As British Columbia’s vaccination program continues to pick up some serious steam, people are unsurprisingly thinking ahead to when life might return to some sense of normalcy.
As of today, more than 50% of BC’s eligible adult population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
By the time we’re through the May long weekend, which is when the current health restrictions are in effect until, that number should increase to around 60%.
Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed today that all restrictions will remain in place through the long weekend and it will be a slow process to remove them after that.
“We will not be seeing any changes to the measures we have in place right now until after the May long weekend and even then it’s not going to be flicking the switch,” explained Henry
“It’s going to be gradually and slowly increasing the light, and that is important for all of us. We can see a future where we don’t have to have COVID-19 ruling our lives.”
Henry explained that while lots of people are now vaccinated, there’s still a lot of virus circulating.
“We won’t get to the bottom of our infection curve until we get to a much higher immunization rate,” she said, once again stressing that everyone needs to register to get vaccinated.
“It’s also why it’s incredibly important for us to continue to take those measures that break the chains of transmission in our families, in our communities (and) in our workplaces.”
While 60% or more of the population having at least one dose will surely be enough to ease certain restrictions, Henry presented data that showed why other restrictions will have to wait.
Between Dec. 27 and May 1, 78,020 (98.2%) of cases in BC have come in people who aren’t vaccinated or are less than 21 days since their first vaccination.
Another 1,340 cases (1.7%) have come in people who are beyond 21 days since receiving their first vaccination, the amount of time it takes for one dose to become the most effective.
The rest, just 120 cases (0.2%), were found in people who were beyond seven days since their second vaccination.
Given those numbers, it’s easy to see why health officials will be cautious until more people have received their first and second doses.
What that means for BC’s restrictions over the coming weeks remains to be seen, but it’s expected that health officials will unveil some sort of reopening plan for the province after the long weekend.