Some good news on an otherwise dark day in B.C.’s COVID-19 response.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu says Canada’s review of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine candidate is “expected to be completed soon.”

It comes on the same day that news has emerged that the U.K. has approved the vaccine.

Provincial health officer, Doctor Bonnie Henry called it “clear evidence that we have light ahead,” but cautioned that it’s going to take some time before we get there.

“In B.C. we are working very hard to put together our immunization strategy for everybody across the province who wants to be immunized, and we will be ready to provide it to the high priority populations as soon as (the) vaccine is available for us here in B.C.,” she added. 

In Wednesday’s briefing, Dr. Henry announced 834 new cases including 20 on Vancouver Island. 

The virus also claimed 12 more lives, bringing the death toll to 469.

Until a vaccine is available for everybody, Dr. Henry asked all of us to do a little bit more to slow the spread of the virus.

“Most importantly, to protect those who are most at risk, particularly our seniors and elders, and we hope and expect that vaccines will be ready in the next few weeks, but this virus continues to move and move quickly between us and it takes lives,” she said.

She added that we continue to see “unchecked transmission” despite the best efforts of the province, which is why continuing to follow health orders is most important.

More than ever, she asked everybody in B.C. to consider the importance to not travel unless it’s for work or medical care.