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February 17th Weekly Immunization Update

Posted on: February 17, 2021

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By the numbers:

As of Feb. 16th, Island Health had administered 29,130 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in communities from Victoria to Port Hardy to Tofino. 

What we're working on this week:

  • ​Second doses for LTC/AL

  • First doses for med-surg

  • Planning for more than 30 immunization clinics in large and small communities across Island Health

  • Second-dose clinics are getting underway in rural and remote Indigenous communities.

Q&A of the week:

​Q: I'm a health-care worker and I haven't been contacted yet. What should I do?

A: Please ensure you read the Vaccine Q&As to see if the answer to your question is there. If not, please reach out to your manager or leader and they will connect with an immunization planning group leader. As more information becomes available, or if decisions require the health system to change the current approach, we will keep you apprised.

In case you missed it – From the February 12 update from Kathy MacNeil, President and CEO, and Dr. Richard Stanwick, VP Population Health and Chief Medical Health Officer.

The province's four-phase plan for immunization first focuses on immunizing highest-risk populations, so our initial work in Phase One was staff and medical staff in long-term care and assisted living. We are now providing second doses to this part of our family.

In addition to this, our current Phase One efforts are focused on hospital-based staff and medical staff who are most likely to provide care for COVID-19 patients. More than 4,500 direct care providers, and those who support direct care, have received their first dose immunization, including those working in:

  • Emergency Departments

  • COVID Cohort Units at our tertiary sites

  • ICUs, HAUs & CCUs

  • Med/Surg units (inc. OR, PACCU & SDC) at RJH and NRGH COVID cohort hospitals

The recent reduction in vaccine supply from Pfizer and Moderna slowed the pace of immunization of this priority group in order to protect supply for second doses for those in long-term care and assisted living. With the soon-to-be received vaccine supply we will be able to complete the Phase One Island Health priority group by early March. This includes:

  • Med/Surg units at sites not noted above

  • Island Health Urgent Care Centres (Port Alice, Oceanside, Ladysmith, Chemainus)

  • Rural/Remote Physicians who work in settings similar to Urgent Care Centres

  • COVID Assessment Clinics

Starting in March, Phase Two of the provincial plan related to health-care workers, including:

  • Remaining acute staff and medical staff, including clinical support services staff and those working in ambulatory care areas

  • Home and community care providers

  • MHSU care providers

  • Primary care providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, other patient care staff and office staff) and community-based medical specialists not captured above

So what does this mean for you? When vaccine arrives for your cohort, our call centre will reach out to book your immunization (via home or cell phone number). Please clear your voice mail, and check messages regularly. The call centre will leave a message with a callback number (note: the number to call back is within the voice message itself, so please do not call the number on your phone display).

As we have shared previously, who gets immunized first is not reflective of the value of a profession or position. Every member of the Island Health family is valued equally. Decision making on vaccine administration is based on risk as outlined by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization and the Provincial Health Officer, adapted to the Island Health context through the emergency operations structure.

We recognize that this update isn't going to answer all of the questions you may have. Please ensure you read the Vaccine Q&As to see if the answer to your question is there. If not, please reach out to your manager or leader and they will connect with an immunization planning group leader. As more information becomes available, or if decisions require the health system to change the current approach, we will keep you apprised.

See other updates on the COVID-19 intranet page.