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B.C. is in a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated,’ latest modelling numbers show

Click to play video: 'B.C. health officials take different approach with latest COVID-19 modelling data' B.C. health officials take different approach with latest COVID-19 modelling data
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix presented the latest COVID-19 modelling data. As legislative bureau chief Keith Baldrey explains, the data presented on Tuesday showed more evidence that immunization is working in the province. – Aug 31, 2021

British Columbia is now in a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday.

Releasing the latest round of modelling numbers in a presentation, Henry said this past week was a success in terms of immunization; particularly in those under 30 years of age in the Interior Health and Northern Health regions, but COVID-19 case rates continue to be higher in areas of the province where there are lower vaccination rates.

Click to play video: 'B.C.’s latest modelling numbers show vaccines are working' B.C.’s latest modelling numbers show vaccines are working
B.C.’s latest modelling numbers show vaccines are working – Aug 31, 2021

Cases are still highest in areas such as Kamloops, the Cariboo Chilcotin and Nechako regions where vaccination rates are among some of the lowest in the province as of Aug. 23, according to the province’s data.

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However, Henry said the good news is that some of the areas where case counts are the highest are also seeing the highest increase in vaccination rates.

“Vaccines are making a difference, we’re not seeing the same type of spread that we saw a few months ago,” Henry said.

COVID-19 case rates in the Lower Mainland are continuing to stay low and are levelling off and coming down in the Central Okanagan region, she added.

Click to play video: 'Province provides update on epidemiological modelling' Province provides update on epidemiological modelling
Province provides update on epidemiological modelling – Aug 31, 2021

WATCH: The B.C. government has released its latest COVID-19 modelling data, and the Okanagan continues to be a hotspot. Jules Knox reports.

The exception is in areas such as Creston, Nelson, Enderby, and Vernon, which have faced challenges with events such as heat and wildfires and getting vaccine clinics set up, Henry said.

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Data provided by the province from July 1 to Aug. 26 shows the rate of infection and hospitalizations among the unvaccinated has risen rapidly since about July 22, while there has only been a very slight increase of cases among the vaccinated population.

Watch the full presentation of the latest B.C. COVID-19 modelling numbers:

Data showing hospitalizations between the unvaccinated and the vaccinated population. B.C. government

Read more: B.C. reports 1,853 new COVID-19 cases over 3 days, along with 7 deaths

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Click to play video: 'Family who lost parents to COVID-19 treated to an evening with the Whitecaps' Family who lost parents to COVID-19 treated to an evening with the Whitecaps
Family who lost parents to COVID-19 treated to an evening with the Whitecaps – Aug 30, 2021

When it comes to the roughly 650,000 children who are not yet eligible for a COVID vaccine, Henry said they have seen a slight increase in cases but it has not been “very alarming.”

She said hospitalization rates among those from birth to age 19 have been very low, with seven children under the age of 10 admitted in the past month, with one in the ICU.

In the same time period, there were seven admitted to the hospital in the 10 to 18 age group, with two in the ICU.

Everyone has recovered.

Henry said the goal now with schools starting will be to get more people over the age of 12 vaccinated and health officials will be connecting with schools boards and administrators to set up vaccine clinics.

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B.C. is one week away from the earliest start date for Step 4 of the reopening plan.

The criteria for moving to Step 4 is that more than 70 per cent of people aged 18 and up have received at least one dose of vaccine, along with low case counts and low hospitalizations. However, it is unclear if the province will move to step 4 on Sept. 7.

Data showing COVID-19 outcomes among those who are vaccinated in the province. B.C. government

From July 30 to Aug. 26, fully vaccinated individuals accounted for 15 per cent of cases and 13 per cent of hospitalizations, Henry said, but deaths continue to occur primarily among older individuals, most of whom are fully vaccinated.

Henry said the majority of these older people, age 90 and older, live in long-term care and unvaccinated people are bringing the virus into those high-risk settings. She added this highlights the need for eligible adults to be immunized so children cannot carry the virus into situations with higher risk people.

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Although, there have been deaths among people in their 40s and 50s who were not vaccinated.

Read more: Interior Health continues to report highest number of new COVID-19 cases

Overall, vaccines are making a difference in our province, Henry said Tuesday.

Unvaccinated individuals are at much greater risk of infection, hospitalization, or death from COVID-19 than fully vaccinated individuals, the latest modelling shows.

Click to play video: 'Latest B.C. modelling shows a projected rise in daily COVID-19 cases' Latest B.C. modelling shows a projected rise in daily COVID-19 cases
Latest B.C. modelling shows a projected rise in daily COVID-19 cases – Sep 1, 2021
On Monday, health officials reported 1,853 new cases of COVID-19 over a span of three days, along with seven deaths.

There were 769 cases from Friday to Saturday, while 581 cases were reported from Saturday to Sunday, and 503 from Sunday to Monday.

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The Interior Health region continues to record the highest number of new cases of any health region.

Of the new cases, 707 were in Interior Health, 295 cases were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 531 were in the Fraser Health region, 178 were in Island Health, and 142 were in Northern Health.

The province said 76.4 per cent of eligible British Columbians aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated, and 84.2 per cent have received their first dose.

– with files from Jon Azpiri

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