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

Brenda and Steve Smith with a photo of Derek Descoteau. It’s been five years since Derek was murdered in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved Chemainus murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

Fast action by Chemainus Fire Department crews prevented a motorhome fire from inflicting more serious damage on adjacent homes. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Fast action by Chemainus crews limits the damage from motorhome fire

Adjacent homes under threat from intense blaze

The former St. Joseph’s School converted to the St. Joseph’s Art Studios in 2019. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Former Chemainus St. Joseph’s School site sold to addictions recovery group

Diocese stresses the importance of a community outreach option in its decision

North Cowichan Coun. Christopher Justice said he believes the community will not be served well with the resignation of Chris Crowther from the OCP advisory council. (File photo)
Member of North Cowichan’s OCP advisory committee quits

Chris Crowther said OCP process devisive

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

Victoria police responded to a vehicle where this dog was found in distress due to the heat after being left inside. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Two Victoria distress calls a reminder that hot cars can be fatal to dogs left inside

Victoria police found two dogs in a car with an internal temperature of 47 C on Friday

A game camera near the Klahoose reservation on Cortes Island caught this glimpse of a truck leaving the woodlot at around 2:30 on Sunday morning. Photo supplied by Klahoose First Nation
Indigenous cutblock vandalised on Cortes Island, anti-logging element suspected

Ribbons pulled down, gravel poured into gas tank at Klahoose First Nation site

Announced Tuesday, May 18 by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory (AP/Steven Senne)
Masks now required at all times inside B.C. gyms, including during workouts

The province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory Tuesday

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

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen of Abbotsford has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

The new wing at the Victoria International Airport opened up on Thursday (File contributed/YYJ)
Pandemic takes ‘hundreds of millions’ out of Victoria Airport, Vancouver Island economy

Airport authority head says passenger volumes down as much as 98 per cent

Most Read