Ninety-six per cent of the COVID-19 cases recorded from June 15 to July 15 were among people who were either only partially vaccinated or not vaccinated at all, B.C.’s health minister says.
“If you take all the cases from June 15 to July 15, 78 per cent of those cases are among those who are unvaccinated,” Adrian Dix said.
“I think the evidence will encourage more people to get vaccinated. That tells you people should need to get vaccinated. We are seeing new cases and they are largely in unvaccinated people.”
The B.C. government will not require people to get the vaccine, but will not stop private businesses from doing so.
The seven-day rolling average for new cases rose from 42 new cases a day one week ago, to 73 new cases a day on Friday.
Most of the new cases are linked to indoor social gatherings at people’s homes, Dix said.
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“We are not going to deny access to services. Based on your vaccinated. That is our position. It will not be mandatory in that sense. There will be requirements in certain sense if people are not vaccinated,” Dix said.
“I think if you are going to have someone over to your house for dinner, you should ask them if they have been vaccinated, and it’s ok to tell them not to come if they haven’t been.”
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As of Friday, 80.3 per cent of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received at least one vaccine.
The province is hoping to hit 85 per cent immunization.
All five health authorities have been adopting additional strategies to supplement the mass immunization clinics, including pop-up clinics for first doses at parks, amusement parks, and beaches.
Dr. Navdeep Grewal of the South Asian COVID-19 Task Force said the province or private businesses should consider vouchers for food or sports tickets to encourage immunization.
“I think it is that final 10 per cent (of the population) we need to get vaccinated, so we can avoid the fourth wave in the fall and winter,” Grewal said.
“We need to find out where they are gathering, give them the information they need, and then give them that first dose that is so needed.”