91% of B.C. long-term care residents have received a COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

More than 30,000 residents of long-term care homes and nearly 6,000 residents of assisted-living facilities in B.C. have received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to data released by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control Friday.

Those figures equate to 91 per cent of all long-term care residents in the province and 95 per cent of all residents of assisted-living facilities. 

The numbers were released on the same day that the BCCDC announced preliminary data suggesting that just one shot could reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection by 80 per cent or more.  

Deputy provincial health officer Dr. Reka Gustafson highlighted the findings during her briefing on the pandemic Friday afternoon, calling them "very encouraging."

"We are seeing a decline in outbreaks and we are seeing, a local assessment of effectiveness has shown us, that there is substantial protection in the frail elderly from vaccination," Gustafson said. "This is a very important finding, because this is the population at highest risk of severe illness, and it's not a population that always responds particularly well to vaccines."

As of Friday, B.C. has administered 192,942 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, 36,923 of which were second doses.

That total includes 12,250 doses that were administered on Thursday, the largest number of shots B.C. has given in a single day so far.

Health Minister Adrian Dix called the rate of vaccination in long-term care and assisted-living homes across B.C. "excellent," and said the high levels of immunization have corresponded with a decrease in both the number and size of COVID-19 outbreaks in such facilities.

In long-term care, the immunization rate is highest in the Fraser Health region, where 92 per cent of residents have now received at least a first shot. The rate is 91 per cent in the Island Health region, 90 per cent in Vancouver Coastal Health, 89 per cent in Interior Health and 85 per cent in Northern Health.

The same pattern holds in assisted-living facilities, with Fraser Health having the highest immunization rate (97 per cent) and Northern Health the lowest (86 per cent). Ninety-six per cent of assisted-living residents in Vancouver Coastal Health have received at least one shot, while 94 per cent of residents in Island Health and Interior Health have.

Data on the immunization of staff in long-term care and assisted-living facilities, as well as on the number of second doses administered, will be released next week, Dix said. 

 

- With files from CTV -