British Columbia health officials are strongly encouraging everyone who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine to get one as hospitalizations linked to the disease reached a new record.
The province confirmed 1,168 new cases and six more deaths Wednesday.
There are 397 people in hospital, 120 of whom are in intensive care.
Almost 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 87,820 of which are second doses.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say in a joint statement that everyone 55 and older is now eligible to get a shot.
They also say they are pleased with Health Canada's authorization of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for all adults and they are awaiting advice from the National Advisory Council on Immunization to determine how best to use it going forward.
"We strongly encourage everyone who is now eligible for a vaccine to arrange for your appointment today. This not only protects you, but also provides greater protection to everyone around you," their statement says.
The provincial "Get Vaccinated" program is providing vaccines to people 64 and older, Indigenous people 18 and up, as well as people who have received a letter confirming they are clinically extremely vulnerable.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is available to anyone 55 and older through local pharmacies.