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HomeNewsPhase 2 of province's immunization plan places high focus on seniors

Phase 2 of province’s immunization plan places high focus on seniors

(Graphic supplied by BC Government)

Premier John Horgan and BC Health officials announced more details today (Monday) on the provincial government’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

As expected, the province is ramping up its vaccination program as we head towards the spring.

Over 400,000 people province-wide are expected to be immunized from March to early April as Phase 2 ͞kicked off today (Monday)

People to receive their first vaccine dose during this portion of the plan will include :

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  • Seniors and high-risk people residing in independent living and senior͛s supportive housing (including staff);
  • Home-care support clients and staff;
  • Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) peoples born in or before 1956 (65 years and older); and
  • Seniors born in or before 1941 (80 years and older).

Starting next week,  seniors aged 80+ and Indigenous peoples aged 65+ who are not living in independent living or seniors͛ supportive housing can make one call to book their appointment through their local health authority call center.

This will help avoid long waits and system overload.

In addition, immunization clinic locations will be confirmed at the time of booking, with vaccinations starting as early as March 15th.

Immunizing other priority groups identified in Phase 2, many of whom have already received their first dose, is also underway, including:

      • Indigenous communities, Indigenous Elders, hospital staff, community general practitioners, and medical specialists not immunized in Phase 1;
      • Vulnerable populations living and working in select congregate settings; and ‡ staff in community home support and nursing services for seniors.

    “We can now see the light at the end of what has been a difficult and challenging time for us all. To get us through, we need to continue to work together and support each other,” said Dr.
    Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer.

    “We are working hard each and every day to make sure that everyone who wants a vaccine gets one, and my new provincial health officer order significantly expands the range of health professions and occupations who can support our immunization clinics, including dentists, midwives, pharmacy technicians, paramedics, firefighters, and retired nurses,” added Henry.

    (Graphic supplied by BC Government)

    ͞Phase 3 of the mass vaccination plan will be rolled out in mid-April starting with people aged 79 to 60 years, and people aged 16+ who are extremely clinically vulnerable.

    During this time, mobile clinics will be available in some rural communities and for people who are homebound due to mobility issues.

    People born between 1942 and 1946 (ages 79-75), and Indigenous people born between the years of 1956 and 1960 (ages 64-60), will also be able to register for an appointment online or by phone by March 31st.

    “This immunization process is a massive undertaking and I thank the regional health authorities, the thousands of health-care workers and medical staff, our colleagues in the Ministry of Health, and the many community partners who help us to deliver care and who have been working tirelessly throughout this pandemic for their dedication and support,” said Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead for B.C.͛s immunization plan. ͞

    “Phase 2 is right on schedule, and we are working closely with each of the regional health authorities to make sure that they have the tools and resources needed to safely and efficiently book appointments.”

    As of Friday, 252,373 people in B.C. have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, including 73,808 who have received their second dose.

    Here is a complete look at the phased approach:

    Phase 1 (substantially complete, some ongoing)

        • Residents and staff in long-term care facilities (complete
        • Individuals assessed for and awaiting long-term care (complete)
        • Residents and staff of assisted living residences (complete)
        • Essential visitors to long-term care facilities and assisted living residences (complete)
        • Remote and isolated Indigenous communities (ongoing)
        • Health-care workers providing care for COVID-19 patients in settings like intensive care units, emergency departments, paramedics, medical units, and surgical units (ongoing)

    Phase 2 (current). Timeline: February to April 2021

        • Seniors aged 80+ who are not immunized in Phase 1
        • Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) peoples, age 65 and over and Elders, and additional Indigenous communities not immunized in Phase 1
        • Hospital staff, community general practitioners, and medical specialists not immunized in Phase 1 (ongoing)
        • Vulnerable populations living and working in select congregated settings (ongoing) ‡ Staff in community home support and nursing services for seniors (ongoing)

    Phase 3 ʹ General population immunization. Timeline: April to June 2021

    People aged 79 to 60, in five-year increments

        • 79 to 75; April (Dose 1)/May (Dose 2)
        • 74 to 70; April (Dose 1)/May (Dose 2)
        • 69 to 65; May or June (Dose 1)/June or July (Dose 2)
        • 64 to 60; June (Dose 1) /July (Dose 2)
        • 69 to 16 who are clinically extremely vulnerable; Doses one and two to occur between April and June.

    Phase 4. Timeline: July to September 2021

    People aged 59 to 18, in five-year increments: 

      • 59 to 55; July (Dose 1)/August (Dose 2)
      • 54 to 50; July (Dose 1)/August (Dose 2)
      • 49 to 45; July (Dose 1)/ August (Dose 2)
      • 44 to 40; July (Dose 1)/ August (Dose 2)
      • 39 to 35; July or August (Dose 1)/August or September (Dose 2)
      • 34 to 30; August (Dose 1)/September (Dose 2)
      • 29 to 25; August or September (Dose 1)/September (Dose 2)
      • 24 to 18; Doses one and two to occur in September
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