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Boost of Pfizer shots 'good news' for B.C., but premier acknowledges challenges

Last Updated Mar 12, 2021 at 2:54 pm PDT

FILE - Premier John Horgan speaks to reporters in August, 2020 (Courtesy B.C. Government, Flickr)
Summary

John Horgan points to Alberta's demographics, as reason that province is moving through cohorts faster for vaccines

Horgan says he's confident 'we're absolutely on track' with vaccination program

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With word Pfizer will increase its delivery of vaccines to Canada to one million per week by the end of March, that’s getting a positive response from B.C.’s premier.

But John Horgan acknowledges it’s an evolving situation.

“That’s increasing faster than we’d been originally advised,” Horgan said of vaccine supply. “That’s good news. That will allow us to implement more vaccines faster, and I’m excited about where we’re at. I want to remind people that will be the largest undertaking of its kind in our history, and it’s going to be bumpy on certain days. But we need to focus on the end game, which is to make everyone safe.

“Every vaccination means that someone else is safe as well, whether they’ve been vaccinated or not.”

Related article: Pfizer commits at least a million vaccine doses a week to Canada into May

As for why Alberta appears to be advancing through its cohorts faster in terms of immunizations, Horgan points to the fact our neighbours have a younger population, with many Albertans actually moving here for their retirement.

“They don’t have as many old people as we do,” Horgan said. “Many of the elderly in British Columbia used to be residents in Alberta and they make a decision in their elder years to spend quality time in British Columbia, move their residences here, and that’s absolutely fine by me. But we have an older population than other provinces across the country, and that’s why we had to start with the 90-plus, and now we’ve moved because of the speed at which we responded to our bad day on Monday, to registering 85-year-olds, and we’ll continue to move down.

“I’m confident that we’re absolutely on track with our vaccination program.”

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Given the struggles with the phone system this week, the premier was asked if there was any push to move up the launch of online vaccine booking systems for all health authorities — not just Fraser Health.

The premier said the province is “working on it.”