Wednesday March 24, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., editor | Island Social Trends
It’s complex work to roll out a massive vaccine campaign. As of today Wednesday March 24, just 169 of 1,000 AstraZeneca doses as supplied to Island Health have been administered.
AstraZeneca is a one-dose vaccine with a shorter expiry date than the two-doses mRNRA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) which can be stored at ultra-low temperatures.
In line with the BC Immunization Plan, the AstraZeneca vaccine product — due to an easier shipping process at simply normal refrigerator temperatures — is being targeted for use in remote, rural and Indigenous communities.
Most of the 88,047 administered vaccines to date in Island Health have been the Pfizer product (62,701) & the Modern product (25,177). Those require a second dose. So far, 10,131 second doses have been done.
All these stats are from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC) dashboard which is updated daily on weekdays.
Beefing up human resources at immunization centres:
Today Premier John Horgan announced a partnership with large and medium-size companies and organizations in the tourism sector, to assist with people-management at the larger immunization clinics in the province.
“This partnership will provide new jobs for people while contributing to BC’s already accelerated vaccine rollout,” it was explained.
The setup also allows for trained health-care personnel to focus on the business of actually administering the vaccines at the clinics.
This new human resources setup makes the BC Government a well-paying client to the besieged tourism industry that has pretty much lost all of its clientele during the pandemic that has required physical distancing (no gatherings, no crowds, no close contact in indoor spaces and certainly not visiting to remote communities).
Immunization clinics are only now dealing with clients in their 80s, and the age-70s rollout appointments for the general community begin next week.
As of March 24, there are still 5,573 active cases of COVID-19 in BC (up from 5,409 yesterday), of which 256 are on Vancouver Island (down from 273 yesterday).
The positivity rate is still quite high (7.8 for BC and 3.7 on Vancouver Island — both of which are higher than yesterday, and the highest they’ve been all month).
To date there have been 93,969 cases of COVID-19 in BC (2,996 in Island Health) and 1,441 people have died in BC (28 in Island Health, with the latest being on March 8) as a direct result of the infection.
On Vancouver Island the number of children under the age of 10 has seen only one new case in the last two days — whether this is related to students being on spring break and away from the in-classroom environment is yet to be determined.
There have been no new COVID cases for anyone age 70+ in the past two days on Vancouver Island, which strongly indicates the effectiveness of the vaccines in addition to maintaining other public health protocols.
Serious infection at any age:
Serious infection is now being seen in younger people — even in their 30s — as the older population becomes vaccinated. “COVID is a vicious enemy,” says Health Minister Adrian Dix, as the virus will continue to find human hosts in which to reproduce.
The goal of public health is of course to achieve herd immunity (generally thought to be at least 60 to 70% immunization coverage) as explained over the past year by Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry.
Tourism industry personnel helping out at immunization clinics (March 24, 2021)
Locations of Island Health immunization clinics: Island Social Trends article on the clinic rollout March 7, 2021 | direct link to Island Health clinic location list (will have regular updates)
BC CDC COVID-19 dashboard (updated Monday to Friday)