Everyone in B.C. will be able to get a 1st dose of coronavirus vaccine by end of July: health officials
VANCOUVER -- Health officials in British Columbia now predict that everyone in the province will be able to get a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of July.
The updated projection was announced Monday, as officials revealed details on Phase 2 of B.C.'s vaccination plan.
The latest data, given the acquisition of a third vaccine and a just-extended timeframe between when the first and second dose are given, suggests everyone who wants the shot will be able to get their first dose by mid- to late July.
The earlier plan suggested the final groups to be eligible would not be able to be vaccinated until at least September.
However, on Monday it was announced that those who get the first dose can wait longer than initially thought – as long as four months – to get the second vaccine.
This expanded timeframe will allow more people to get their first shot.
Speaking at a news conference in Victoria, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said she did not yet have a date for when residents in the final phases of the plan could expect a second dose.
Henry said the province would shift its focus to second doses in July, and that all the timeframes will need a bit of "rejigging."
More details are expected to be given later on.
The province's first phase of its plan – vaccinating residents of B.C.'s long-term care homes, assisted living facilities and remote Indigenous communities, as well as some health-care workers and others – is well underway.
On Monday, officials announced the start of Phase 2, during which first doses of the vaccine will be given to those living and working in independent living centres and seniors' supportive housing, as well as seniors aged 65 and older. Read more here, including how to make an appointment.
Phase 3 is expected to begin in mid-April, and will include an online registration and booking system. Residents of B.C. aged 60 and up will be able to make vaccine appointments online when this system launches.