Sunday April 18, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends
On a Sunday morning is when the BC news release rolled in. Usually a slow day for the media.
The BC Government has issued a new immunization schedule where all adults — age 18+ — can know their date to register for receiving their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine through the BC Get Vaccinated program.
BC Health says the new invitation to register represents 1.8 million more British Columbians who may add their name to the vaccination appointment queue.
There has always been urgency in this pandemic, but the sped-up schedule be a result of two things — increased assurance of vaccine supply but also the prevalence of the more transmissible COVID-19 variants in BC communities.
As well, the government seems to be responding to public concern about frontline and essential workers as well as youth who’ve so far been not consistently served or even could be seen as being ‘left to last’.
Which type of vaccine:
Today’s news release did not specify which vaccine type would be used in the ramped up rollout. Last week Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry said that Pfizer and Moderna (the mRNA types) were being used in the government-organized clinics, with AstraZeneca (viral vector type) going to the pharmacies and for remote ‘all of community’ programs.
Register when your age group comes up:
A new schedule for age cohorts to register ensures people know when it is their turn. To preserve system capacity, please wait until your age cohort is eligible to register:
- Monday, April 19 – Registration opens for people aged 40 and up (born 1981 or earlier)
- Tuesday, April 20 – Registration opens for people aged 35 and up (born 1986 or earlier)
- Wednesday, April 21 – Registration opens for people aged 30 and up (born 1991 or earlier)
- Thursday, April 22 – Registration opens for people aged 25 and up (born 1996 or earlier)
- Friday, April 23 – Registration opens for people aged 18 and up (born 2003 or earlier)
Where and how to register:
The fastest way to register is online at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated.html
To register, people need their personal health number (found on their CareCard or on the back of their driver’s licence or BC Services Card), their postal code, first and last name, date of birth and an email address that gets checked regularly or a phone number that can receive text messages.
The previous rollout:
People born in 1976 and earlier (45 and up), Indigenous peoples 18 and up, and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are already invited to register through B.C.’s new Get Vaccinated system in one of three ways:
- Quickly online, 24-7, at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated.html
- Through a provincial call centre between 7 am to 7 pm (Pacific time) at 1-833-838-2323
- In person at the nearest Service BC location
Register first, then wait for a booking:
Registration is the first step. Once registered, people will be contacted when it is their turn to book a vaccine appointment. People over age 63 have already been invited to book.
B.C.’s age-based program runs parallel to the pharmacy program for people age 55 and up. Now, anyone over the age of 55 is eligible to be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine in local pharmacies throughout the province. A full list of participating pharmacies is here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/pharmacy
Pharmacies offering vaccines in the west shore:
In the west shore, as of Friday April 16 there were five pharmacies in Langford offering the AstraZeneca vaccine, one in Colwood, and one in Sooke.
According to the BC Pharmacy Association, pharmacies are selected based on:
- Priority communities identified by Regional Health Authorities.
- Pharmacies that can handle larger quantities of vaccines.
- Infrastructure in place to mobilize vaccine doses as they arrive (e.g. staff capacity and physical layout).
Since the Get Vaccinated provincial registration and booking system started on April 6, more than 1.1 million British Columbians have registered and more than 400,000 have booked their shot.
As of April 17, 2021, more than 1.2 million people in B.C. have received their first vaccine dose, with that number increasing every day.
The supply of Pfizer vaccines in particular has been increasingly reassuring. Health Minister Adrian Dix calls the Pfizer vaccine “the workhorse vaccine” for its reliability of supply and evident success of acceptance by the population. The other two types of vaccines in the system so far (i.e. as approved by Health Canada) are Moderna and AstraZeneca.
As of April 16 BC had received 1,696,370 doses of vaccine (Pfizer 930,199, Moderna 228,796, and AstraZeneca 123,096). In Island Health, the supply received at April 16 was 269,330 (Pfizer 189,930, Moderna 79,400, and AstraZeneca now zero though previously 1,000 but was reallocated afterward to the Lower Mainland).
During the week of April 19 to 23, 2021, anyone age 18 years or older can register for their COVID vaccination starting with age 40+ on Monday April 19 | Age 35+ starting Tuesday April 20 | Age 30+ starting Wednesday April 21 | Age 25+ starting Thursday April 22 | Age 18+ starting Friday April 23. | BC Immunization Plan | Get Vaccinated
Premier John Horgan got his first dose (AstraZeneca) on April 16 (Island Social Trends – April 16, 2021)