Here's who can get a COVID-19 vaccine in BC right now

May 11 2021, 8:56 am

As British Columbia’s COVID-19 vaccine supply increases throughout the month of May, a number of different groups of people are becoming eligible to register and book their first dose of the vaccine.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced earlier this month that BC has reached a “new and encouraging point” in vaccine supply. The province is expected to receive over a million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines over the course of this month.

“This is good news for all of us,” she stressed. “It means everybody who’s eligible will have access to a vaccine before Canada Day and we think significantly before that. And that leads us to think about the interval we have between dose one and dose two.”

Over the past two weeks, new age cohorts, frontline workers, and pregnant people have become eligible to book their immunization appointment.

Here’s every age and group that can receive a COVID-19 vaccine in BC so far:

Adults in BC over the age of 40

As of Tuesday, May 11, all adults in BC above the age of 40 will be able to register and book a COVID-19 vaccination. This process follows BC’s age-based immunization stream.

In order to be contacted to book a vaccination, people must be registered through BC’s Get Vaccinated system. Those who have not registered can do so online, in-person at the nearest Service BC location, or through a provincial call centre (1-833-838-2323).

In order to register, residents will need their personal health number, postal code, first and last name, date of birth, and an email address or phone number that is checked regularly and can receive emails or text messages.

Adults in Fraser Health over the age of 30

While BC’s age-based immunization approach is currently booking appointments for those above the age of 40, Fraser Health says that people living in the region above the age of 30 may be invited to book as early as this week.

The health authority tweeted that adults between 36 and 39-years-old will be invited to register on Tuesday, May 11, after 7 pm. Adults between the ages of 30 and 35 will be invited on Wednesday, May 12, after 7 pm.

Adults over 18 in high-transmission neighbourhoods

BC health officials announced on Monday that the province will begin offering targeted vaccinations to people 18 and older who reside in high-transmission neighbourhoods.

Eligible people will need to register online or over the phone. Once registered, they will receive a booking invitation for their immunization appointment. According to the BC Government website, an individual’s postal code will be used to confirm that they reside in one of these neighbourhoods.

Eligible neighbourhoods include:

Fraser Health

  • Abbotsford Rural
  • Burnaby Southeast
  • Burnaby Southwest
  • Central Abbotsford
  • Cloverdale
  • East Abbotsford
  • East Newton
  • Fleetwood
  • Guildford
  • North Delta
  • North Surrey
  • Panorama
  • Port Coquitlam
  • South Langley Township
  • South Mission
  • West Abbotsford
  • West Newton
  • Whalley
  • Willoughby

Vancouver Coastal Health

  • Britannia Beach
  • Cedar Cottage
  • D’arcy
  • Grandview-Woodland
  • Hastings-Sunrise
  • Kensington
  • Killarney
  • Pinecrest Estates
  • Renfrew-Collingwood
  • Squamish
  • Sunset
  • Victoria-Fraserview

Northern Health

  • Dawson Creek
  • Fort Nelson Population Centre
  • Fort St. John
  • Fort St. James North

Interior Health

  • Golden
  • Rutland
  • Summerland

Priority frontline workers in Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health

Frontline and essential workers in the Lower Mainland are also able to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Eligibility was announced by both Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health earlier this month and is open to the following frontline and essential workers over the age of 18:

Vancouver Coastal Health: 

  • Employees at identified at-risk businesses
  • K-12 educational staff
  • First responders
  • Childcare providers
  • Grocery store workers
  • Restaurant staff

Fraser Health:

  • Childcare providers
  • K-12 educational staff
  • First responders
  • Grocery store workers

Both health authorities say that eligible workers will have information on how to register and book an appointment provided by their employers, along with a unique access code.

Pregnant people

Priority COVID-19 immunizations are also being offered to pregnant people in the province who are over the age of 16.

Recent data in BC shows that pregnant people can experience severe illness from COVID-19, including similar symptoms to those in older age groups.

“We have reviewed the data here in BC and this shows pregnant people experience severe illness from COVID-19 at a rate that is similar to people who are in their 50s,” Henry said during a press conference. “By prioritizing pregnant people today, we add another layer of protection for them, their babies and their communities.”

“We also know now that there’s good evidence that immunization in women who are breastfeeding means transfer of antibodies to the infant as well.”

AstraZeneca vaccinations at Pharmacies for adults over 30

People in BC who are born in 1991 or earlier (over 30 years old) can receive the AstraZeneca or COVISHIELD vaccine at eligible pharmacies across the province.

A list of participating pharmacies can be found and booked online. At the time of writing, the provincial government says that “appointments at most pharmacies are currently full.”

“We expect to get more AstraZeneca vaccine doses soon from the federal government,” reads the BC Gov website. “If you are on a waitlist, your pharmacy will contact you when appointments are available.”

Anyone who is eligible to receive the vaccine can join the online waitlist. Vaccine Hunters BC also lists available appointments at clinics and pharmacies around BC to help more people get vaccinated faster.

People who are clinically extremely vulnerable

In late March, the provincial government began prioritizing people in BC that are deemed clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) for COVID-19 vaccination. Individuals that identify as CEV are at higher risk of COVID-19 due to existing medical conditions, such as different forms of cancer, transplant recipients, and those with severe respiratory conditions.

According to the provincial government, letters have been sent out to people who have been identified as CEV. The documentation will be required at their scheduled vaccination appointment. Anyone who believes they are CEV and has not received a letter can contact the provincial call centre or use the online booking system.

The CEV-based vaccination strategy runs parallel to the age-based immunization approach, as well as the priority frontline worker program.

Vincent PlanaVincent Plana

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