B.C.’s top officials are scheduled to unveil how the province’s mass vaccination plan will roll out at a press conference Monday (March 1).
Present at the press conference will be Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and and Dr. Penny Ballem, the executive lead of the B.C. immunization rollout team.
It will be the province’s first vaccination plan update since Health Canada approved the AstraZeneca vaccine last week, which could speed up immunization efforts due to its easier storage requirements. The newest two-dose shot can be stored and transported at fridge temperatures, not the ultra-cold storage required for Pfizer or the freezer storage required for Moderna.
Currently, all of B.C.’s long-term care residents and staff have been offered the shot during phase one, with 90 per cent of each group having gotten their first dose. About half of both groups have received their second dose.
According to the province’s current posted vaccination plan, seniors 80 years of age and older living in the community, Indigenous seniors 65 years and up, vulnerable populations in congregate living settings and health-care staff who haven’t yet received a vaccine are next on the list.
Those vaccinations are scheduled to be wrapped up by the end of March, with mass immunizations beginning in April. Those will start at age 79 and move downwards in five year increments. By June, all people 60 years of age and older, as well as younger people deemed “clinically extremely vulnerable” are scheduled to have received at least their first dose. According to the province, front line essential workers aged 18 to 64 may get their shot in April, May or June if additional vaccines are available.
The last group, people between the ages of 18 and 59, are scheduled to get their vaccines between July and the end of September, with older individuals first in line.
As of Friday, B.C. has administered 252,373 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.
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