BC is expanding the group of clinically vulnerable who can receive a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
In their weekly COVID-19 update, BC Health officials, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix, announced the third dose booster for more than 100,000 individuals who are moderately to severely immuno-compromised.
Dr. Bonnie Henry said this new group includes (but is not limited to) people suffering from tumours who are receiving various treatments (chemo, molecular, hormone), people with immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and those taking immuno-compromising medications.
A complete list of eligible residents to receive a third vaccine is available on the BC Centre for Disease Control’s website.
At the same press conference, changes to long-term care and acute care settings were also announced.
People visiting long-term care and acute care settings will need to be fully immunized by October 12th and October 26th, respectively.
On the topic of vaccinations, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Dix encouraged health-care workers who have yet to receive a vaccination to do so by October 12th or risk a leave of absence without pay until they are vaccinated.
In September, BC mandated immunization in all health-care settings.
By October 12th, health care workers must have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, with the promise of receiving a second one up to 35 days later.
Religious exemption will not be accepted, only medical exemption will be.
Dix said that 97% of health-care workers on Vancouver Island have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with at least one dose; 94% are fully immunized.
As of yesterday, Minister Dix said there were 467 people in ICU right now – 94.3% of beds are occupied, not including surge beds.
In BC there are 510 critical care beds in BC and 218 surge beds.
From September 27th to October 3rd, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 70.7% of cases and from September 20th to Oct 3rd, for 78.1% of hospitalizations.
In the past two weeks 347 COVID cases were hospitalized. Of those, 242 (69.7%) were unvaccinated.