B.C.'s premier, top doctor unveiling province's mass vaccination plans on Friday
VICTORIA -- B.C. officials will unveil their plans for widespread vaccine distribution Friday, as provinces across the country adjust to Canada's delayed shipments from Pfizer.
Premier John Horgan, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and others will unveil who will get the vaccine, when, and possibly where it be administered to the masses. That could be vaccination clinics, pharmacies, doctors' offices, or some combination.
The province has already stated mass vaccination will begin with older British Columbians then move through different age groups in decreasing five-year increments. Residents should be able to determine roughly when they will get the vaccine after Friday morning’s briefing. They should also have a clearer idea of how they’ll be notified their turn is up.
The plan could be shaken up by having more vaccines approved, or by another manufacturer slowdown.
The federal government recently revealed the supply coming from Pfizer-BioNTech is lower than expected, but said deliveries should ramp back up in March. The prime minister has assured that every Canadian who wants a shot will still be able to receive one by the end of September.
“This week we're delivering 190,125 doses of Pfizer-BioNtech to the provinces, representing 82 per cent of what we originally anticipated,” said Major General Dany Fortin at a news conference in Ottawa.
On Tuesday, Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the focus this week would be using the Pfizer vaccine to complete second doses within 35 days. That’s longer than the window suggested by the manufacturer.
Interim Opposition Leader Shirley Bond said she’s been hearing from health-care workers wondering how the temporary vaccine slowdown would impact their second shots. At the same time, she took a shot at the government for cancelling a planned COVID-19 briefing Thursday in favour of a press conference with the premier Friday.
“There was supposed to be a public briefing this afternoon but somehow the government couldn't figure out how to plan a briefing with the premier in a way that allows the public briefing to continue,” she said. “Those are the kinds of things that undermine the public's trust and belief that there's actually a plan that's working here.”
Friday’s news conference takes place at 10:30 a.m. and will be live-streamed on CTV News Vancouver's website.