Groundhog Day / COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

February 2nd marked Groundhog Day. This entire year has been reminiscent of the 1993 blockbuster hit “Groundhog Day” featuring Bill Murray playing the role of a weatherman reporting on Groundhog Day. Murray finds himself in an unpredicted snowstorm/time warp, only to wake up each day reliving the same day over and over again until he gets it right. Perhaps, an appropriate flick to catch these days with all the extra time on our hands and the monotony! It was just over a year ago on January 25th, 2020 that the first case of the Novel Coronavirus was reported in Toronto, Ontario. Little did we know just how quickly the virus would spread and the vast implications and profound effects it would have on each one of us, regardless of age, gender or socio-economic class. It has been a wakeup call on how we are interdependent, leaving us with no choice but to be flexible, cooperative and compassionate to one another on not only a community, but global level.

Scientists and health officials have been working tirelessly over the past year on the COVID vaccine and have more recently begun administering vaccinations to healthcare professionals and those most vulnerable across the globe. What are the details and when might the vaccine be available to us residing here in BC’s Interior?

According to the recent rollout plan, special priority of the vaccine will NOT be immediately available to a wide range of non-medical essential workers; including police officers, teachers, truck drivers and grocery store clerks. Rather, the province is focusing on the mass immunization plan, based on age. The only exception will be those individuals deemed clinically extremely vulnerable. The COVID-19 vaccine is the largest provincial immunization to date and plans to include 4.3 million British Columbians eligible to be vaccinated by the end of September. Currently receiving the first of two vaccine doses are front-line health care workers, long term care staff and long-term residents. Starting in mid-to-late February, Health Authorities will be contacting seniors (80+) and Indigenous seniors (65+) as well as Indigenous Elders to provide information on how to pre-register for immunization appointments. These populations will receive the first dose before the end of March. Because the available vaccines have yet to be tested on children, those under the age of 18 will not be eligible to receive the vaccine at this time unless considered high risk. At this point the plan is to administer 7.4 million doses from April- September, or approximately 40, 437 vaccinations daily over the 6-month period. The B.C vaccination timeline released by health officials is as follows:

  • 75 to 79 years old – Some before April 1 (most after) for dose 1, May dose 2

  • 70 to 74 years old – April dose 1, May dose 2

  • 65 to 69 years old May/June dose 1, June/July dose 2

  • 60 to 64 years old (partial) June dose 1, July dose 2

  • 60 to 64 (partial) July dose 1, August dose 2

  • 55 to 59 July dose 1, August dose 2

  • 50 to 54 July dose 1, August dose 2

  • 45 to 49 July dose 1, August dose 2

  • 40 to 44 July dose 1, August dose 2

  • 35 to 39 July/August dose 1, August/September dose 2

  • 30 to 34 August dose 1, September dose 2

  • 25 to 29 August dose 1, September dose 2

  • 18 to 24 August dose 1, September dose 2

Stay posted! The province plans to launch a media campaign in late February to inform B.C residents of vaccination program details, including registration. Beginning mid-March, and by five-year cohorts working backward from age 75 to 79, citizens will be able to pre-register for a vaccine two to four weeks before they are eligible for their appointment. This can be done online or over the phone.

Information for this article sourced by: https://globalnews.ca/news/7591344/bc-updated-vaccine-rollout-plan/

“This is our time
to be kind,
to be calm,
to be safe.”
-Dr. Bonnie Henry
Provincial Health Officer

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