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B.C. to detail next steps in COVID-19 vaccine rollout as poll finds dissatisfaction with current plan

Syringes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine sit in a tray in a vaccination room at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Summary

It appears the provincial government is set to unveil a mass COVID-19 vaccination plan

Premier, provincial health officer, health minister, head of vaccine rollout set to provide update on Friday

Poll finds four in 10 people are unimpressed with B.C.'s current vaccine distribution plan

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Speculation out of Victoria suggests the provincial government is soon going to roll out plans for mass COVID-19 vaccinations across B.C.

Thursday’s regularly scheduled COVID-19 update with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix has been pushed back a day. Instead, the pair will join Premier John Horgan and Dr. Penny Ballem, who is leading B.C.’s vaccine rollout efforts, for a briefing on next steps Friday.

Many British Columbians unimpressed with current rollout: poll

It couldn’t come at a better time as the Horgan administration continues to be criticized by many when it comes to the speed at which British Columbians are receiving their shots.

A poll from Insights West has found most residents — 57 per cent — give the B.C. government a low score for its current rollout plan, and about four in 10 people — 38 per cent — aren’t impressed with the vaccine priority list.

“The rollout of the vaccination plans as presented by the B.C. government and health authority represents the first time since the pandemic began that the general public hasn’t been massively in favour of a government initiative related to the pandemic,” says Steve Mossop, president of Insights West. “The vaccine delays coupled with divergent plans between the provinces about who is on the list and in what order has resulted in some controversial disagreement among British Columbians, as our results show.”

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Those unhappy with B.C.’s vaccination efforts question why police officers, firefighters, teachers, and others on the frontline aren’t higher up on the list to get their vaccines against the coronavirus.

However, it’s not just frontline workers many British Columbians feel should be getting the shots first.

Insights West finds “the first and highest ‘miss’ on the list” is people with underlying medical conditions. Sixty-nine per cent of B.C. residents believe this demographic should have been included in the initial group of vaccine recipients.