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Northern Health sees 134 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths over weekend

Vaccination booking invitations for kids 5 to 11 begin Monday
Hospital patient - getty images jackyenjoyphotography
A ventilator monitor gives information about a COVID-19 patient

Over a three-day period, B.C. is reporting 870 new cases of COVID-19 with 134 of those cases occurring in Northern Health.

The region now has 398 active cases, while the province is reporting 2,882 active cases of COVID-19 in total.

The past 72 hours also saw 11 new deaths in B.C. with three of the deaths occurring in Northern health.

Of the province-wide active cases, 303 individuals are currently in hospital and 115 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

In Northern Health there are currently 48 people hospitalized with 14 of them in critical care.

Health minister Adrian Dix says those who registered their children aged five to 11 should expect to receive an invitation to book an appointment starting Monday (Nov. 29). 

Dix says about 104,000 children of that group are registered to get vaccinated of the 350,000 eligible to receive the modified dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Health Canada approved the pediatric shot for use in Canada after an independent scientific review confirmed the first vaccine formulated for younger children is safe and effective. 

Dr. Penny Ballem, the executive lead for B.C.'s vaccination drive, has said she expects the full children's immunization effort including second doses to conclude by the end of January.

Also Monday, Dix said the province won't be making specific changes in response to the latest variant of concern out of southern Africa. 

He says the Omicron variant only shows residents need to continue to be vigilant and get their vaccinations. 

Dix says 400,000 people have already had their booster dose, which will also limit the spread when the Omicron variant makes its way to B.C. 

From Nov. 19-25, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 59 per cent of cases and from Nov. 12-25 they accounted for 67.2 per cent of hospitalizations.

As of Monday, Nov. 29 the province is reporting 91.1 per cent or 4,223,237 of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 87.8 per cent or 4,067,778 received their second dose.

In addition, 91.5 per cent or 3,957,892 of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 88.3 per cent 3,818,730 received their second dose.

-with files from the Canadian Press