First Moderna vaccine doses arrive in B.C — active cases continue downward trend

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There are 76 active cases of COVID-19 in the Island Health region, including 44 reported since Dec. 24. That number includes 19 in the central island region, a decrease of three since Christmas Eve, along with 41 in the south and 16 in the north. 

There are seven people hospitalized with the virus and two in ICU in Island Health, according to the B.C. government’s COVID-19 dashboard. No new virus related deaths were confirmed in the health region.

B.C. recorded 2,206 new COVID-19 cases over past five days, including 382 today. There are 7,580 active cases of COVID-19 in the province — down 1,285 since Dec. 24. That number includes 373 people in hospital and 80 in critical care. There were 74 deaths from COVID-19 since the province last reported. The province’s seven day rolling average for new cases is 472.

The first Moderna vaccine doses arrived in B.C. today, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer.

“The Moderna vaccine will be used particularly in the north and interior and some parts of the island to be able to provide immunization to small longterm care homes that are in smaller communities,” said Henry.

She said the vaccine would also be used to vaccinate people living in isolated Indigenous communities. The province has delivered 11,930 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to people across B.C.

There have been two allergic reactions to the vaccine so far in the province — both were healthcare workers and have made a full recovery, Henry said.

B.C. identified its first case of the COVID-19 U.K. variant earlier this week, according to the provincial government. The person lives in the Island Health region and is self-isolating.

The province said there is no evidence the new variant is more likely to cause severe illness or the vaccines will be less effective against it.

There are 9,414 people under active public health monitoring as a result of exposure to the virus, according to Henry. She added the number does not include people monitoring in the Northern Health region because of a reporting problem.

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