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B.C. will administer first COVID-19 vaccines tomorrow

Last Updated Dec 14, 2020 at 4:42 pm PST


The first British Columbians will get the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday

The vaccine will be available province-wide next week

The province reports 49 deaths and 2,146 new COVID-19 infections since Friday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The first British Columbians to get the COVID-19 vaccine will be doing so Tuesday.

They’ll be health-care workers in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health regions and then province-wide availability will follow next week.

“This is momentous news,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday. ” And the first step in our path to protecting people most at risk in our communities and taking the pressure off our health care system so that care is available for all of us who need it across the province.”

Ontario and Quebec administered their first vaccines earlier in the day after doses arrived Sunday night.

Pfizer is the first vaccine to be approved in Canada, but it requires delicate conditions so its movement is restricted. The Moderna vaccine is expected to follow suit soon, and Henry said it will make it easier for wider distribution, including to residents in long-term care.

B.C. surpasses 600 COVID-19 deaths

Henry also reported 49 deaths and 2,146 new COVID-19 infections since Friday.

Fraser Health continues to see the majority of new cases and lives lost to the virus. Twenty-eight of the people who died over the weekend were from the region.

“We pick up the risk from where we’ve been and we take it to where we go,” she said. “If we’re around people who are vulnerable and more likely to end up in hospital to get sick, then we’re putting them at risk, so we need to step back, stay with our household, make sure we’re not the ones bringing this into our community or to people that we care the most about.”

While Henry referenced the vaccine eventually easing the strain on the health-care system, hospitalizations due to the virus continue to rise to the highest number yet, 359. Of those, 87 patients are in intensive care.

Active cases have also gone up to a record 10,039.

Six outbreaks have ended in health-care settings, but another three were confirmed.

Henry said no gatherings or events are safe right now and she recommended creative solutions to meeting in-person this year.

“We have to be cautious because we are so close,” she said. “We cannot let up now.”