VANCOUVER -- With B.C.'s vaccine rollout continuing to ramp up, the province passed an important milestone Wednesday.

Health Minister Adrian Dix shared the news during an afternoon briefing, saying half of those eligible will have received their first dose by the end of the day. That milestone was reached shortly after.

"We're clearing today the 50 per cent threshold of people currently eligible – those adults over 18 – immunized in B.C., which is an important landmark," Dix said.

For people over the age of 70, Dix said more than 85 per cent have received a first dose.

"That's a great reflection of the work of health-care workers," he said.

For younger British Columbians, Dix said the province is working on its Pfizer rollout plan, now that the vaccine's been approved for people between the ages of 12 and 18. Dix didn't have specific details about that plan, but said those would be released "soon."

People in their 30s who have registered through the province's system are starting to receive their invitations to book a dose if they haven't already done so.

"The age categories are dropping down significantly," Dix said. "It will soon be the case that everyone in B.C. will have access to book their appointments."

Dix didn't say much about other provinces' recent decisions to stop distributing AstraZeneca for first doses, but did indicate local supply was limited. 

"There is relatively little AstraZeneca remaining and there will be an amount that's kept for second doses, and we're expecting some additional supply to support second doses in the future," he said.

For those hoping to see restrictions soon lifted as more people are vaccinated, Dix said officials still "need to see" before making any decisions.

"It's especially important this week and next week to be living in the present, to be following public health guidance and to be following health orders," he said, adding that recent daily case counts are "way better," but still "not where we want to be."

"We need to continue to make progress. There are a number of factors that go into decisions about changing orders," he said.

"But right now, what I'm saying is let's live in the present … and if you know anybody that hasn't registered to be vaccinated, get them registered."