Eryn Collins, a Media Spokesperson with Northern Health, confirms that the vaccine will be available in Quesnel early next week…
“And that vaccine that we have on hand at this time is targeted to immunizing people in long-term care and assisted living facilities, and the staff and healthcare workers who provide care in those settings, as well as in critical care areas.”
Collins says while they are facing challenges right now, such as delays in getting a supply of vaccines, she says Northern Health is confident that it won’t impact their schedule too much.
“But we are optimistic that everyone in the first priority groups that have been established or identified for receiving vaccine first, that we are committed to immunizing everyone in those groups who want the vaccine by the end of March.”
Collins says there are several logistical challenges in administering the Pfizer vaccine…
“One of the key things about the vaccine itself and the types of vaccines that have been approved so far is that they need to be handled very carefully, and particularly the Pfizer vaccine that has to be maintained at ultra low temperature, so that has obviously logistical considerations around transporting it and making sure that it stays in the state that it is supposed to be in.”
In addition to supply issues, Collins says other challenges with this vaccine include how it is handled and transported as it has to be stored at -80 degrees, but there is also training for the immunizers as well, because this is unlike other vaccines that they will have administered.
Collins says they expect to be able to immunize all northern BC residents who wish to have the vaccine by the end of the year.