Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Most B.C. COVID cases are in 20 to 40-year-olds with 1 or fewer doses: top doctor

B.C. health minister warns that the unimmunized might face consequences at work or in travel

British Columbia’s top doctor says the surge in COVID-19 cases is fuelled by those between the ages of 20 and 40 who are unvaccinated or have only had one dose.

The latest daily case count reached 342 on Wednesday, a figure not seen since late May, but Dr. Bonnie Henry says clusters of infections were expected.

Henry says the key is that health officials aren’t seeing widespread transmission to at-risk groups such as seniors because they have a high rate of immunization.

She says pandemic modelling shows the Delta variant is more transmissible, which means immunization rates must go up, and even a small increase in vaccinations makes a difference.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says people aren’t obliged to get vaccinated, but warns that the unimmunized might face consequences at work and certainly if they hope to travel outside of the country.

The government’s promotion of “Walk-in Wednesday” saw more than 16,500 people go to clinics across the province without an appointment to get vaccinated, with more than 6,000 going for their first shot.

—The Canadian Press

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