I’m a little late reporting this, but apparently Canada paid a premium to get some Pfizer doses early. Money very well spent, I say.
Today, Premier Horgan, Dr. Henry, Minister Dix, Minister Mark, and Minister Kahlon had a press conference to talk about the Stage 2 reopening.
I found it spectacularly dull. The message was:
- We said we were going to wait two weeks and see what the numbers looked like.
- We did. Numbers look great.
- All those things which that we told you in detail you’d be able to do in Stage 2? You’re going to be able to do them now, yay!
- Go out an do them! Spend money! Rah! Rah!
- Everybody from outside the province, we love ya but stay home. (Everyone else, go spend money!)
I understand why they had to do it. They wanted to get publicity for something which went right, they wanted to reinforce the message reinforce the message reinforce the message, and they wanted to generate media which would reinforce the message. Still, I didn’t think there was much new there.
Reminder: liberally and snarkily paraphrased.
Q: Aren’t you scared of Delta, given how it’s trashing the UK? A: DrH: We respect Delta, but we think we’ve got things under control. Our contact tracers are a lot less busy now, so we can test/trace/trace, plus the UK has a lot of completely unvaxxed young people, while we have vaxxed pretty far down the age ladder.
Q: Are we going to get cruise ships back this calendar year? A: Horgan: The bill which Senator Murkowski (Alaska) passed is going to sunset with the end of the pandemic. There’s another bill from someone in a landlocked state that is more dangerously, we’re working on it. Staff is in big discussions with the US, I talk to the Ambassador (presumably the Canadian Ambassador to the US, not the US Ambassador to Canada) on the regular. I know people want to come but we aren’t going to allow that until it is safe to do so.
DrH: Partly us giving permission to cruise ships will depend on the US CDC’s cruise ship guidance. We are watching their cruise ships carefully to see what happens.
Q: We are going to get a shitton of Moderna in the next two weeks, how many shots per week do we have the capacity to put in arms? A: Dix: We have more capacity than we’ve been able to use because we’ve been supply limited. We are vaxing like crazy! We did 407K doses last week! We about run out of Pfizer each week before the new shipment comes in.
Dr. Ballem has been looking at how to best incorporate this increment of Moderna vax.
NB: Richard Zussman heard Dix say that we have capacity for 80K doses/day. I did not hear that, but the pro journos are better at catching all the details.
Note that there are pop-up walk-in clinics happening this week all over the province for first doses. Maybe that’s how we deal with the wave of Moderna.
Q: How do we deal with the conflict between people who are raring to go and those who are still anxious? A: Horgan: By being kind, calm, and safe.
DrH: Remember, we still have COVID Safety Plans. Ya still gotta follow measures to keep people safe, e.g. indoor masks.
Q: What are the timelines for dose1-to-booking and booking-to-vax? A: DrH: We try to get an invitation to book by 6 or 7 weeks, and the shot by about week 8 or 9. One of my sources says that invitations are coming predictably at 8 weeks.
Q: How are invitations getting sent out, by age? A: I had trouble interpreting her answer, but I think she said that it was based first on when you got your dose and second on how old you are.
Q: Despite 71% of Yukon being vaxxed, they still getting outbreaks. Does that mean we should bump our vax target of 70% up? A: DrH: Whoa whoa whoa, we never said our target was 70%. 70% is the MINIMUM level that gives us the comfort to go to the next step. Our target is 100%. We won’t get there, ofc, but that’s what we are aiming for.
Q: How are we going to keep people at seated indoor gatherings in their seats? Is that going to fall on the staff? A: DrH: COVID Safety Plans. We did this successfully last summer, if you’ll remember. Uh, what I remember is that you closed the banquet halls because they were unsuccessful at keeping people in line. This is only for two weeks, it’s a transition thing. And we will have enforcement.
Q: Won’t people seeing this news conference across the country get the message “BC is open for travel woohoo!” How much danger are we in from other provinces? A: Horgan: I talk all the time with other Premiers and keep asking them to tell their citizens not to visit. I mean, we luv ya guys, but not right now. Plus there are lots of places which just are not taking bookings from out of province.
Q: <nothing> A: Horgan: I’m going to get AZ as my second shot. My excellent advisors tell me the best shot is the first one you are offered, so that’s what I and my wife are going to take.
Fri/Sat: +96 cases
Sat/Sun: +113 cases
Sun/Mon: +68 cases
Total over weekend: +4 deaths, +39,244 first doses, +115,521 second doses. Currently 1,537 active cases, 143,147 people recovered, 136 in hospital / 42 in ICU.
We have given first doses to 75.9% of adults, 74.1% of over-12s, and 67.4% of all BCers.
We have 204,384 doses in fridges; we’ll use it up in 3.5 days at last week’s rate. We have given more doses than we’d received by 7 days ago.
We have 122,351 mRNA doses in fridges; we’ll use it up in 2.0 days at last week’s rate. We have given more mRNA doses than we’d received by 7 days ago.
We have 82,033 AZ doses in fridges, which we’ll use up in 13.5 days at last week’s rate. (I have to say, I’m not impressed with how fast the pharmacies are getting the AZ out.)