Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)

COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

B.C. seniors born in 1931 or earlier will be first up for the COVID-19 community vaccination program, with registration for appointments starting next week, public health officials said Monday.

Anticipating a huge demand from seniors living at home and their relatives for the coronavirus vaccine, the province has arranged a rolling schedule by age for people to contact their regional health authority for appointments. It begins with people aged 90 and up booking appointments starting March 8, with appointments starting March 15. Then 85 and up can call starting March 15, with vaccinations starting March 22. People aged 80 and up or their relatives can call starting March 22, with vaccinations starting March 29.

Phone numbers will be activated starting March 8, officials said at a news conference March 1. Health authority call centre information and a step-by-step process are available on the provincial website at gov.bc.ca/bcseniorsfirst and also on websites for Fraser Health, Interior Health, Northern Health, Island Health and Vancouver Coastal Health. Relatives or friends of elderly people are allowed to call for appointments on their behalf when they are eligible.

The Fraser Health region, with more people and more seniors than the other four B.C. regions, will have online bookings available as well, in an effort to ease a rush of phone calls that provincial call centre staff may be unable to keep up with at first.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said almost complete vaccination of staff and residents in long-term care and assisted living facilities has provided almost blanket protection for frail elderly residents, and immunization is nearing completion for remote Indigenous communities. Indigenous people aged 65 are included in the community vaccination program set for those 80 and up in the general population, due to higher risk that has been shown.

RELATED: Ottawa hoping AstraZeneca vaccine starts arriving this week

RELATED: U.S. Senator asks Biden to reconsider Canadian border limits

Callers are urged to wait until their age group is eligible for appointments, and have the necessary information ready: First and last name, date of birth, postal code, B.C. personal health number, and contact information (email or mobile phone number of the senior or support person). People will be given a list of clinics close to home.

Officials warn everyone that health authority call centres will never ask for a social insurance number, driver’s licence number or banking and credit card details. If anyone asks for that, hang up immediately and contact your local health authority.

Henry said Health Canada’s approval of a third vaccine from AstraZeneca may allow an earlier vaccination date for people under age 80, assuming the delivery dates for all manufacturers are met. First shipments of that vaccine will be targeted to paramedics and other first responders not yet reached by the first stages of protection for health care workers and seniors.

“This is a vaccine that is fridge-stable, which means we can use it in the community in a much more agile way,” Henry said.

Results from first doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are better than expected, and have allowed the province to extend the time between doses up to four months, Henry said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage

Signage on a South Surrey sidewalk reminds pedestrians to respect social-distancing guidelines. (Photo: Tracy Holmes)
Surrey records 4,400 COVID-19 cases in March

New cases almost doubled between February, March

Surrey RCMP are looking for these two men after a bank in the 12800-block of 96th Avenue was robbed on March 12. (Images: Surrey RCMP)
Police release images of two men suspected of robbing Surrey bank

Robbery happened on March 12 at bank in 12800-block of 96th Avenue

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

People stroll through rows of tulips in bloom during the Tulips of the Valley Festival on May 2, 2017. The colourful spring event, now called Chilliwack Tulips, opens on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Fraser Valley tulip attraction returns this weekend for 1 month

More than 6.5 million bulbs in all at this year’s colourful Chilliwack Tulips event

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Most Read