Provincial Health Officer, Dr.Bonnie Henry says Health Canada’s approval of two new versions of COVID-19 vaccines is very encouraging news for BC.

“Today, the Government of Canada announced the approval of two versions of a new COVID-19 vaccine – the viral vector vaccine produced by Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Verity-Serum Institute of India vaccine,” Henry stated,” unlike the vaccines that have been available to date, this new, two-dose viral vector vaccine has the benefit of being ‘fridge stable,’ making it much easier to transport and distribute around the province.

She added the vaccines will be integrated into BC’s immunization program, as delivery and supply is confirmed in the coming weeks.

The news comes as the province sees 589 new cases, as BC currently has 4,665 active.

Northern Health saw 45 more people test positive, accounting for about 8% of the province’s total new cases.

The region now has 288 active cases, while 33 are in hospital, 12 of whom are in ICU.

4,119 people have recovered in the North as the region recovery rate is now 91%.

Across BC, 232 people are currently hospitalized with 63 of whom are in ICU.

To date, 252,373 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in BC, 73,808 of which are second doses

7 more people have passed away boosting the provincial death toll to 1,355.

With 73,188 people recovered in BC, the provincial recovery rate is still 92%.

Breakdown by Region:

Northern: 4,223 (+45)

Interior: 7,334 (+39)

Vancouver Coastal: 18,328 (+157)

Fraser: 46,614 (+317)

Vancouver Island: 2,311 (+31)