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B.C.'s COVID-19 vaccine supply temporarily 'dramatically reduced'

Last Updated Jan 26, 2021 at 4:17 pm PST

Summary

Dr. Bonnie Henry says the province doesn't know how much COVID-19 vaccine, if any, it will receive for the next two week

To make up for the vaccine supply, B.C. will give the second dose a maximum of 42 days from the first

Since Friday, 26 people died from the virus and 1,344 more infections were recorded

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — B.C. will be working with an “extremely limited” supply of COVID-19 vaccine for a short period of time, according to the provincial health officer.

Dr. Bonnie Heny explained Monday that the province received further information that the number of doses it thought it was receiving was “dramatically reduced.”

“We, right now, do not know how much, if any, vaccine we’ll be receiving the following two weeks in February,” she said.

RELATED: B.C. to use age as determining factor for remaining vaccine rollout

Because of the “extremely limited” supply, Henry said B.C. is temporarily delaying the second dose to a maximum of 42 days after the first.

“This means we can use what little supply we have right now to finish our long-term care home immunizations and to address the outbreaks that are happening in our hospitals and our communities,” she added.


Before these supply issues, the second dose was being given within  35 days from the first in B.C.

Shipments of the vaccine from Pfizer have been impacted due to upgrades at its facilities, so there aren’t any deliveries coming this week. It’s also a week Moderna vaccines aren’t arriving in B.C.


Henry assured the province will make up for the doses and provide the second shot to everyone who needs it “as soon as we possibly can.”

To date, 119,850 doses of the vaccine have been given to British Columbians.

This comes as the province reported 26 people died from the coronavirus over the weekend and 1,344 more people tested positive.

There is a COVID-19 outbreak at Nanaimo Regional General hospital, but Henry noted 11 outbreaks in other health and long-term care facilities are over.

“This brings a moment of happiness to us all and relief for many of the care providers and the families with loved ones in these facilities, and I think, it is a reflection, as well, of how important the immunization program that we’ve had in long-term care over these last few weeks is, and the difference that is going to make and continues to make.”

There are 29 active outbreaks in healthcare, and Henry noted the community outbreak at the Surrey Emergency Response Centre.


As for variants, Henry confirmed five cases of the one connected to the U.K. in the province, which were all either linked to travel or a close contact with a traveller.

There are three cases of the South African variant, all transmitted in the community.

“So they were not linked to travel, which is, of course, something we are concerned about,” Henry added.

Meanwhile, Henry reported six cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a rare syndrome related to COVID-19. The infected range from one to 15 years old and they have all either fully recovered or are recovering.

Nineteen other cases of children with symptoms of COVID-19 were investigated, but none of those turned out to be the virus.