A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

COVID-19: Health officials give timetable for vaccinating all B.C. adults by July

People aged 79 will begin being able to book appointments on March 20

In a new timetable released by health officials Thursday (March 18) the province has laid out how all B.C. adults will get their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by July.

The province is currently booking appointments for people aged 81 and older, with seniors aged 80 able to call starting Friday at noon. An online registration system called HealthConnect is scheduled to launch on April 6, but people are asked not to try and book appointments until their age is eligible.

The next age cohort will be able begin booking appointments the day after 80 year olds:

  • age 79 and Indigenous peoples 55 and older can book on Saturday, March 20 at noon
  • age 78 can book Monday, March 22 at noon
  • age 77 can book Tuesday, March 23 at noon
  • age 76 can book Wednesday, March 24 at noon
  • age 75 can book Thursday, March 25 at noon
  • age 74 can book Friday, March 26 at noon
  • clinically extremely vulnerable people can begin to book Monday, March 29 at noon

Priority groups will begin receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine in April.

READ MORE: B.C. emergency, grocery, school staff get COVID-19 vaccine starting April

The current expected timetable for age-based vaccination appointments for the first dose (not booking, but vaccination itself) in Phase 3:

  • April: ages 79 to 75, then 74 to 70
  • April/May: ages 69 to 65, then ages 64-60
  • March/April: people considered clinically extremely vulnerable.

Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead of B.C.’s immunization plan rollout, said that there are about 200,000 people considered clinically extremely vulnerable in B.C. Of those, 49,000 have already been immunized either in care homes or through age-based categories, leaving 151,000. Ballem said these remaining individuals will get a letter from the health ministry inviting them to get vaccinated.

According to the province, the list of conditions that the province said makes a person clinically extremely vulnerable are:

  • Solid organ transplant recipients
  • People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
  • People with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
  • People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • People having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last six months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • People with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
  • People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection (biologic modifiers, high dose steroids, AZT, cyclophosphamide)
  • People who had their spleen removed
  • Adults with very significant developmental disabilities that increase risk
  • Adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)
  • Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  • Significant neuromuscular conditions requiring respiratory support

Phase 4 of B.C.’s vaccination plan is currently expected to begin in May and will start with people aged 59 and move down to 18 year olds:

  • May: ages 59 to 54, then ages 54 to 50
  • May/June: ages 49 to 45, then ages 44 to 40, then ages 39 to 35
  • June: ages 34 to 30, then ages 29 to 25, then ages 24 to 18.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the revised vaccination schedule released by B.C. health officials.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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