Dix asks for patience as B.C. phone lines flooded with callers after vaccine booking process begins

1.7M vaccine calls already

More than 1.7 million British Columbians called the province’s vaccination appointment line on Monday, despite the fact less than 100,000 residents are so far eligible to book.

The province opened the lines at 7 a.m. on Monday for residents aged 90 and above, and Indigenous peoples 65 and older — a group making up about 82,000 people in the province.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the response reflects B.C.’s enthusiasm for immunization.

“I very much appreciate the enthusiasm of everybody calling in, but I’d ask those calling in to book appointments to have priority,” he said, noting the province is working with Telus to make sure its phone lines can handle the crush of calls.

“There are lots of appointments. We have five days to book these appointments. The opportunity is there. It’s an enormous response.”

Dix urged those who are not yet eligible to book vaccination shots to wait their turn.

“We really need this to be a time when people over 90 are booking their appointments,” he said.

“We expected this to be a big start and it has been. We appreciate the enthusiasm. But, if you aren’t eligible to call in today, please don’t call in.”

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