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B.C. set for regular COVID-19 vaccine deliveries; 21 deaths, 673 infections reported

Last Updated Dec 17, 2020 at 5:19 pm PST


B.C. records 21 deaths, 673 new COVID-19 infections

The province will start getting weekly deliveries of the COVID-19 vacccine

Henry explained why the vaccine hasn't been recommended for immuno-compromised people

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The province is set to receive regular deliveries of the COVID-19 vaccine, however, December continues to be a deadly month with another 21 people losing their battle to the virus in the last day.

Weekly deliveries of the vaccine will start next week and 1,215 frontline health-care workers have already been immunized at last count, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday.

RELATED: Health-care worker receives first B.C. COVID-19 vaccine

As many British Columbians wait for their chance to get a vaccine, Henry explained why it hasn’t been recommended for immuno-compromised people.

“For some people with an underlying health condition, who are undergoing certain treatments, or are on certain medications, it lowers their ability for their body to respond to viruses and we know that that makes people more at risk of having a severe illness with COVID. But it also means that they may not respond as well to certain vaccines,” she said, adding few immunocompromised people were in the vaccine trials.

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Since this isn’t the case for all immune conditions, Henry recommends reaching out to health-care providers to find out more and will be dealt with on an individual basis.

More community outbreaks, patients in ICU

While immunizing residents in care homes could as early as next week, the majority of those who died in the last 24 hours were again seniors in long-term care. The total number of deaths in the province has now reached 713.

Another 673 new infections were also reported.

Slightly fewer people are in the hospital because of the virus, with 358, but more are in critical condition now that 91 patients are in the ICU.

While there weren’t any new outbreaks in health-care settings, there were two more in the community at Wingtat Game Bird Packers Inc. in Surrey and Diversified Transportation employees connected to LNG Canada.

There are more active cases, but fewer people under public health monitoring after coming into close contact with someone who has the virus.

Symptoms and when to get tested

Henry explained new infections are mostly linked to known cases, outbreaks, and clusters, so British Columbians should get tested immediately if they’re somehow connected or are feeling symptoms. While the virus can seem similar to the flu and other respiratory illnesses, there are four particular symptoms to look for even if someone hasn’t been around a positive person. These include fever and chills, a cough, loss of sense of smell or taste, and difficulty breathing. Those symptoms mean someone should get tested right away.

There are symptoms that don’t necessarily mean someone has the virus, like sore throat, loss of appetite, fatigue, headaches, body aches, nausea, and diarrhea. But if someone has two or more of them, they can wait and see or go get a COVID-19 test. If any of these get worse in a day, then a test would be needed.

If there’s any level of uncertainty, call 811 for more assistance.