Interior Health region second in line for COVID-19 vaccine behind Lower Mainland | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Interior Health region second in line for COVID-19 vaccine behind Lower Mainland

Interior Health's Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Albert de Villiers
Image Credit: Submitted/Interior Health
December 09, 2020 - 3:10 PM

The first distribution sites in B.C. for the new Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are going to be in the Lower Mainland.

Fourteen distribution sites have been selected in Canada initially so Interior Health will be part of the next round of distribution.

“Part of the reasoning is, as we know, Fraser Health has a lot of cases and many more outbreaks than we will ever have,” Interior Health chief medical health officer Dr. Albert De Villiers said at a news conference today, Dec. 9. “They’re also looking at figuring out all the logistics and making sure all the training is up to date and making sure everyone knows what they’re doing. Then we’ll get ours sorted out.”

Interior Health has also received rapid test kits this week but they won’t be available until the logistics are worked out, which should be early next week.

“That equipment does provide a quicker response time on results but is very limited in terms of the numbers of tests it can do over a period of time,” Karen Bloemink, the interim vice-president of COVID-19 response for Interior Health, said.

Dr. De Villiers reported that there are 81 new cases of COVID-19 in the Interior Health region in the last 24 hours, bringing the region’s total to 2,420. That includes 656 active cases with 16 people in hospital and four in intensive care.

There are three long-term care homes in the region with outbreaks, including McKinney Place in Oliver with 29 cases, all but one of which are residents. The virus was well established amongst residents before it was detected, which is why it spread so fast, Dr. De Villiers said. He could not confirm how the virus got into the facility.

There are seven confirmed cases in the Mountainview Village care home in Kelowna. Only one or two are residents, one of whom died, Dr. De Villiers said.

There are three cases at Village by the Station in Penticton.

The community cluster in Revelstoke has slowed down as there has only been one new case in the last five days with 50 people affected overall.

The outbreak at the Royal Inland Hospital patient tower construction project was declared over yesterday with 25 cases.

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