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B.C. to reduce interval between COVID-19 vaccine doses to four weeks

Click to play video: 'Time between COVID-19 vaccinations now shortened to ensure more get second vaccine' Time between COVID-19 vaccinations now shortened to ensure more get second vaccine
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is now advising that the wait between first and second doses of mRNA vaccines is now shortened to 28 days. This is an attempt to help curb the spread of the Delta variant that accounts for most of the new cases in the province. Keith Baldrey has more – Aug 9, 2021

B.C.’s top doctor said Monday the province is reducing the interval between doses of COVID-19 vaccines from 49 days down to 28 days.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said invites will be sent to about 170,000 people in the coming days.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: B.C. reducing vaccine interval to 28 days' COVID-19: B.C. reducing vaccine interval to 28 days
COVID-19: B.C. reducing vaccine interval to 28 days – Aug 9, 2021

Henry urged people living in areas experiencing an outbreak to get a second dose as soon as possible. Those who do not live in a hot spot are recommended to wait at least six to eight weeks between doses since it can provide better protection.

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Read more: B.C. officials announce Central Okanagan restrictions following COVID-19 surge in Interior Health

The announcement comes amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in the province, particularly in the central Okanagan.

The interval between doses had already been reduced in that region in an effort to get residents immunized more quickly.

During its last update on Friday, the province said 81.8 per cent of eligible people 12 and older have received their first dose of vaccine, while 68.9 per cent have received two doses.

Read more: B.C. reports 464 new COVID-19 cases amid more restrictions for Central Okanagan

Officials reported 464 new infections that day — the highest daily number since mid-May.

The numbers come after B.C.’s top doctor reintroduced health restrictions in the central Okanagan amid a spike in cases.

Henry has said the surge has been fuelled by people between the ages of 20 and 40 who are unvaccinated or have only had one dose.

Click to play video: 'Fully vaccinated U.S. residents cross into B.C. as restrictions lift' Fully vaccinated U.S. residents cross into B.C. as restrictions lift
Fully vaccinated U.S. residents cross into B.C. as restrictions lift – Aug 9, 2021

Outdoor gatherings are limited once again to 50 people and indoor events have been reduced to five extra people, plus those in the household.

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Nightclubs and bars are closed and liquor cut-off is at 10 p.m. at restaurants.

Officials have also asked people who intend to travel to the area to try to change their plans.

— with files from Simon Little and The Canadian Press

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