UPDATE: 1:15 p.m.
As the transmission of COVID-19 continues across British Columbia, health officials continue to push people to get fully vaccinated.
A total of 33,277 vaccines were administered in the province during yesterday's “Walk-in Wednesday,” which included 16,505 walk-ins. During a press conference Thursday, Health Minister Adrian Dix said 6,130 of these were first doses – the most first doses the province has administered in more than a month.
In the Interior, more vaccinations were delivered to walk-ins than appointments. Provincewide, 81.7 per cent of people 12 and older have received one dose, while 68.4 per cent have both.
But with new cases skyrocketing at unprecedented rates in the Central Okanagan, largely among unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people, Dr. Bonnie Henry is urging everyone else to get fully vaccinated.
“This virus is not gone, and we've seen that with the increase in cases that we've seen in the last few days and few weeks, particularly in the Central Okanagan where we see again that this virus can take off easily in people who are not protected,” Dr. Henry said.
“It's mostly young people, many who have not had as many opportunities to be immunized, but now is your chance. Particularly as we head back to school, back to university, come September it's going to be more and more important for all of us to be protected so we can manage this pandemic and move on with our lives.”
She noted the majority of new cases are among people between 20 and 40, and 95 per cent of the province's new cases people who are not fully vaccinated.
“All of the people with severe illness in ICU [in the Interior] are people who have not yet been vaccinated,” she noted.
While COVID-19 hospitalizations have been increasing in the Central Okanagan, Dr. Henry said she expects the vaccines to help keep hospitalizations and deaths lower.
“We've seen a slight increase in hospitalization, primarily in unvaccinated people in their 40s and 50s, so the younger people that are most commonly being infected right now with the Delta variant are not ending up in hospital for the most part. We're seeing a decoupling of the cases and hospitalization,” Dr. Henry said.
“Having said that, those are things that we'll watch because we know it's a lag indicator as we move on into the fall.”
ORIGINAL: 11:55 a.m.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide an update on COVID-19 in British Columbia.