BC NDP Leader John Horgan said on Monday that if elected, his government would commit to providing a free COVID-19 vaccine to any British Columbian who wants it – once a vaccine is approved and available.
“The difficult times are not over yet, because the virus will be with us for the foreseeable future,” said Horgan. “But once there is a safe and approved vaccine, we will ensure every British Columbian can get one.”
The NDP said this announcement builds on its $1.6 billion pandemic preparedness plan.
“If this challenging year has shown us anything, it’s the positive strides our province can take when we all work together,” said Horgan. “Putting people first has been at the heart of our pandemic response and it will continue to be if our team is re-elected.”
Horgan’s pandemic preparedness plan also includes the following:
- Two million flu vaccine doses made available for this influenza season.
- 45,000 high dose influenza immunizations that will be made available to all long-term care and assisted living residents.
- 7,000 new frontline healthcare workers in long-term care and assisted living.
- A new Hospital at Home program so patients can get safe care while in the comfort of their homes and take pressure off hospitals.
Horgan’s announcement comes on the same day that BC health officials announced 358 new test-positive coronavirus cases since Friday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 9,739.
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During a press conference, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there were 130 cases reported from Friday to Saturday, 108 from Saturday to Sunday, and 120 from Sunday to Monday.
Broken down by health region, this equates to 3,580 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 4,980 in the Fraser Health region, 220 in the Island Health region, 548 in the Interior Health region, 322 in the Northern Health region and 89 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
There were also four deaths that took place over the weekend, bringing the total number of fatalities in BC to 242.
There are 1,353 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 3,010 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.
British Columbians head to the polls on October 24.