Vaccine rollout in long-term care homes should be finished by end of February: IH | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vaccine rollout in long-term care homes should be finished by end of February: IH

FILE PHOTO - A container of COVID-19 vaccinations is seen in this Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 photo. It was the first delivery in B.C. of approximately 4,000 doses of the first approved COVID-19 vaccine. With rising numbers of outbreaks and COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region long-term care homes, the rush is on to get as many people vaccinated as possible.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.
January 13, 2021 - 2:19 PM

With rising numbers of outbreaks and COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region long-term care homes, the rush is on to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

It will take until the end of February, at least, for all residents, staff and essential visitors to get the vaccination, Interior Health’s chief medical health officer Dr. Albert de Villiers said during a news briefing today, Jan. 13. It takes 10 to 14 days before the vaccine becomes effective.

The timeline also depends on how quickly new supplies of the COVID-19 vaccines arrive in the B.C. Interior.

“The good news is, up until yesterday, of the vaccine we have received we have used 98 per cent,” Dr. de Villiers said. “I’m just giving people the assurance that, as soon as we get the vaccine, we’re putting it into people’s arms. There’s not any sitting in a fridge doing nothing.”

There have been more than 200 residents and staff of long-term care homes in the Interior Health region who have been infected during COVID-19 outbreaks over the past few weeks, with the numbers of those infected and dying growing daily.

READ MORE: Death toll mounts in Okanagan long-term care homes

Dr. de Villiers has received many calls from people wondering when they’re going to get vaccinated.

The priority is long-term care homes and acute care hospitals. It won’t be until March that vaccines are expected to roll out into the broader community starting with older age groups.

Exactly how that will unfold is still being worked out.

More information is available on the immunebc.ca website here.

People can also call the 811 help line, but Dr. de Villiers said don’t bother doing that right now because callers will be told to wait until vaccines are available for the second priority group in a couple of months.


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