heavily.

Q: You promised us we’d have an online proof of vaccination. Well? Where is it? A: We’re working on it. Soon.

Q: Why are firefighters being paid overtime when retired nurses and paramedics aren’t getting called up? A: Here’s a breakdown of what percentage of vaccinators are what profession, and it varies a lot by HA. Fraser is the only one with a significant percentage of firefighters. NB: Maybe the retired nurses and paramedics in question are in e.g. Island Health and they just need more people in Fraser?

Q: What’s the plan for rapid testing and self-testing? A: Self-testing only got approved really recently. We’ve been looking at both.

Q: Once we get our second doses, are we done, or is there going to be another COVID brick to our head? A: I wish I knew. … There are still pockets in the province with low uptake, we need to work on them. The virus does mutate, so we need as high a level as possible while strains are still circulating. We might need boosters for the scariants. And that’s why it’s still so important for us to push for domestic capacity in Canada.

Q: What guidance can you give to businesses that want to keep masking? A: A mask is the last level of defense, it’s more important when cases are high. We should still wear masks indoors when there are crowds, even if the legal mandate isn’t there. We gotta keep doing lots of things like washing hands.

Q: In the Okanagan, the case count is going up. Alberta people are not supposed to come here, but they probably do, and we have a lot of vax hesitancy here. A: It’s not as bad as you think, all the CHSAs are over 50%.

Statistics

+378 cases, +7 deaths, +48,140 first doses, +4,720 second doses.

Currently 286 in hospital / 88 in ICU, 3543 active cases, 137929 recovered.

We have 478,449 doses in fridges; we’ll use it up in 9.7 days at last week’s rate. We have given more doses than we’d received by 9 days ago.

We have 350,876 mRNA doses in fridges; we’ll use it up in 7.1 days at last week’s rate. We have given more mRNA doses than we’d received by 7 days ago.

Charts

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