COVID-19 update for Oct. 18: Moderna appears to give higher antibody levels than Pfizer: Henry | Colin Powell dies at 84 from COVID-19 complications | 667 new cases, 13 deaths on Friday

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Oct. 18, 2021.


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We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


As of the latest figures given on Oct. 15:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 196,433 (5,128 active)
• New cases since Oct. 13: 667
• Total deaths: 2,055 (13 additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 367
• Intensive care: 152
• Total vaccinations: 4,126,668 received first dose; 3,848,689 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 188,851
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 19


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IN-DEPTH:   Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021 | in 2020


COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: B.C.’s vaccine passport is here and this is how it works

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine proving to last longer than rival from Pfizer, says B.C. provincial health officer

The COVID-19 vaccine produced by Moderna is proving to be longer lasting than its rival Pfizer vaccine and better suited as a booster shot for some people who are severely immunocompromised, according to B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.


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Both vaccines are approved for use in Canada and widely used in B.C.

At a press conference last week, Henry said her office was increasingly getting information on which vaccines worked as well or better than others — based mostly on studies of COVID-19 antibodies remaining in people’s blood after vaccination.

This antibody response is crucial to how vaccines work, as this response is what fights off the disease.

“As I said many times, we don’t yet have an absolute correlative protection (100 per cent protection), but Moderna seems to give higher antibody levels that stay longer,” Henry said.

This was most likely because the Moderna mRNA vaccine has a higher amount of antigen (the substance that creates an immune response) than the Pfizer vaccine.


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Read more HERE .

— David Carrigg

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell dies of COVID-19 complications

WASHINGTON — Colin Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state and top military officer, died on Monday at the age of 84 due to complications from COVID-19. He was fully vaccinated, his family said in a statement on Facebook.

“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” his family said.

Powell was one of America’s foremost Black figures for decades.

Powell, who was wounded in Vietnam, served as U.S. national security adviser under President Ronald Reagan from 1987 to 1989. As a four-star Army general, he was chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush during the 1991 Gulf War.


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Powell, a moderate Republican and a pragmatist, considered a bid to become the first Black president in 1996 but his wife Alma’s worries about his safety helped him decide otherwise. In 2008, he broke with his party to endorse Democrat Barack Obama, who became the first Black elected to the White House.

— Reuters

Cancelled flights and tightened rules hit travellers from Vancouver to Hong Kong

Vancouver travel agent Glynnis Chan’s client was on the Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong last week where one passenger aboard was confirmed to have COVID-19 when tested upon arrival.

The case, in part, led to Hong Kong’s Department of Health banning Air Canada flights from Vancouver to Hong Kong for the next two weeks until Oct. 29, and is an example of the unpredictable snafus that can crop up, said Chan.


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In an email, an Air Canada spokesperson said passengers on the four now cancelled Vancouver to Hong Kong flights are being rebooked or given refunds if rebooking within three hours of their original departure time isn’t possible.

“Things can change very quickly, even just when you land,” said Chan.

Authorities in Hong Kong are tightening rules after 58 of the total 59 reported COVID cases for the first half of October were attributed to incoming travellers.

Read more HERE .

— Joanne Lee-Young

667 new cases of COVID-19, 13 deaths

B.C. reported 667 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, for a total of 196,433 cases in the province.

There are 5,128 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 188,851 people who tested positive have recovered.


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Of the active cases, 367 individuals are in hospital and 152 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.


Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:


LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press



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