British Columbia's provincial health officer is predicting more than half a million British Columbians will be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of March. BC has received more than 54,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines so far but fewer than half, or about 24,000 vaccinations, have been administered to priority populations. Dr. Bonnie Henry says the vaccination rate has started slowly because of the logistics of a complicated delivery system along with more intense training for those who are administering the doses. Henry says she's confident BC will reach a vaccination rate of 3300 people a day very soon.
Henry says 150,000 people will be vaccinated by the end of this month and 400,000 more by the end of March. They include residents and staff at long term care homes, in assisted living residences, essential visitors to long term care homes, health care workers, including nurses and doctors in COVID-19 hospital wards and ICUs, along with paramedics and people living on remote and isolated first nations communities. The next priority groups include seniors who live outside of care homes, the homeless population, people who live and work in provincial correctional facilities, group homes and mental health residential care as well as doctors and remaining health care workers. Henry says the plan to begin mass immunization clinics for the general population will begin in April and will be prioritized according to age. Henry says she will share more details about mass immunizations before the end of this month when the province expects to confirm vaccine delivery schedules for the second quarter which begins in April.