VICTORIA -- B.C. health officials identified eight new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Friday.

The new cases were among 494 cases of COVID-19 found across the province over the past 24 hours.

The Island Health region has now confirmed 4,905 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while B.C. has recorded a total of 138,304 cases.

There are currently 182 active cases of COVID-19 in the island region, including 16 people in hospital and five more who require critical care.

Two more people have died of COVID-19 in B.C., according to health officials, bringing the province's death toll to 1,634.

No deaths were reported in the Vancouver Island region, where 39 people have died of COVID-19.

"Our condolences are with the family, friends and caregivers of the people who have died as a result of COVID-19," said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a joint statement.

B.C. has now administered 2,393,265 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including 124,880 second doses.

Health officials are reminding British Columbians that all adults can begin booking their vaccine appointments this weekend.

As of Friday, bookings have opened for British Columbians born in 1996 or earlier.

On Saturday, bookings will open for British Columbians born in 2001 or earlier, and on Sunday bookings will open for those born in 2003 or earlier.

"Don’t wait until you are eligible to book. Rather, take two minutes today to register in advance to fast track your appointment booking," said Henry and Dix.

"The fastest way to get your vaccine is to register. Anyone who is not registered should in one of three ways: through a provincial call-centre between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at 1-833-838-2323, in person at the nearest Service BC location or online, 24-7, (here)," said the pair.