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Vaccine rollout targets 80+ crowd within weeks

More information about the vaccine rollout is expected from the provincial government on Monday.
Dr. Bonnie Henry - Dec. 17, 2020
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C. Provincial Health Officer.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, said seniors aged 80 and older who aren’t immunized will be contacted over the next two weeks about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. 

This move comes as the province starts Phase 2 of the vaccination program. 

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Tuesday 287,950 doses of vaccine had just arrived in B.C.

So far, residents, staff and essential workers of long-term care homes have received vaccines in Richmond with many facilities well over 90-per-cent vaccinated. 

In addition to seniors over 80, Phase 2 will include Indigenous seniors aged 65 and older, hospital staff, GPs and medical specialist who haven’t been vaccinated yet, and “vulnerable people living and working in congregated settings” - for example, shelters, single-room occupancy homes and correctional facilities - as well as staff in community home support and nursing services for seniors. 

As of Tuesday, the province of B.C. had administered almost 225,000 vaccines across the province. 

Phase 3 and 4 will be getting vaccines to the general population, and this is expected to run from April to September.

The provincial government’s plan is to distribute them based on age, in five-year increments, starting with those aged 75 to 79.

Immunization clinics are being organized in 172 communities across B.C. and will be in school gyms, arenas, convention halls and community halls in what Henry said will be done “at a scale that we’ve not done in many, many years.”

The City of Richmond has been in communication with Vancouver Coastal Health to “assist in whatever capacity it can to establish vaccination centres in the community should it require our support to do so,” explained city spokesperson Clay Adams. 

The public will be able to book COVID-19 vaccines online or by phone and then they will be contacted when they are eligible for the second vaccine.

Those who are vaccinated are still encouraged to wear a mask in public, wash their hands, physically distance and stay home if sick or being tested.

The provincial government notes COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted based on several factors, for example, the level of community immunity and the health-care system capacity.

More details on the vaccination rollout are expected on Monday from the province. 

- With files from Glacier Media/Times-Colonist