589 new COVID-19 cases and 7 more deaths in B.C.

Federal government has approved of two versions of a new COVID-19 vaccine: the viral vector vaccine produced by Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Verity-Serum Institute of India vaccine

PROVINCIAL Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix on Friday, announced 589 new cases, for a total of 79,262 cases in British Columbia.

There have been seven new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 1,355 deaths in the province.

(Friday’s case information was provisional due to delayed updates in the lab reporting system. Full case information will be posted on the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) dashboard once verified.)

To date, 252,373 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., 73,808 of which are second doses. Immunization data is available on the COVID-19 dashboard at: www.bccdc.ca

There are 4,665 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 8,040 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A further 73,188 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the active cases, 232 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 63 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

There have been 157 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 317 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 31 in the Island Health region, 39 in the Interior Health region, 45 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks.

Henry and Dix added: “Today, the Government of Canada announced the approval of two versions of a new COVID-19 vaccine – the viral vector vaccine produced by Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Verity-Serum Institute of India vaccine. This is very encouraging news for everyone in British Columbia.

“Unlike the vaccines that have been available to date, this new, two-dose viral vector vaccine has the benefit of being ‘fridge stable,’ making it much easier to transport and distribute around the province.

“This new vaccine will be integrated into our provincial immunization program as delivery and supply is confirmed in the coming weeks. The additional supply will allow us to look at accelerating immunization of priority populations and essential workers.

“This is another exciting and encouraging step forward for all of us. It means we have one more layer of protection available to us and are one step closer to getting through this pandemic.

“Let’s celebrate this milestone and also continue to do our part to keep our communities and our loved ones safe.”