People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)

Brighter days coming in May for B.C.’s long COVID-19 battle

Vaccine supply set to rise as drop-in clinics ration what’s left

Long line-ups for drop-in COVID-19 immunization clinics in some high-risk areas are a sign that B.C. has reached its lowest point of vaccine supply this week, but that is about to change, Health Minister Adrian Dix says.

A major increase in shipments of Pfizer vaccine is expected starting next week, and that has been B.C.’s most consistent supplier through the mass vaccination program, Dix said Wednesday. Moderna vaccine, which has seen several delays in shipping to Canada, is also expected to increase deliveries in May.

“This week we’re getting 138,000 doses of Pfizer, and at the end of the week, probably for next week, 82,900 doses of Moderna,” Dix told reporters at the B.C. legislature April 27. “And then next week we’re expecting 276,000 doses of Pfizer, which is obviously a significant increase. We’re ready and booking appointments based on receiving that amount of vaccine.”

B.C. is also expecting to see its first shipments of Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the first week of May. Like the AstraZeneca vaccine Canada is attempting to secure from the U.S., the Johnson & Johnson product is fridge-stable for easier transport and storage, and requires only one dose.

With renewed indoor dining and now regional travel restrictions in place until May 25, B.C.’s seven-day average of infection spread has turned down from its highest peak after it took off in November with winter weather setting in.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has noted that respiratory illnesses like colds (rhinovirus) and influenza are seasonal, picking up around the world as winter sets in and people spend more time indoors. COVID-19 followed that pattern in B.C. last year, and it is likely to do so again, helped by more widespread vaccination. World-leading vaccine rollout has dropped new case counts by nearly 80 per cent in the U.S. and more than 90 per cent in the United Kingdom and Israel.

RELATED: 30-somethings rush to drop-in clinics in Surrey

RELATED: 900 attend first drop-in vaccine clinic in Langley

B.C. now has more than a third of adults with at least one dose of immunization, and Dix said all three available vaccines are being used in the clinics targeting high-infection zones. AstraZeneca vaccine is now approved in Canada for people aged 30 and older, but supplies currently in fridges at pharmacies around the province have all been booked for delivery to people aged 40 and up.

Dix said the drop-in clinics are opening in COVID-19 hotspots, based on community infection data and postal codes, and people who are registered with the provincial program.

Most of the targeted high-risk communities are in the Lower Mainland, including South Langley Township, West Abbotsford, North Delta, Port Coquitlam, and the Surrey neighbourhoods of West Newton, Whalley, Panorama, North Surrey and Fleetwood, plus Vancouver’s Kensington neighbourhood and Squamish.

The hotspot program also has full-community vaccination underway in Invermere, Enderby and Dawson Creek, similar to previous programs in Prince Rupert, Whistler and many Indigenous communities where adults of all ages were offered vaccine.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelsey Johnson, the City of Penticton’s manager for parks and recreation, was recognized by the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association as an emerging leader for her work. (Submitted)
National recognition for Penticton’s head of parks & rec

Kelsey Johnson was deemed an emerging leader by the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association

Coronavirus 3D illustration. (CDC photo)
Two Summerland businesses closed due to COVID-19

The businesses are listed on the Interior Health website

Memorials have been set up to honour those who died during the Second World War. (Pixabay.com)
COLUMN: It’s time to stop making comparisons to Hitler

The deadliest, most destructive war in human history should not become a metaphor

Oliver’s Fairview Bridge needs work to remove the lead-based paint, but it may cost the town more than they’re currently willing to pay. (Google Maps)
Oliver bridge work may not happen until 2022

Bids for the project came in over what the town had budgeted

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

Officials are surveying the streets of Vernon to get a better sense of the issue of homelessness in the city, as part of the province’s point-in-time homeless count for 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Province conducts homeless count in Vernon

It’s the first time Vernon has been included in the provincial homeless count

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

A proposed development would see two four-storey affordable housing complexes erected on Adair Street in Armstrong, next to the Nor-Val Arena. (Google Maps)
Local tenants to be prioritized for Armstrong affordable housing project

Staff have drafted an expression of interest to find a developer to move forward with on the project

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Kelowna OK Tire closed due to COVID-19 exposure

The business will remain closed until May 11

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Most Read