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COVID-19 vaccine bookings to open to everyone in B.C. this weekend

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 2:50 PDT, Thu May 13, 2021

Everyone age 18-plus in B.C. will be invited to book their COVID-19 vaccine this weekend.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said those aged 25-plus will receive a notification beginning tomorrow, those 20-plus beginning on Saturday and those 18-plus beginning on Sunday. Only those who are registered on the province’s “Get Vaccinated” system will receive a notification, but people can register online at any time.

B.C. health authorities also reported 587 new cases of COVID-19 today, one of which is epidemiologically linked. Since the pandemic began, B.C. has recorded 137,810 cases.

Of the new cases, 126 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region (including Richmond), 365 in the Fraser Health region, 21 in the Island Health region, 60 in the Interior Health region and 15 in the Northern Health region.

There are 5,691 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and 413 of those people are hospitalized, 141 of whom are in intensive care. 

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province will no longer report on the number of people under active public health monitoring. That data has been challenging to report due to the lack of an IT system that collects data automatically.

To date, 2,335,513 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C.; 119,691 of those are second doses. 

Henry also reported the province’s second confirmed case of vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), the rare but serious blood clotting disorder that can follow vaccination. The person is a man in his 40s, who received the AstraZeneca vaccine and is now being treated in the Fraser Health region. 

Henry also confirmed that B.C. will no longer use AstraZeneca vaccines for first doses, instead reserving the remaining supply for second doses. There is an “abundance” of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine in the province, so no need for additional AstraZeneca. Henry said the province is still waiting for data on possible mixing of vaccines, so people who received AstraZeneca as their first dose will likely have a choice about which vaccine they get as a second dose.

Sadly, there were five new virus-related deaths reported today, bringing that total to 1,632.

Active outbreaks continue at three long-term care, assisted living and independent living facilities and two acute care facilities.

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a testing centre near you: http://www.bccdc.ca/ or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

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