The BC government has announced the next steps in its plan for the provincial rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, including what vaccine appointment scheduling will look like.
During a joint press conference on Monday morning, BC Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix, and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry unveiled further details about the phased rollout approach as the province moves into Phase 2.
Beginning on March 8, seniors over 80 years old and Indigenous peoples aged 65 and over who are not living in independent living or seniors supportive housing can call to book their appointment through their local health authority call centre according to a staggered schedule.
The province said this step is meant to help avoid long waits and system overload. Immunization clinic locations will be confirmed at time of booking, with vaccinations starting as early as March 15:
- March 8, 2021: Seniors born in or before 1931 (90+ years)/Indigenous peoples born in or before 1956 (65 years+) may call to book their vaccine appointment.
- March 15, 2021: Seniors born in or before 1936 (85+ years) may call to book their vaccine appointment.
- March 22, 2021: Seniors born in or before 1941 (80+ years) may call to book their vaccine appointment.
Immunization clinic locations will be confirmed at time of booking, with vaccinations starting as early as March 15, 2021. Beginning March 8, those meeting the eligibility requirements can call in to schedule an appointment – by year of birth – with vaccinations beginning on March 15.
In laying out the registration process, the province said that people should only call in when they are eligible, although “anyone who misses their age-based dates can still call, book and be vaccinated at any time after they become eligible.” Each health authority will have a unique call centre number.
A senior can also have a family member, friend or any support person call for them.
When calling to register, people will be asked to provide their first and last name, date of birth, postal code, Personal Health Number, and close contact information.
They will then be given a list of clinics to choose from close to home, and the call centre agent will confirm the appointment time and location.
The province noted that health authority call centres will never ask people for their Social Insurance Number, driver’s license number, or banking and credit card details.
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Health authority contact information, complete call-in schedules, hours of operations and step-by-step instructions on how to call to book an appointment for themselves, for a family member, or for a friend or neighbour will be available online as of March 8.
In mid-April, Phase 3 will begin mass vaccination of people aged 79 to 60 years, and people aged 16 and older who are “extremely clinically vulnerable,” at community immunization clinics throughout BC. Mobile clinics will be available in some rural communities and for people who are homebound due to mobility issues.
In Phase 3, British Columbians will register and book their appointments to receive their first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine through an online registration tool. People born between 1942 and 1946 (ages 79-75), and Indigenous people born between the years of 1956 and 1960 (ages 64-60), will be able to register for an appointment online or by phone by March 31.