Between December 9th to the 23rd, Canada approved two vaccines for the country. What remained unclear however was the accessibility timeline.
During Monday’s news conference, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that there will be more detailed information coming soon regarding the B.C. vaccination roll-out strategy.
These details will be available later this month, mid-to-late January in fact.
What We Currently Know
So far, we have only known the general information—the vaccine will be distributed based on age. The province has focused on immunizing priority populations, including healthcare workers and long-term care residents. The province will continue to focus on those populations through the end of February.
As of Monday, January 4th, 24,000 people in B.C. have been vaccinated.
What To Expect
By end of February, 150,000 people in B.C. will be vaccinated. This will be primarily those in long-term care facilities, assisted living, healthcare workers and also remote first nation communities.
“It’s a monumental task, and there are many months left to go in this,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said.
After the priority groups receive their vaccines, in March, B.C. will move into its mass COVID-19 vaccination strategy. The general population can expect to receive vaccines between April and September.
It’s expected that B.C. vaccination will become more widely available this spring.
Dr. Henry has stated that she expects increased availability of vaccines to help curb cases in the province.
The Pfizer vaccine has very specific storage and administration requirements (being stored at -70°C and using special deep-freeze gloves). This makes it difficult to reach various areas.
There is hope that the other vaccines will be easier to distribute and administer.
The Moderna vaccine, which is also approved, is showing less limitations, making transport to rural areas easier. As a result, the distribution of those doses have been allocated, prioritizing the priority groups in remote/rural areas across all the health regions.
By late January, the rest of the population will have a better idea of when to expect vaccination.
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