People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)

Brighter days coming in May for B.C.’s long COVID-19 battle

Vaccine supply set to rise as drop-in clinics ration what’s left

Long line-ups for drop-in COVID-19 immunization clinics in some high-risk areas are a sign that B.C. has reached its lowest point of vaccine supply this week, but that is about to change, Health Minister Adrian Dix says.

A major increase in shipments of Pfizer vaccine is expected starting next week, and that has been B.C.’s most consistent supplier through the mass vaccination program, Dix said Wednesday. Moderna vaccine, which has seen several delays in shipping to Canada, is also expected to increase deliveries in May.

“This week we’re getting 138,000 doses of Pfizer, and at the end of the week, probably for next week, 82,900 doses of Moderna,” Dix told reporters at the B.C. legislature April 27. “And then next week we’re expecting 276,000 doses of Pfizer, which is obviously a significant increase. We’re ready and booking appointments based on receiving that amount of vaccine.”

B.C. is also expecting to see its first shipments of Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the first week of May. Like the AstraZeneca vaccine Canada is attempting to secure from the U.S., the Johnson & Johnson product is fridge-stable for easier transport and storage, and requires only one dose.

With renewed indoor dining and now regional travel restrictions in place until May 25, B.C.’s seven-day average of infection spread has turned down from its highest peak after it took off in November with winter weather setting in.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has noted that respiratory illnesses like colds (rhinovirus) and influenza are seasonal, picking up around the world as winter sets in and people spend more time indoors. COVID-19 followed that pattern in B.C. last year, and it is likely to do so again, helped by more widespread vaccination. World-leading vaccine rollout has dropped new case counts by nearly 80 per cent in the U.S. and more than 90 per cent in the United Kingdom and Israel.

RELATED: 30-somethings rush to drop-in clinics in Surrey

RELATED: 900 attend first drop-in vaccine clinic in Langley

B.C. now has more than a third of adults with at least one dose of immunization, and Dix said all three available vaccines are being used in the clinics targeting high-infection zones. AstraZeneca vaccine is now approved in Canada for people aged 30 and older, but supplies currently in fridges at pharmacies around the province have all been booked for delivery to people aged 40 and up.

Dix said the drop-in clinics are opening in COVID-19 hotspots, based on community infection data and postal codes, and people who are registered with the provincial program.

Most of the targeted high-risk communities are in the Lower Mainland, including South Langley Township, West Abbotsford, North Delta, Port Coquitlam, and the Surrey neighbourhoods of West Newton, Whalley, Panorama, North Surrey and Fleetwood, plus Vancouver’s Kensington neighbourhood and Squamish.

The hotspot program also has full-community vaccination underway in Invermere, Enderby and Dawson Creek, similar to previous programs in Prince Rupert, Whistler and many Indigenous communities where adults of all ages were offered vaccine.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Westbound traffic is slow moving on Highway 1 following a crash that has police blocking one lane. Google Maps screenshot taken at 9:07 a.m.
TRAFFIC: Crash on North Parallel Road causes road closure, single westbound Highway 1 lane blocked

Abbotsford Police investigating, roads closed between McDermott and No. 3 Road

Kassandra Clack of Abbotsford has been named one of 18 finalists in the Jim Beam Virtual National Talent Search, taking place in June.
Fraser Valley country singer Kassandra Clack a finalist in national talent search

18 finalists vie to win Jim Beam Virtual National Talent Search in June

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

This vehicle is suspected of being involved in a suspicious incident on Friday (May 7) on Mouat Drive in Abbotsford.
Driver in Abbotsford tries to lure teen girl into his vehicle

Man tells 14-year-old that her mom sent him to pick her up

Michael Proud, a clinical nurse educator at Mission Memorial Hospital, standing outside the hospital. Patrick Penner photo.
Local nurses shine perspective on the last year through COVID-19

Stressors, challenges and successes on the pandemic’s front line

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil Friday evening (May 7) to remember 29-year-old corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, who was killed in last weekend’s brazen daylight shooting outside North Delta’s Scottsdale Centre mall. (James Smith photo)
Hundreds gather to remember victim of North Delta shooting

Corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, was killed in what police say was a targeted incident

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Most Read