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B.C. on track to immunize 150,000 against COVID-19 by February

Last Updated Jan 4, 2021 at 4:53 pm PST

A health worker extracts a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the military base in Queretaro, Mexico, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020. The first batches of vaccines produced by Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech arrived to Mexico the previous day. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)

B.C. is on track to immunize about 150,000 people with COVID-19 vaccine by next month

The first part of the year will continue focusing on residents in long-term care and healthcare workers

About 25,000 British Columbians have been vaccianted

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — B.C. plans to have immunized about 150,000 British Columbians by February, starting with those who need protection the most against COVID-19 before moving on to wider distribution.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry further detailed how the province plans to roll out the vaccine over the next few months, explaining the focus remains on long-term care residents and staff.

Most of the 45 people who lost their lives to COVID-19 in the last four days were seniors in long-term care, Henry said, while she reported 2,211 new infections in the same period.

Henry said the second goal of vaccine distribution is to ensure the healthcare system is protected, meaning the rest of frontline workers will be immunized next, and other priority groups will follow.

Henry noted the Indigenous people 65 and older are more likely to have a more severe illness. People experiencing homelessness and living in shelters are more likely to end up in hospital.

She has already explained B.C. will be using the available vaccine for the first of two necessary doses, 35 days apart.

Heading into the spring, Henry expects other vaccines to be approved, including AstraZeneca, which she said could be soon.

But exact timelines are still unclear.

“Our plan is to begin our mass vaccination strategy based on age, and then descending in five-year cohorts, after our 80 plus priority population is completed, and we are working on how do we do that to make sure that it’s accessible and fair for people around the province,” she said.

“It’s a monumental task.”

As of Sunday, Henry said 24,139 British Columbians have been immunized.

She said more details will be provided later this month.

While everyone returns to work and school from the holidays, Henry urged everyone to be extra vigilant and follow public health orders and recommendations for their New Year’s resolution.

“What we know about resolutions is that by doing a little bit every day, it turns something new, into a habit. And once you have that habit, it can become your success.” 

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