When, where and how you’ll get a COVID-19 vaccination in B.C. will depend mainly on your age.
Age remains the single biggest factor for serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. B.C. plans to vaccinate 4.3 million people by September. The vaccine plan is based on using the two vaccines already approved: Pfizer and Moderna. If more vaccines, like the AstraZeneca vaccine, get approved and are available, B.C. may be able to vaccinate more people earlier.
The focus is on high-risk populations. Long-term care and assisted living residents, seniors waiting for a bed in care, staff of seniors’ homes and essential visitors, hospital staff who care for COVID patients and remote Indigenous communities have been first in line. Most first doses have now been completed.
Vaccines will be available for seniors over 80. Information on how to register for an appointment will available in mid to late February for clinics starting in March.
Home support workers, hospital staff and doctors, people living in homeless shelters, prisoners and Indigenous people over 65 will also get vaccines.
Mass vaccination clinics will be set up in school gyms and community centres. People will be able to register for appointments online or over the phone two to four weeks in advance.
Those 70 to 79 will likely get a first shot starting in April. Those 65 to 69 will get their first shot May or June. Those 60 to 64 will get a first shot in June.
Vaccines will also be given to those deemed “extremely vulnerable” including people with specific cancers, those undergoing chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation, those with severe respiratory conditions and with significant developmental disabilities.
It’s expected anyone aged 40 to 59 will get a first shot in July. Those 35 to 39 will get a first shot in July or August. Those 25 to 34 will get a first shot in August and young adults 18 to 24 will get shots in September.
So far there are no vaccines approved for children, although health authorities are monitoring the situation.
On Monday, B.C. changed the timeline for when the second shot will be given, delaying it to 42 days after the first shot – because of slow-downs in supply. Both changes to the second dose schedule and availability of vaccines could impact the projected schedule.