B.C. considers lowering interval between COVID-19 vaccine doses as shipments accelerate

The province reported 2,174 new cases of COVID-19 over the three-day weekend period, including 106 in the Interior Health region

B.C. health officials are reporting an additional 2,174 cases of COVID-19 and 15 further dead over the three-day weekend period.

That figure includes 106 cases in the Interior Health region.

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All but one of those who died were over the age of 70, and the majority died in hospital, according to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Elsewhere in the province there were 438 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 1,509 in Fraser Health, 61 in Vancouver Island Health and 60 in Northern Health.

There are currently 474 in hospital and 176 patients in critical care units.

The province now has 7,327 active cases, with another 11,781 people under public health monitoring due to exposure to the virus.

"We have reached a new and encouraging point in the vaccine supply," Dr. Henry announced on Monday.

In the month of May alone, B.C. is expecting more than one million doses of vaccine, as weekly shipments from Pfizer have now doubled to about 275,000 per week.

Dr. Henry said that with the increase in supply, the province is looking at reducing the interval between doses. B.C. made the decision to expand the interval between vaccines in March, extending it to four months.

A total of 1,877,330 doses of vaccine have now been delivered, including 91,731 doses.

"We're now entering into a new era, a new warp speed, if you will," Henry said.

Dr. Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix both encouraged all British Columbians to register to receive an invitation to book an appointment for their vaccine — first or second dose — online at getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca or by calling 1-833-838-2323.

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