Tuesday December 7, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. | Island Social Trends
Today’s quotes and main points from the BC COVID update by Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix (December 7, 2021):
Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry
“This virus is going to be with us, that’s clear.” (regarding COVID overall)
“We need to focus on immunizing other parts of the world where these unusual mutations (of the virus) can come up.”
Booster shots (third dose) is recommended for everyone in BC, after an interval of at least six months after the second dose. Invitations will go out (be sure to be registered in the BC Vaccination system online). Age is still the highest risk factor for serious illness and death, so people over age 70 and 80 will start getting invitations this soon (mostly starting this month). People who got their second dose in June, July or August 2021 can expect an invitation for their 3rd dose in January, February and into March 2022.
“Waiting up to eight months (for a third dose) gives longer lasting protection.”
Some supply of AstraZeneca will be coming up, for people who got their first two doses as AstraZeneca, and want their third dose to align with that.
“Omicron is yet another hill in a very very long journey,” but has not caused hospitalization or death in BC. “Focus on what is happening now. We have the tools to keep ourselves safe. We have been through this and we know what to do. Focus on the joys of today.”
“Clearly, people should be vaccinated before they travel.”
“This booster may be able to get us through the next respiratory season (Fall 2022 into new year 2023) or longer.” (regarding people in BC getting a third dose between now and through to spring 2022).
Dr Henry addressed the stress that comes with the ongoing uncertainties of the pandemic, saying that people can “combat this unrelenting uncertainty with relentless kindness”. She added: “We can get through this. It’s being kind to each other than helps. Have all of those things close that help…keep close friends and family close.”
Health Minister Adrian Dix
“Urgent Primary Care Centres have been a Godsend during the pandemic.” (as in allowing health-care to be accessible in communities)
“The number of doctors hired into Urgent Primary Care Centres has been significant.” (numbers to come from Health Ministry)
“The UPCC in Esquimalt will be a big success.” The new facility opened yesterday. Dix followed by saying the UPCC in Langford (which opened in November 2018) and the adapted medical clinic format in Sooke (opened in May 2019) are also being successful.