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How some people are getting their vaccinations early

Spouses 70 and over can be vaccinated along with their age-qualifying other half at Interior Health COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
March 24, 2021 - 7:00 AM

A little-known vaccination policy in British Columbia is allowing some seniors an opportunity to jump the queue in getting their vaccinations.

An reader, who was granted anonymity, said a friend was booking an appointment for his 84-year-old wife’s vaccination through Interior Health last week.

During the booking, the call taker provided an appointment date but then offered the spouse an appointment at the same time, even though the spouse was 72 and not yet eligible.

He informed the call taker, and was told it was no problem.

When asked about vaccination policy in this instance, Interior Health said today, March 23 if a person currently eligible to book their vaccination has a spouse who is 70 years or older, they can both be booked to receive their shots at the same time so they don’t have to make two separate trips to the clinic.

Interior Health says the call agent will ask at the time of booking if they have a spouse who is eligible and book them both.

Officially, Interior Health is booking vaccination appointments for those in their late 70s this week. 

The age-based vaccination program is working concurrently with the immunization plan addressing areas where outbreaks occur. While Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are predominantly being used for the age-based program, AstraZeneca supplies are rolling out quickly in places like ski resorts or nurseries and greenhouses. 

People working and living at Big White Ski Resort east of Kelowna were allowed to attend an immunization clinic held at the mountain over the weekend. The clinic could be used by “people who live in a congregate setting within a non-family household at Big White” according to a post on the resort’s website, and could be any age.

A COVID-19 cluster on the mountain eventually infected 237 people.

Interior Health gave the following vaccination totals for Kamloops and the three major Okanagan cities as of March 23:

  • Kamloops 2,800
  • Kelowna 4,100
  • Vernon 1,200
  • Penticton 1,500

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