Northern Health region adds 86 cases Tuesday, new data suggests booster doses may not be necessary yet

NOTE: The COVID-19 Dashboard was not updated again today. Some regional data is unavailable. VICTORIA, B.C. – …

NOTE: The COVID-19 Dashboard was not updated again today. Some regional data is unavailable.

VICTORIA, B.C. – The Northern Health region added 86 cases on Tuesday, moving the active case count to 606.

There were four COVID-19 deaths recorded Tuesday in the region.

British Columbia added 406 new cases on Tuesday, moving the active case count to 4,694.

There are 445 people in hospital, 137 of whom are in critical care.

There were five deaths recorded Tuesday, moving the provincial total to 2,186.

Of the 206,690 cases since last March, 199,480 have since recovered.

As of Tuesday, 90.4 per cent of eligible residents over 12 have a single dose of a Health Canada approved vaccine and 85.4 per cent have received both doses.

Last week, health officials announced plans to administer booster shots to residents who want one six to eight months from their previous dose.

The Province prioritized those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, those who got two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and those who work in acute care to be immunized first, followed by the general population starting next year.

According to several new studies, a booster may not be necessary for those who got either two mRNA vaccine doses or a mix of AstraZeneca and an mRNA vaccine, as long as those doses were given at an interval of 8 to 12 weeks.

Dr. Brian Grunau with the University of British Columbia’s Department of Emergency Medicine says early results suggest longer vaccine dose intervals may lead to enhanced immune responses.

“The interaction between vaccine dosing intervals may play a role in the timing and need for third vaccines,” Grunau said. “Our data suggest that the immune response is prolonged in those who have longer vaccine dosing intervals, so this may make individuals who have longer dosing intervals less required of a booster shot earlier on.”

A study published October 26th by Dr. Danuta Skowronski of the BC CDC among others found the immune response from two shots given at extended intervals is robust, and the need and timing of a third dose warrant serious reflection by decision-makers.

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