VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The province opened up phone lines Thursday at noon for British Columbians between the ages of 85 and 89 to book appointments for their COVID-19 vaccines.
Initially, people over the age of 85 were scheduled to call or book their appointments online starting March 15.
In a last-minute press conference Wednesday afternoon, Health Minister Adrian Dix said a little more than 37,000 appointments have been booked so far.
BREAKING—Call centres have been able to process vaccination appointment bookings for seniors aged 90+ days ahead of schedule. Starting March 11 at 12PM, seniors aged 85+ and Indigenous peoples aged 65+ can call and book an appointment. Please only call if it’s your turn! #CovidBC
— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) March 11, 2021
The news came just two days after B.C. opened its booking system, mostly allowing people over 90 years old and Indigenous residents over the age of 65 to schedule their vaccination appointments. However, an influx of calls on Monday resulted in many British Columbians dealing with busy dial tones, automated messages, and dropped calls after holding for hours.
Since the province is back on track and issues have been solved, Dix thanked Telus for solving phone-related problems around bookings.
“This is, I think, a positive evolution. It reflects all the work that people have been doing, and I want to, in particular, acknowledge the CEO of Telus Darren Entwistle, who put his shoulder — his whole team shoulder to the wheel over the last couple of days to catch up and then go beyond.”
Most people older than 90 have booked their appointments already, but you still can.
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) March 11, 2021
According to Dix, most of the people who are older than 90 have already booked their immunizations, but if you’ve yet to book your appointment and are within that age range, you still can.
What phone number do I call?
Each health authority has a different phone number for booking appointments.
You are strongly advised not to call ahead of your age group, as you will not be allowed to book yet.
People who live in the Fraser Health Authority have the option to book online.
You can call yourself, or have someone call on your behalf.
Vancouver Coastal Health: 1-877-587-5767
Fraser Health: 1-855-755-2455 or book online
Interior Health: 1-877-740-7747
Island Health: 1-833-348-4787
Northern Health: 1-844-255-7555
If you have health-related questions, you should call 8-1-1.
If you have any questions about non-health related information and services related to COVID-19, you should call 1-888-COVID19 (line open 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
What information do I need when booking my appointment?
When you call, you will be asked for:
- First and last name
- Date of birth
- Postal code
- Personal Health Number (Note: If you do not have one, you can still receive the vaccine)
- A contact email address or phone number
You will NOT be asked for your SIN, driver’s licence number, or banking/credit card details.
An agent will arrange and confirm an appointment time and clinic location (see a full list,) and a confirmation message will be sent by email or text.