COVID-19 vaccinations launches Tuesday

Modesto Morganelli
Aprile 5, 2021

Penny Ballem, executive lead of BC's COVID-19 immunization program. People who are 71 and older - i.e., those born in 1950 or earlier - and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable will be able to register online to book their appointment, as will Indigenous people who are 18 and older.

The online system is available at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated and the toll-free provincial call centre number is 1-833-838-2323.

People will be required to register when they become eligible in their age category.

The ministry said the online portal and single provincial call centre will replace the five regional call centres now being used to register patients and book vaccine appointments. That vaccination stream is running parallel to the age-based program.

"We encourage everyone in B.C.to get their vaccine at their first opportunity, when it is their turn", said Minister of Health Adrian Dix in a news release.

According to the province, almost 770,000 eligible British Columbians have received their first dose of vaccine, and more than 87,000 have received their second dose.

If B.C.'s vaccine supply is delivered as scheduled, the province said everyone who is eligible for the vaccine will receive their first dose by the end of June. People in other regions had to book their appointments by phone. Those looking for the Astra-Zeneca vaccine will need to book directly with their local pharmacy.

Many people in this province have been calling for access to online booking, as until now, only people living within the Fraser Health Authority could do so.

Health officials are hoping to avoid the glitches seen with the vaccine telephone booking system which faced huge call backlogs and technical problems when it launched March 8.

On Tuesday, all of the phone numbers for the individual health authorities will shut down, with a central call centre opening. Figures released Saturday did not include data on recent COVID-related deaths or hospitalizations. The province surpassed 1,000 cases three times last week. The variant has also sidelined members of the Vancouver Canucks hockey team.

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