Submitted by the Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Program Planning Team

Last week, we were able to further expand vaccination eligibility and invite more priority groups to immunization clinics. First-dose appointments are now available for the following health professionals in urban areas of the VCH region:

  • Laboratory staff working in public health and private laboratories
  • Midwives and office staff working in these settings
  • Paramedics
  • Pharmacists and pharmacy staff
  • Public and community health program staff (regional, provincial, federal)
  • Research staff exposed to COVID-19 patients
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Registered Massage therapists
  • Rehabilitation therapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Chiropractors
  • Acupuncturists
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners
  • Dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental technicians and their office staff
  • Occupational therapists
  • Canadian Blood Services Staff

If you belong to one of these eligible groups, please check for communication from your profession’s regulatory body or college for information about booking an appointment. At this time, we are not immunizing office staff who work with these professionals unless listed above. Clinics for these professions are currently only open in urban areas in the VCH region. We will provide more information for clinics in rural and remote areas in the coming weeks.

Priority groups for first shipment of AstraZeneca vaccine

B.C. is soon receiving its first shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine. According to Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be offered to staff in workplaces where we have seen clusters of cases and outbreaks, and workplaces that put staff at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. The province is focusing on three areas: the food processing industry; large industrial camps (especially those with congregate living accommodations); and farms and nurseries (including farms that employ temporary foreign workers). Dr. Henry said that the province is looking at a number of different approaches to immunizing staff in these settings. When more AstraZeneca is delivered in April, the province will look at expanding eligibility to other high-risk work settings.

 Four COVID-19 vaccines – Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) – have now been authorized for use in Canada. Information about how vaccines work, which vaccines are available and the approval process is available through the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Ensuring that homebound individuals in the VCH region receive their COVID-19 vaccination

This month, we have started booking appointments for and vaccinating individuals in our region who we have determined are homebound and cannot get to a clinic in the community. Some of these individuals are already connected to VCH and PHC programs or services, while others do not access these supports. We have received a number of questions about how homebound individuals will book appointments and receive their vaccine. VCH has developed processes to ensure that if an individual is assessed as being homebound, VCH staff will arrange to vaccinate them in their home. Once they become eligible, people who are homebound can book an appointment through the VCH public call centre at 1-877-587-5767. If they are VCH clients, we may reach out to them directly. As we have been alerted to some scam phone calls about vaccinations in the home, please note that VCH staff will never ask for credit card information or social insurance number in these calls.

This page last updated Mar 16, 2021 5:39pm PDT