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

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Pictured is Britany Bignham, a Cranbrook hairstylist who is one of 16 top stylists in the running for the Ultimate Stylist competition - an online international hair and beauty competition. She is pictured behind her chair at the Hair Mob. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
Cranbrook hairstylist vies for top prize in international competition

Britany Bingham is one of 16 finalists in the Ultimate Stylist competition

Kimberley RCMP detachment seeking information after female teenager grabbed by masked man.
Teenaged female grabbed by masked man on Kimberley trail

RCMP seeking witnesses or information

Brenda Ware. (RCMP)
Murder charge laid against man in Kootenay National Park homicide

Philip Toner was located in Lake Country on May 11

City staff has passed an order requiring remedial action on a building that was severely damaged by fire last fall. Trevor Crawley photo.
City council orders remedial action on vacant buildings damaged by fire

City council has issued a remedial action order relating to vacant buildings… Continue reading

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Most Read