Dr. Reka Gustafson, B.C.’s deputy provincial health officer, updates the province’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. cabinet offices in Vancouver, Aug. 17, 2020. (B.C. government)

Dr. Reka Gustafson, B.C.’s deputy provincial health officer, updates the province’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. cabinet offices in Vancouver, Aug. 17, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. hits daily record with more than 12,000 vaccinations

Province sees 508 more COVID-19 cases, six more deaths

B.C. got its latest batch of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this week and gave immunizations to more than 12,000 people Thursday, a single-day record that is expected to be duplicated Friday.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said B.C.’s vaccination program is working as well as it can with the limited supplies of approved vaccines being delivered to Canada. There were 5,280 first doses and the remainder were second doses for residents and staff in long-term care as well as people in remote communities, Dix said.

The return of vaccine deliveries is expected to allow people aged 80 and up in the community to be immunized in March. Those with home health care support will be attended to in the first half of March, and those living at home without home care will be reached after March 15, with registration information coming soon, Dix said.

Deputy provincial health officer Dr. Reka Gustafson said the vaccine has proven unusually effective in protecting frail elderly people, and the situation in long-term care homes is improving as a result. B.C. is dealing with 13 active outbreaks in long-term care and six in acute-care, and has reported one new outbreak at the Florentine, a long-term care and assisted living facility in Merritt. Outbreaks are declared when one or more staff members or residents tests positive for COVID-19.

Public health officials have reported 508 new cases for Feb. 19, a dip from more than 600 on Thursday when Fraser Health and Northern Health regions saw increased daily infections after a decline since before Christmas. There were six additional deaths related to the novel coronavirus.

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