covid-19

COVID-19: People deemed “clinically extremely vulnerable” can book vaccine | More contagious variants of concern make up 21 per cent of latest case


The provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said letters would be sent to anyone 16 and older in B.C. who is clinically extremely vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19.

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People with cancer, transplant recipients, those with severe respiratory illness and others considered “clinically extremely vulnerable” will be able to register for a COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday.

The provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said letters would be sent to anyone 16 and older in B.C. who is clinically extremely vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19.

This letter will instruct the recipient on how to call to book a vaccination appointment, starting March 29, and must be shown on the vaccination date.

“Significant work has been done to identify those health conditions that would cause someone to be clinically extremely vulnerable, as well as to identify the people in our province who have these illnesses,” Henry said.

“For many, knowing that COVID-19 would compound what are already serious illnesses has created added challenge and stress – concerns that will soon be relieved.”

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There are an estimated 200,000 people in B.C. over the age of 16 considered clinically extremely vulnerable, however many of those are aged 76 and older and are already eligible for vaccination.

So far in B.C. 470,340 people have received vaccine – or roughly 11 per cent of the 4.3 million British Columbians aged 18 and older.

B.C. has come under fire for the growing daily margin between the number of vaccines injected and the number that have been delivered by the federal government.

For example, as of Tuesday there were 178,340 doses of vaccine available  – or close to nine days worth based on the current vaccination rate of 20,000 a day.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be stored for up to six months in very cold temperatures.

A Vancouver Coastal Health spokesperson said that all VCH vaccination clinics ensure no vaccines are wasted by permitting any unused doses at the end of the day to be taken to acute care sites to vaccinate eligible patients or unvaccinated health care workers.

On Tuesday, Henry reported 682 new cases of COVID-19,  of which 144 were one of the more contagious variants of concern. The percentage of variant cases in B.C. is growing every day, as is the average daily COVID-19 case count.

Henry said there were now 5,409 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., of which 314 are being treated in hospital including 83 people in intensive care. There are 171 active cases of variants of concern.

There was one COVID-19 death over the past day bringing that total to 1,438,m but no new health-care or community outbreaks were reported.

Henry also amended a public health order to make outdoor church services legal, subject to a COVID-19 management plan.

dcarrigg@postmedia.com


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