2021-11-16 BC

Mitigation Measures

This article reports that people in BC who can’t get where they need to go for essential purposes (e.g. get home, go shopping) except via the US are exempted from the test or quarantine rule on re-entry to Canada.

Press Briefing

At today’s briefing:

  • Dr. H said that the province is seeing a lot of the AY.25 and AY.27 variants of the Delta strain, and we’ve seen three cases (one family) with the AY.4.2 strain that the UK is seeing a lot of. When pressed about whether the strains were worse than Delta Classic, she said several times that all the strains we’re seeing are “more transmissible”… but didn’t say compared to what. It was ambiguous if she meant “compared to Alpha” or “compared to Delta Classic”. She said that they were watching carefully.
  • About 5k J&J doses came in over the weekend. (NB: They don’t yet show up on the BC CDC dashboard.)
    • She reiterated that the first priority is to health care workers who are on leave. I presume she means “because they wouldn’t get vaccinated with AZ or mRNA. One common thing that anti-vaxxers say is that the mRNA technology is unproven, with the suggestion then that a vaccine made with an older technology is acceptable.
    • If you want a J&J, call the Immunize BC call center at 1-833-838-2323; tell them you would like to be on the waitlist for J&J; tell them if you are a health care worker; you will be tranfered to the Complex Case (Care? I didn’t catch the name) Centre.
  • Health Canada is evaluating the kidlet Pfizer vaccine right now.
    • The National Advisory Council on Immunization is working closely with them so that they will have a joint statement on the pediatric vax. I heard that decision will probably be in less than two weeks.
    • The formulation has less active ingredient, but kids don’t need as much because they have more robust immune systems.
    • Billions of people have gotten the adult Pfizer, so it’s well understood to be safe for adults; she is in contact with her USA counterparts, who have data from their rollout to kids. (NB: A bit under a million kids in the USA have gotten shots, which means they will be able to see a lot more rare side effects than the small study could.)
    • She expects to see vaccinations for kidlets before the holidays.
    • She encouraged parents to have concerns to talk to their doctors or credible resources on the BC CDC web site.
    • She encouraged parents to look at the hashtag #itdoesnthavetohurt. (I found this article via that hashtag.)
    • She encouraged parents to talk to their kids about the vaccination: find out what they know, find out what they want.
  • Flu: we’ve now had 27 cases in this flu season, but she said that most were in children who had gotten the vaccination. I think what that means (though she didn’t say so) is that these are kids who got the nasal live inactivated virus vaccine. Some people who get that vaccine catch the flu from it.
  • Masks: DrH said that the best mask is one which you will wear and which fits you. Having said that, Health Canada is pointing out that medical masks are better at filtering viruses out of the air. I had the sense that Health Canada is saying, “Wear a medical mask!” but Dr. Henry prefers wearing a cloth mask herself, so didn’t want to flat-out say, “Wear a medical mask!” She mentioned that you can always wear a medical mask over a non-medical i.e. cloth mask.
  • Yesterday the attorney general proposed legislation to create “bubbles” around hospitals and schools to prevent protestors from blocking access. Dr.H applauded that move.
  • Dix gave stats on many things. If you care about getting all the full exact stats, you can go watch the video of the presser yourself, I’m bored with the stats. The top-level messages are:
    • Health care workers who have been put on leave are continuing to get vaccinated.
    • About 500K people have gotten influenza vaxes, mostly in pharmacies, out of about 2M doses that they bought.
    • They are still hiring contact tracers, and there are (still) now more than there were in the third wave.
    • Surgeries in Interior Health are still way down due to COVID-19, but IH is making progress. Positivity is now down around 6%. Because hospitalization is a lagging indicator, it takes longer to fall.
    • 123 people have now been tranferred south from Northern Health, mostly COVID-19 patients, the vast majority unvaxxed.

Reminder: Q&A are paraphrased heavily and snarkily.

Q: Are you having trouble moving vax around, what with the floods and slides and all? A: Yes, but we’ve gotten it through, sometimes with alternate methods. I had a vision of dog sleds when she said that…

Q: What about people in the flooded zone, what consequences does that have? A: Well obviously we aren’t giving shots to people in Meritt and Princeton right now, they’ve got bigger things to worry about. Dix: Minister Farnsworth will be giving more details on this soon. 150 people (LTCH residents, I think) have already been moved, 48 more will be moved soon. Obviously this sucks — these are extremely vulnerable people and some of them had to get moved just six months ago because of the fires, so it double-sucks. No, he did not say that exactly, duh. See above about paraphrasing and snarkiness.

Q: AY.25, AY.27, AY.4.2, are these more dangerous? A: We don’t know yet, but we’re watching.

Q: Dix, can you tell us about what kind of physical shape LTCHs and hospitals in the area are in? A: No, the list is too long. See me after class if you want to know about a particular facility.

Q: Some health care workers aren’t getting their shots even though it’s been six months, so they are going to the US to get their shots. Why aren’t you giving them their shots? A: Uh, we are. We’re currently on people who work in hospitals I think but who are not health care workers strictly — janitors and administrators, etc.

Q: Austria put in a curfew for unvaccinated, will we see that? A: We have no plans for that right now. We are adjusting. I thought it sounded like she might give us some more restrictions.


The vaccine statistics that the dashboard gives don’t make sense, so no vaccination numbers today.

+338 cases, +1 death.

Currently 376 in hospital / 107 in ICU, 3,568 active cases, 207,275 recovered.

first dosessecond doses
of adults91.1%87.4%
of over-12s90.7%86.8%
of all BCers??