COVID-19 vaccine: 87% of long-term care residents have received their 1st dose
B.C.'s COVID-19 vaccine distribution began on Dec. 15, 2020. (Province of BC/Flickr)
VANCOUVER -- While B.C. is facing significant delays in vaccine shipments, the province's top doctor says nearly all residents in long-term care and assisted-living homes have received their first dose.
B.C. has received 156,250 doses of vaccine so far, with more than two thirds of those from Pfizer, Henry announced during a news conference on modelling Friday. Nearly all of them have been administered, Henry said, with a little over 10,600 doses left as of Wednesday.
The province did receive some Pfizer doses this week and a shipment from Moderna is expected on the weekend, but Henry said the province's vaccine plan has already been "stretched out and delayed."
"We've done fairly well at getting first doses into the vast majority of our long-term care residents across the province," Henry said, adding that 87 per cent of known long-term care residents have received their first dose. Only about two per cent have gotten their second, however.
Henry said some of the residents who haven't received a dose didn't get it because they were recently infected with COVID-19. The top doctor said those who are still in the acute phase of infection will be caught up on vaccines in a few weeks.
"We've gone in to immunize in care homes where we have been having outbreaks and we're now seeing it is helping us to stop those outbreaks rapidly," Henry said.
"Also very important is protecting the circle around those most vulnerable in long-term care and that's immunizing staff and people who work in care homes."
In assisted-living homes, 9,544 residents have received their first dose so far, which is above the province's initial target of 8,000. As of Wednesday, just 15 people had received their second dose.
Health officials said seniors over the age of 80 who are not in long-term care will still be contacted about an appointment to get their vaccine in the coming weeks, but suggested those calls might not come until early March, rather than mid-February as they had hoped.
Adverse effects reported
In her vaccine update, Henry said health officials are closely monitoring any reported adverse effects. To help monitor that, Henry said officials are keeping track of which batch number British Columbians receive a dose from.
"We have had 205 what we call adverse events following immunization," Henry said, explaining that's about 14 per 10,000 doses administered so far.
Of those, Henry said 55 of them are considered serious adverse event, like a severe allergic reaction.
Everyone has recovered from their allergic reactions and "only a very small number of people" were hospitalized for a short period of time because of them, Henry said.
"This is something that came out of the clinical trials … and we are monitoring very carefully," Henry said.
"It's also something that is not unexpected with a vaccine or any medication and we have provisions with all of our immunization clinics to make sure that we can detect and care for people that have this type of reaction."