B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program moves to Phase 2 next month | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program moves to Phase 2 next month

Health minister Adrian Dix speaks to reporters at a COVID-19 briefing, Nov. 12, 2020.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.
February 19, 2021 - 5:00 PM

As the number of vaccines promised to B.C. increases, there is now some more clarity on when they will be rolled out into the community.

Up until now, the vaccination program has been in Phase 1, meaning it has focussed on seniors living in care homes and long-term care workers.

Phase 2 will focus on seniors over the age of 80 who live in the community but they will be subject to different scheduling based on their needs.

“If you’re connected to the health system, for instance, if you receive home support – you can expect to be vaccinated, in general, between March 1 and March 15,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said during a news briefing today, Feb. 19. “If you are in the general population – in other words, you are not connected through home support or independent living or others – you can expect to be vaccinated between March 15 and the end of March.”

After that, people aged 75 to 79 will be next in line.

The province administered a record 12,250 vaccines yesterday.

READ MORE: 508 new COVID cases in B.C.; 6 deaths

Dix expects that B.C. will receive between 45,000 and 55,000 doses in each of the two weeks.

Information on how to schedule vaccinations will be on the ImmunizeBC website soon, he said.

Given the effectiveness of the vaccines in long-term care homes, he hopes more people will be able to visit their loved ones living in those facilities soon.

“The fact of immunization and it’s obvious effect on the transmission of COVID-19 in long-term care is going to bring other changes, we believe in the month of March, where people will have more access,” he said.

“That’s why we did long-term care at the beginning, why we completed long-term care so early, in front of many other jurisdictions, because we understand that the impact of COVID-19 on long-term care is not just the unbelievable weight of tragedy of people who have lost their lives but also the quality of life in long-term care," Dix said. "The pandemic has negatively affected that and we want to move back, as soon as we can, to the best possible circumstances we can get to.”

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