Coronavirus immunization could roll out in "matter of months" after vaccine ready: health officials

Apr 24 2020, 1:42 pm

After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke earlier this month about the timeline of development for a coronavirus vaccine, noting that it could take up to a year-and-a-half, Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry spoke this week about what a rollout of the vaccine might look like in BC, once it is ready for distribution.

“We have a little bit of an idea, and part of it comes from the planning,” she said. “We go back to our pandemic influenza plans, where vaccine is very much a part of that planning process, so we do have plans across the province – and in Canada – for mass vaccination clinics.”

However, this ” doesn’t mean that everybody has to have this, and certainly we do not have any mandatory immunizations in this country – and I would not see us as having mandatory for this either,” said Henry.

Henry also spoke about who might be first in line for the vaccine, specifically about the “sequencing” of immunization.

“We’ve been thinking about that quite a bit,” she said, noting that there is a “framework” to how immunizations would be rolled out.

“It is incredibly important that we do what we can to protect those who are most vulnerable to disease,” she said. “So I would see things like healthcare workers being first in line for the vaccine, as well as our seniors and elders.”

Henry noted that once everything is in place and ready to go, “it could be in a matter of months that we would have it available and rolled out to people across the province, with a look at targeting those most at risk to start with.”