Monday April 5, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends
“We are working hard to deliver an easy-to-use provincial booking system for all British Columbians and know everyone is eager to book their appointment, beginning next week,” is what BC Health said before the Easter Long Weekend. The launch date has already been set for Tuesday April 6, which is finally tomorrow.
Today from the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health, came the announcement that all eligible adults in B.C. will soon be able to follow an easy, three-step process to register and book their vaccine appointments online, as the Province moves to Phase 3 of B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan ahead of schedule.
“Millions to book vaccine appointments online,” was their news release header.
“We have worked diligently and tirelessly to get this online registration, booking and tracking system ready for British Columbians,” said Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead, B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization program.
“I want to thank the regional health authorities for delivering the clinics. Now, with the help of the new online and single phone number system, we’re ready to move onto the next phase of the largest vaccination program in B.C. history,” said Ballem in today’s news release.
Three-step appointment booking:
“British Columbians faced the countless challenges of this past year with incredible courage,” said Premier John Horgan. “Today marks a major milestone in our fight against COVID-19, and we ask everyone to wait their turn and follow three steps to help put this pandemic behind us.”
The booking system is still based on age in descending order. Before the long weekend the youngest eligible age was 72.
Starting at 8 a.m. (Pacific time), on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, people born in 1950 and earlier (71 and older), Indigenous peoples 18 and older, and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable may register to book their vaccine appointment through the Province’s new ‘Get Vaccinated’ system.
There are three steps to register to book your vaccine appointment online at: gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated.html) :
- 1. Register: First, register when it is your turn and get a confirmation code.
- 2. Book: Book a vaccine appointment when you get an email, text or phone call telling you you are eligible to book, based on your age.
- 3. Get vaccinated: Visit a vaccine clinic to get your vaccine dose.
Or, people can phone through a provincial call centre (toll-free) at 1 833 838-2323 or can book in person at the nearest Service BC location.
Encouraging everyone to get vaccinated:
“We encourage everyone in B.C. to get their vaccine at their first opportunity, when it is their turn,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. As of Thursday April 1 — just ahead of the Easter long weekend — Dix was pleased to report that 16.28% of 4.3 million eligible British Columbians (i.e. adults) have received a COVID vaccine injection so far. But he reinforced that there’s a long way to go toward herd immunity (generally thought to be 60% to 70% of the full population.
Today BC Health said that so far nearly 770,000 eligible British Columbians — about 17.9% or one in six — have received their first dose of vaccine, and more than 87,000 have received their second dose.
If B.C.’s vaccine supply is delivered as scheduled, everyone in B.C. who is eligible for the vaccine will receive their first dose by the end of June.
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC) COVID stats dashboard has not been updated since April 1, due to the Easter long weekend.
When is it your turn?
How do you know when it’s your turn? BC Health advises to “check in regularly to know when it is your turn to register”: gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated
But that comes with a plea to help keep the system from jamming up or crashing: “To preserve system capacity, please wait until your age cohort is called to register.”
Have your PHN ready:
To register online, you must provide:
- First and last name
- Date of birth
- Postal code
- Personal Health Number (find your Personal Health Number on the back of your B.C. driver’s licence or BC Services Card)
- An email address that gets checked regularly or a phone number that can receive text messages
“With more vaccine supply, we are taking an important step into Phase 3 of our immunization plan, and I encourage anyone who has questions to go to the BC Centre for Disease Control website to learn more about the safe and effective vaccines we have here in B.C.,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in today’s release.
“Every vaccine delivered makes all of us safer – let’s keep our momentum going and get everyone who wants one, their first dose by Canada Day.”
AstraZeneca available at pharmacies:
People aged 55 to 65 on the Lower Mainland continue to be eligible to book an appointment to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at a participating pharmacy near them:
More news to expand B.C.’s AstraZeneca program through pharmacies in other regions will come in the days ahead.
===== LINKS (provided by BC Government):
- On April 6, 2021, gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated.html) will be available in 12 different languages.
- For language assistance with registration, call (toll-free) 1 833 838-2323, available in 140 different languages.
- For technical immunization information, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control’s website: www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine
- For more information on what to expect when you go to get vaccinated for COVID-19, visit:
COVID Apr 3: Highest daily counts yet (April 3, 2021)