Dix on rising number of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients in ICU: ‘Everyone would rather be doing something else’

Dix on rising number of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients in ICU: 'Everyone would rather be doing something else'
Government of B.C.
Premier John Horgan, Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, announce that the Province is launching the BC Vaccine Card, a digital or printed document that shows the stage cardholders are at in their COVID-19 vaccine progress.

Health Minister Adrian Dix sounded off on people who are not getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and ending up in the province’s critical care units.

In an impromptu news conference held Thursday afternoon, Dix provided an update on the number of COVID-19 patients in ICU and on the B.C. vaccine card.

He said as of Thursday, there are 130 people in critical care with COVID-19, with 111 not vaccinated. Ten patients are partially vaccinated and nine are fully vaccinated.

“None of those under 50 who are in ICU at present are fully vaccinated,” said Dix.

Those cases are broken down by age as follows:

  • 20-24: one person
  • 25-29: six people
  • 30-34: four people
  • 35-39: nine people
  • 40-44: five people
  • 45-49: seven people

“I want to be very plain. Everyone would rather be doing something else and everybody needs to get vaccinated, and these numbers demonstrate again the seriousness of COVID-19,” said Dix. “If you need to be in an ICU, the consequences are now and far into the future.”

According to a recent study from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the average cost of a COVID-related hospital stay is $23,000, and closer to $55,000 if that patient is admitted to ICU.

Overall, 85.3 per cent of those 12 and over have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 77.8 per cent have received a second dose.

The fastest-growing cohort is people aged 18-24, 86 per cent of which have been vaccinated, Dix said.

“Choosing to stay unvaccinated when we are able to be vaccinated is simply holding a red flag to a virus that spreads to live. You can see it in those critical care numbers,” he said.

Dix also said since the B.C. vaccine card was announced on Tuesday, 1,101,754 people have downloaded their card. He encouraged everyone to continue to access their card on the government’s website, as it will be required starting Sept. 13 for non-essential businesses including restaurants and gyms.

The health minister also addressed rumblings that another round of anti-vaccine card protests will be held at B.C. hospitals Friday, including Vancouver General.

“We’re looking at all of the steps need to be taken to ensure health care workers are safe and to ensure patients are safe,” he said.

Dix noted there is an “absolute right” to dissent in Canada but said there are other places to demonstrate than hospitals frequented by cancer patients and grieving family members.

“[It] serves no purpose at all,” he said.

On Wednesday, health officials reported 814 new COVID-19 cases but no new deaths since their last update on Sept. 7.

The number of confirmed cases in B.C. is now at 171,564 while the death toll remains at 1,842.

There are 385 active cases on Vancouver Island — 63 in North Island, 163 in Central Island and 159 in South Island — according to the latest update from Island Health.


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