B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix talked about COVID-19 patients in hospital, vaccination rates among various age groups, and people who refuse to get vaccinated in an impromptu news conference on Thursday afternoon.
Dix said 130 people are in intensive care with COVID-19 right now. Of those, 111 have not been vaccinated, or about 85 per cent, while another 10 have only had one dose.
“Because of the circumstances right now in ICU, we are delaying some non-urgent surgeries and making adjustments at some hospitals, including Surrey Memorial and Vancouver General,” Dix said.
The fastest-growing age group for vaccines is the 18 to 24 year olds, Dix said, with 86 per cent of that population now vaccinated.
As of Thursday, 85.3 per cent (3,955,624) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 77.8 per cent (3,608,067) received their second dose.
But Dix wants to see that number rise, and stressed again the importance of being vaccinated.
“Choosing to stay unvaccinated when we are able to be vaccinated is simply holding a red flag to a virus that spreads to where you can see it in those critical care numbers,” he said.
“We need to know that after all we’ve been through, the data is clear, the evidence conclusive, the science definite. And just to say that, there is absolutely nothing heroic in presenting a target for COVID-19, there’s nothing altruistic in attracting. It’s infectious. There is nothing gained by anyone when someone falls victim to its vicious hold
“That shows, I think, an extraordinary response, he said. “I want to appreciate everyone and encourage everyone to continue to download the vaccine card and to see that kind of response is, I think, a demonstration of people’s commitment and their individual willingness to support this program.”