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March 3rd COVID-19 Weekly Immunization Update

Posted on: March 3, 2021

VACCINATION PROGRESS AS OF MARCH 2:

  • 47,482 vaccines administered to date

  • 35,130 at least one first dose

  • 4.8% population immunized with first dose

WHAT WE'RE WORKING ON THIS WEEK:

  • Continuing vaccinations for hospital-based health care workers who provide direct and indirect patient care

  • Continuing vaccinations for community health workers

  • Starting vaccination clinics in independent living facilities

  • Starting outreach vaccinations for unhoused populations

  • Booking in-home and clinic-based vaccinations for long-term home support clients

  • Booking vaccinations for primary care providers and medical specialists

  • Preparing new immunization clinic spaces

Moving into Phase 2 of B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan

On Monday March 1 Dr. Bonnie Henry recognized the start of Phase 2 of the province's COVID-19 immunization plan. During this phase approximately 400,000 people in B.C.will be immunized from March to mid-April, including seniors, Indigenous peoples, primary care providers and medical specialists. 

To support this work in Island Health we are expanding staffing resources, logistical supports and opening mass immunization clinics across the region.

Between Dec. 22, 2020 and March 2, 2021 Island Health administered 47,482 doses of vaccine to staff, residents and essential visitors of long-term care and assisted living, hospital-based health-care workers, community health workers, remote and isolated Indigenous communities and outbreak responses.

To meet the unique needs of the diverse groups in Phase 2 Island Health is providing vaccinations in a variety of ways, including community clinics, clinics in congregate settings, outreach for unhoused individuals, home visits for people who are homebound as well as whole community clinics for First Nations communities.

On March 1 we were able to kick COVID-19 immunization roll out earlier than expected for people who are experiencing homelessness or accessing sheltering sites. Thanks to thorough planning preparation, our outreach teams were ready.

Within 24 hours notice, Port Alberni and Duncan outreach teams were offering the COVID vaccine to community members that experience homelessness or use shelters. At the end of day on March 2, 50 people in these communities received vaccines, including clients and a few workers.

Quick mobilization of our teams was made possible by the collaboration between the Mental Health Substance Use and Public Health teams with community partners. Congratulations to the teams and continued success in your efforts to protect some of our most vulnerable community members from COVID-19.

One of the biggest changes in Phase 2 is the shift towards public vaccinations, starting with those people at highest risk – seniors aged 80+ and Indigenous people aged 65+.

We will be asking people in these groups to contact Island Health's call centre in a planned order to avoid long waits and system overcapacity:

  • March 8: 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: Seniors born in or before 1936 (85 years+) may call to book their vaccine appointment, and

  • March 22: Seniors born in or before 1941 (80 years+) may call to book their vaccine appointment.

A family member, caretaker, healthcare worker, advocate or friend can also book an appointment on their behalf. Immunization clinic locations will be confirmed at time of booking, with vaccinations starting as early as March 15, 2021.

You can find details for the public rollout on the Island Health website, including the phone number, call-in schedules, hours of operation and step by-step instructions on how to call to book an appointment.

Island Health will be contacting the other populations that are part of Phase 2including many health care providers. We will call you directly through our call centre. 

If you are contacted with the call-back phone number to book an appointment, please do not share the call-back phone number publicly or within your team. People calling in without having been contacted can not be booked for an appointment, and the extra call volume impacts our ability to effectively book appointments for everyone.

TO SHARE AND NOT TO SHARE

We know that people are eager for information on how to book their immunization – and will be turning to you as a member of the Island Health team for the 'inside scoop'. Please direct them to the Island Health website and other trusted resources:

One of the most important things to share is that people should not call to book an appointment before their age cohort is eligible! If someone has questions, refer them to the websites above, or they can call 1-888-COVID19 between 7:30am and 8pm daily. Calling out of order can overwhelm the system and delay the ability for us to book appointments for those who are eligible. ​