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B.C. to detail COVID-19 vaccine plans next week; 12 deaths, 694 cases reported

Last Updated Dec 3, 2020 at 4:12 pm PST

FILE -- Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry at a COVID-19 briefing. (Courtesy Government of B.C./Flikr)

B.C. is close to revealing how it will handle COVID-19 vaccine distribution, says provincial health officer

Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 12 deaths, 694 new infections Thursday

Henry says by fall of next year, most British Columbians should be vaccinated

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — How the province plans to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine to British Columbians will be revealed next week, the provincial health officer said Thursday.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said health teams have been discussing with the federal government how the rollout will be undertaken.

“We know that we’ll have limited amounts at first, so we won’t be able to broadly achieve what we’ve been calling community immunity or herd immunity right off the bat, but that will come,” she said.

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Henry said as long as the vaccines continue to come in, the planning suggests B.C. will be ready to start vaccinating in January and hopefully have everyone who wants it vaccinated by next September.

“By the end of [next] year, anybody who wants vaccine in B.C. and Canada should have it available to them and be immunized,” she added.

This comes as 12 more people lost their battle with the virus in the last 24 hours and another 694 COVID-19 cases were added.

Hospitalizations dropped slightly for the first time since early November to 325, but 80 of those patients are now in critical care.

Outbreaks have been confirmed at Baillie House, Gateway Lodge, University Hospital of Northern British Columbia. There are now 56 health-care and eight acute care facilities with outbreaks.

Meanwhile, the current provincial health orders expire Monday, which is when the province will detail any changes.

For the time being, Henry remains firm on everyone avoiding all unnecessary travel and staying apart as much as possible.

Further restrictions to indoor adult sports were discussed in Wednesday’s briefing, but there was a delay in the written order.

“I just asked people to bear with me and to understand the intent of the orders, and that’s what we’re talking about  — the intent of the orders is to try and reduce opportunities for this virus to spread.”

Instead, Henry said people should try to go for walks with one or two people, or try other sports that have a lower risk and where physical distancing is possible, such as golf or tennis.

High-intensity sports and group indoor sports are of concern, and Henry said about 10 to 15 per cent of COVID-19 infections have been linked to physical fitness and sports.

“That’s an underestimate. Those are the ones that we know that we have linked,” she added.