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COVID-19 hospitalizations hit all-time high in B.C.

Last Updated Apr 15, 2021 at 6:06 am PDT

A pedestrian wears a protective face mask as they walk past a re-opened shop in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Various businesses and restaurants are opening in the province as a part of the phase 2 reopening plan during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Summary

Another 1,168 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours -- and six more people have died

Nearly 400 people have had to be hospitalized for care -- 120 patients are currently in the ICU

Everyone 55 and older is now eligible for a vaccine

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — B.C. has set a new record on the COVID front with 397 people in hospital on Wednesday.

Six people in B.C. have died from COVID-19 since Tuesday, and 1,168 people have tested positive for the virus.

There are 9,821 active COVID-19 cases — 120 of whom are in intensive care.

A further 16,304 people who may have been exposed to the virus are under public health monitoring.

In total, 114,870 people have been infected by the virus throughout the pandemic, 1,521 have died, and 103,360 people who tested positive, have recovered.

B.C.’s vaccination campaign also continues to move along.

So far, 1,190,832 Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered — 87,820 of which are second doses.

In a joint statement from the top doctor, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adran Dix, strongly encourage people in the province who are eligible for a vaccine to book an appointment.

“This not only protects you, but also provides greater protection to everyone around you,” they say.

Currently, people 65 and older, Indigenous peoples 18 and over, and people who have received their “clinically extremely vulnerable” letter are eligible to receive their vaccine.

However, people born in 1971 or earlier (50+) can register to get the shot as of Wednesday. That will extend to those born in 1976 or earlier (45+) on Friday, and to those born in 1981 or ealier (40+) on Monday, April 19th.

Read More: B.C. ramps up COVID-19 vaccination registration schedule

As well, people born in 1966 and earlier (55+) can get the AstraZeneca vaccine at eligible pharmacies in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Interior and Northern B.C.

“Always using our layers of protection, combined with getting one of the safe and highly effective vaccines as soon as you are eligible, is the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Let’s continue to do our part so we can all put COVID-19 behind us.”

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Henry and Dix added while they acknowledge that extremely rare blood clotting syndrome may be linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine, they were pleased to hear Health Canada say the benefits of the shot still far outweigh any risks.

“We’ve been following this closely, and we await the recommendations from the National Advisory Council on Immunization to determine how to best use this vaccine going forward to further enhance our protection,” Henry and Dix say.

The agency says there is no evidence showing certain people are more at risk than others and the vaccine will remain authorized for all adults in Canada.

Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Supriya Sharma said Health Canada will be updating the label for the vaccine to warn of the possibility of blood clots.

Read More: COVID-19 vaccinations in B.C.: What you need to know

Sharma stressed the risks from the vaccine are very rare and she is urging Canadians to get whichever shot is offered to them.

“The longer you wait to get vaccinated, the longer you’re not protected,” she said.

– With files from Michael Ranger