B.C. to target specific neighbourhoods for COVID-19 vaccinations

Targeting neighbourhoods

Taking a cue from Ontario, B.C.’s top doctor says the West Coast will begin targeting specific neighbourhoods for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Health officials have been deploying vaccines into hotspots as of late, including Prince Rupert and Whistler.

“We will also be targeting specific neighbourhoods as we have more information on where vaccine is needed,” B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a Monday briefing.

Health officials in Ontario are now targeting specific postal codes based on how prevalent cases of COVID-19 is in specific neighbourhoods.

Meanwhile, more than one million British Columbians have now been vaccinated against COVID-19 after the province administered 87,082 doses over the weekend.
Henry revealed that of the 1,024,457 individuals to get their jabs, 87,744 have received two doses.

Of the four vaccines approved for use in Canada, only the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires one dose. Deliveries of that vaccine are not expected to begin until the end of the month and Henry said last week she anticipates offering the one-shot vaccine as part of the province’s essential workers immunization program.

The remainder of the province is being immunized based on age groups.

“Over half of those over 65 have now been vaccinated,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said during the briefing.

Dix said 138,000 doses of Pfizer Inc. vaccine are expected to arrive this week along with about 80,000 Moderna Inc. doses.

Those Moderna deliveries had been expected to arrive last week but Dix said he feels confident they will arrive by this week’s end.

Moderna delivers on a bi-weekly schedule and another delivery is not expected next week.

Earlier in the day, the province began encouraging a broader range of British Columbians to register for vaccine bookings this week, beginning with those 55 years and older.

By Friday, those 40 years old and older will be encouraged to register.

Hopeful vaccine recipients in B.C. must first register either online, in person or over the phone before booking an appointment.

Once someone registers, they receive a confirmation code and will need to await a prompt from health officials via email, text or phone informing them they can book the appointment itself.

“In some places in B.C. it’s going to advance more quickly than others because of the availability of clinics and vaccines in different places,” Dix said.

As of noon Tuesday, there have been 183,716 registrations in the 65-69 age cohort, followed by 123,796 registrations in the 60-64 age cohort and 66,211 registrations in the 55-59 age cohort.

Prior to last week, the Fraser Health authority was the only one offering an online platform for bookings.

The remaining four health authorities had been booking vaccinations via call centres maintained by Telus Corp.

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