All staff and residents of long-term care homes in the BC Interior will have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Wednesday.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday all care homes and assisted living facilities in the Island Health, Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health have already been immunized.
“That is an amazing feat,” said Henry.
BC is currently struggling with an “extremely limited” supply of the COVID-19 due to delays in shipments at the federal level. As a result, the province has delayed the administration of the second dose of the vaccine back to 42 days to allow for care homes to get their first dose. The vaccine is not fully effective until the second dose is administered.
“We have been focused… on long term care and assisted living, where the risk is highest and the impact is greatest,” Henry said, explaining 60 per cent of vaccine doses the province has received to date have gone to the long-term care system.
“My hat goes off to all of those who have been running the immunization system to protect the most vulnerable,” she said.
Henry said the province has received 56 reports of “adverse events” from the nearly 120,000 doses of vaccine administered province-wide. Ten of those reports were anaphylaxis events, of whom one person was hospitalized, but all have recovered. There has been a single case of Bell’s Palsy, or temporary paralysis of the face, which was reported in the trials of the vaccine.
“This is important for us to continue to follow. So far there has been no associated deaths from immunization and we are monitoring all the safety signals very carefully,” she said.