Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the coronavirus situation in B.C. for March 26-27, 2022.
We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.
Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.
B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS
Here are the latest figures given on March 25:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 355,092
• New cases: 218
• Total deaths: 2,983 (two in the past 24 hours)
• Hospitalized cases: 260
• Intensive care: 50
• Total vaccinations: 4,526,941 received first dose (90.8% of eligible pop. 5+); 4,344,849 second doses (87.2%); 2,654,589 third doses (57.3% of those 12+)
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: Seven
B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS
LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.
Israeli study: 2nd vaccine booster significantly lowers COVID death rate
Senior citizens who received a second booster of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination had a 78% lower mortality rate from the disease than those who got one only, a study from Israel showed on Sunday.
The country’s largest healthcare provider, Clalit Health Services, said the 40-day study included more than half a million people aged 60 to 100.
Some 58% of participants had received a second booster – or two shots in addition to the basic two-shot regimen. The remainder had received only one booster. Researchers recorded 92 deaths among the first group and 232 deaths among the second, smaller group.
“The main conclusion is that the second booster is lifesaving,” said Ronen Arbel, Health Outcomes Researcher at Clalit and Sapir College.
The report was issued as a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed. The research excluded people who received rival Moderna’s vaccine and those who had taken oral anti-COVID therapy.
218 new cases reported Friday, two more deaths
Interior Health reported the highest number of new cases of COVID-19 across the province Friday, with 80 new cases.
Provincewide, there were 218 new cases of the virus reported on Friday, including 47 in Island Health, 45 in Fraser Health, 28 in Vancouver Coastal Health and 18 in Northern Health.
There were two more deaths, one in Vancouver Coastal Health and one in Northern Health, bringing the total number of COVID-19-related deaths up to 2,983.
The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 is 260, including 50 in intensive care.
— Cayley Dobie
The World Health Organization says it is reviewing its policies after opting not to accept a made-in-Canada COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.
Health Canada authorized Medicago’s two-dose Covifenz vaccine in February for adults 18 to 64.
WHO did not accept Medicago’s application to be added to the list of vaccines approved on an emergency basis because it has a strict policy not to engage with companies that promote tobacco, and Philip Morris owns about one-fifth of the company.
“Medicago was informed of this decision and has been apprised of WHO’s policies on tobacco,” the WHO said in a statement Friday.
That policy could change, as the WHO enters into discussions to explore different policy options for health products linked to the tobacco industry.
“WHO is currently holding discussions on how to address a general trend of the tobacco industry investing in the health industry,” the organization said.
—The Canadian Press
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says the federal government will commit another $2 billion to help provincial health systems work through their surgical and diagnostic backlogs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money, included in the newly tabled Bill C-17, follows a $4-billion top-up to the federal health transfer last summer and is expected to be a one-time payment, distributed equally based on population.
Throughout the pandemic hospitals across the country had to delay non-emergency procedures to make way for urgent COVID-19 cases.
That has led to delayed care for millions of Canadians, on top of already lengthy wait lists for many procedures and diagnostic tests.
In a report released last month, the Ontario Medical Association estimated the pandemic had delayed 21 million patient services in that province alone, including surgeries for preventative care, cancer screenings and diagnostic tests.
—The Canadian Press
DEATHS BY HEALTH AUTHORITY
WHAT’S HAPPENING ACROSS CANADA
LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information
Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.
–with files from The Canadian Press