(Dr. Stanwick receiving the COVID-19 vaccine / Government of BC)

Over one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed on Vancouver Island.

Island Health also reported that 48% of people 12 and over are fully vaccinated with two doses.

Island Health made the announcement on Friday, July 16th and to mark the milestone, Dr. Richard Stanwick made himself available to the media.

Dr. Stanwick reported the vaccine supply will no longer be a limiting factor in getting vaccines into Canadians’ arms. And with that, Island Health has been making conscious efforts to vaccinate more people through mobile and walk-in clinics.

During the media availability, Stanwick said he was hopeful that BC is ready for Phase 4 of the reopening plan.

With an average of 2 to 3 cases per day and not a single death on the island since May 30th, Stanwick said that it was international travel that made up a third of the cases on the Island.

While he said most cases last week were the Alpha and Gamma strains of COVID-19, he noted that the Delta variant was detected last month, but nothing to be concerned about.

The potential for a fourth wave is unlikely since Canada has such a high vaccination rate, but COVID-19 booster shots, either annually or bi-annually, are a potential that Canada’s health officials are watching over, said Stanwick..

“We’ve been trying to develop scenarios where boosters may be needed — will it be like SARS and disappear? The virus may change so we may need to top up our vaccinations. Some pessimists say it will mutate beyond our control, but right now, there’s no evidence of that,” Stanwick said.

“But we do not want to be caught flat footed. We are staying on our toes. Canada has a higher vaccination rate which would fight the potential of a fourth wave.”

Still, concerns over the delta variant, which vaccines are only 33 percent effective against after one dose, and new variants of concern, like the Lambda variant, remain.

The following have received at least one dose in the Island Health region:

  •  92% of people aged 70 and older
  •  84% of people aged 50-69
  •  71% of people aged 30-49
  •  65% of people aged 12-29
  •  92% of physicians and nurse practitioners
  •  88% of all Island Health employees

In collaboration with First Nations and First Nations Health Authority, more than 21,000 people in approximately 50 First Nations communities have received at least one dose. This includes rural and remote as well as urban First Nations communities.

Yesterday, Island Health reported 5 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region and 28 active cases.

2 people remain in hospital with 1 in ICU.
There have been a total of 41 deaths on Vancouver Island since the pandemic began.

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