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'Clinically extremely vulnerable' British Columbians can soon book COVID-19 vaccinations

Last Updated Mar 23, 2021 at 5:05 pm PDT

A pharmacist prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine at a pharmacy prototype clinic in Halifax on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. The CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

British Columbians deemed higher risk from COVID-19 due to certain medical conditions can register for vaccination soon

People identified as 'clinically extremely vulnerable' will receive a letter in the mail

B.C. is recording another 682 cases of COVID-19 and one additional death since Monday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – British Columbians who are at higher risk from COVID-19 because of certain medical conditions will soon be able to register for vaccinations.

The province says there are about 200,000 people aged 16 and older who are deemed “clinically extremely vulnerable” (CEV) and will be able to book an appointment starting Monday, March 29. They include cancer patients, transplant recipients, and those who suffer from severe respiratory conditions.

The province notes some people who are considered CEV have already received a shot based on their age.

People who are identified as CEV will get a letter in the mail with information on how to book an appointment. They will have to bring that letter with them to their vaccination appointment.

If you believe you are in the CEV group and don’t receive a letter by April 15, you are asked to call the provincial call centre or visit the provincial online booking system, both of which are expected to be up and running April 6.

(Source: gov.bc.ca)

The province has also bumped up the schedule for age-based vaccination booking.

Those aged 76 and up can book starting Wednesday this week, those aged 75 can start booking on Thursday, and those aged 74 can begin to book on Friday.

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Tuesday’s B.C. COVID-19 update

Meanwhile, B.C. is reporting an additional 682 COVID-19 cases, which include 15 epi-linked cases. One more person has died because of the virus since Monday.

Of 5,409 active cases, 314 individuals are currently hospitalized, and 83 are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

There have been 144 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern, for a total of 1,510 cases.

“Of the total cases, 171 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 1,357 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 43 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 110 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant,” a joint statement from top doctor Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix reads.

So far, 557,508 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered — 87,168 are second doses.

In total, B.C. has recorded 93,253 cases, 1,438 deaths and over 86,000 people who tested positive for the virus have recovered.

Outbreaks at Revera Sunwood Retirement Community and Bruce Jack Mine are now over.

Henry’s order on gatherings and events has been amended to provide a variance for outdoor worship services. The release from the province says worship service organizers must ensure COVID-19 safety plans are in place for all outdoor services and that all attendees follow those plans.

“While we are immunizing more people every day, and in parallel slowly turning the dial on the restrictions we have in place, we must remember the risk for all of us remains high, particularly with indoor activities – whether for work or social reasons,” the Dix and Henry say in the statement.

“As a result, to get through this storm and continue to protect our loved ones, we must all continue to use our safety layers and follow all of the public health restrictions we have in place.”

How do I book a vaccine appointment?

Currently, each health authority has a different phone number for booking appointments. Phone lines will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

You are strongly advised not to call ahead of your age group, as you will not be allowed to book yet.

Right now, only people who live in the Fraser Health Authority have the option to book online.

The province says a B.C.-wide online booking system will be up and running on April 6. On that same day, the below phone numbers will shut down, and British Columbians who wish to call in to book will instead be directed to a central line reserve their spot.

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 below), and a confirmation message will be sent by email or text.

-With files from Liza Yuzda