Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C. could be in 'post-pandemic world' by summer
VANCOUVER -- There's a possibility that British Columbians could be living in a "post-pandemic world" by the summer if things go according to plan, Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday.
The provincial health officer said the approval of new vaccines will allow the government to revise its immunization timeline, and that there's hope to have every eligible B.C. resident vaccinated much sooner than first thought.
"Maybe I'm too optimistic, but we're going to be in our post-pandemic world by the summer if things continue to go the way that we want them to," Henry said.
Her comments came following Health Canada's approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but before Friday's approval of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, though she did reference the fact that Johnson and Johnson's vaccine was then in the final stages of review.
Henry was also quick to note the possibility of a COVID-19 curveball that could delay the province's progress, referencing the famous military quote: "No plan survives first contact with the enemy."
There have been concerns that certain variants could render one or more of the vaccines less effective.
But she offered an encouraging prediction that people should be experiencing "a lot more of those connections that we need" by summer.
"That's going to help us get through the trauma that we've all experienced together," Henry added.
In the meantime, the provincial health officer stressed the importance of not becoming complacent, particularly as cases remain relatively high.
As of Thursday's COVID-19 update, the province had 4,742 active cases and a weekly average of 515 cases per day – the highest either of those metrics have been since Jan. 13.
"We can't let these successes of these great vaccines that we have now be diminished by a surge in cases that will lead us to a third wave," Henry said.