Province focuses on first doses of vaccine, will not prevent supply

The BC will not retain vaccines and instead plans to vaccinate as many health care professionals as possible and long-term with the first possible doses this month and next, with the second doses starting in February.

“To date, we have distributed 11,930 doses of vaccine to people in British Columbia in all health regions now, including in the past five days,” said provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, on Tuesday.

The Modern vaccine, the second vaccine licensed by Health Canada, arrived in BC on Tuesday with more anticipations for today. It is easier to handle, so it will be sent to rural and remote First Nations communities, as well as to the North, Interior and parts of the Island “to be able to provide immunization to small long-term care centers in smaller communities,” Henry said. .

The Modern vaccine can be stored in freezers that can operate at around -20 ° C, while the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine needs specialized freezers that can drop to -70 ° C.

“We are working closely with our First Nations Health Authority and First Nations leadership in BC to ensure that we can identify communities and people at risk as efficiently as possible,” said Henry. He has worked with First Nations on training and supplies are available.

Both vaccines are “complicated” to use, so Henry did not apologize for fewer vaccinations being administered over the holidays and said that people spent a lot of time this weekend training people to transport and administer them safely.

“I know that all health officials were busy with the training, making sure that we had the logistics in order, the complexity of putting together plans for the Modern vaccine,” said Henry.

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The province is committed to bringing the vaccine to as many people as possible, safely and efficiently, she said.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are licensed as a two-dose regimen and both are more than 80 percent effective after two weeks of a dose, said Henry. It is not known how long this immunity lasts.

“We made the decision that, in December and January, all our doses of Pfizer and Moderna will protect people with their first dose, because we can do this and protect almost twice as many people” compared to using these doses to give give people a second chance within the 21-28 day period, as recommended by the manufacturers, said Henry.

The National Immunization Advisory Committee allows postponing the second dose, said Henry. On average, second doses will start in February or about 35 days after the first dose.

“I hope there is some data that shows – it would just be wonderful – if people only needed a single dose, it would make our lives a lot easier,” said Henry.

The December to February vaccination priority list includes around 150,000 people:

• About 70,000 residents and long-term care workers

• Approximately 13,000 residents and assisted living staff

• Approximately 2,000 hospitalized or community-based individuals who have been evaluated and awaiting placement of long-term care

• About 8,000 essential visitors in long-term care and assisted living

• Approximately 30,000 health professionals providing frontline care in intensive care units, medical / surgical units and emergency and paramedical departments

• About 25,000 individuals in remote / isolated First Nations communities

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The vaccination calendar from February to March includes about 400,000 people:

• Approximately 260,000 community-based elderly people aged 80 and over (65 years and older for indigenous and elderly indigenous people)

• Up to 40,000 people homeless and / or using shelters, in provincial correctional institutions, in group homes (adults) and in residential mental health care (adults)

• About 60,000 beneficiaries and long-term home support employees

• Approximately 20,000 hospital staff, community general practitioners and medical specialists

• About 25,000 people in First Nation communities

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© Copyright Times Colonist

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