How do I get the coronavirus vaccine in B.C.?
VANCOUVER -- As B.C.'s efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic continue, CTV News Vancouver has all the details on the province's multi-phased immunization plan.
B.C.'s health ministry has been rolling out details on its mass vaccination plan over the past several months and this article will be updated as new information becomes available.
WHO CAN GET VACCINATED RIGHT NOW?
All B.C. residents 12 and older can now register through the province's online portal. After registration, people will be able to book their dose. Alternatively, there are drop-in clinics offered across the province that don't require prior registration.
WHO IS NEXT IN LINE?
All residents aged 12 and older can now receive a vaccine in B.C. Details on how to register can be found on the province's vaccine website. About four weeks after receiving a first dose, residents can book their second.
HOW WILL I FIND OUT WHEN I CAN RECEIVE THE VACCINE?
All residents aged 12 and older can now receive a vaccine in B.C. Details on how to register can be found on the province's vaccine website.
WHERE DO I SIGN UP?
At the start of the vaccine rollout, individuals could contact a call centre in their health authority to book an appointment. On April 6, an online booking system launched, as did a single call centre phone number for the entire province.
The website to book online is: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated.html
Alternatively, British Columbians can call this number as of April 6: 1-833-838-2323
When booking, an individual will be asked for the person's legal name, date of birth, postal code, personal health number and current contact information.
Alternatively, there are drop-in clinics offered across the province that don't require prior registration.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE REGISTERING?
The B.C. Centre for Disease Controls says “there are very few reasons someone should not get the COVID-19 vaccine.”
However, the BCCDC says, individuals should not get a vaccine if they have serious allergies to any of the ingredients in the vaccines.
"An ingredient in the vaccines that has been associated with a rare but serious allergy (anaphylaxis) is polyethylene glycol (PEG)," a statement on the BCCDC’s website says.
"PEG can be found in some cosmetics, skin care products, laxatives, some processed foods and drinks and other products. There have been no reports of anaphylaxis from PEG in food or drink."
Individuals should also talk to their health-care provider if they've previously had an anaphylactic reaction but don't know what caused it.
WHERE ARE THE VACCINES BEING DISTRIBUTED?
Vaccines are being distributed across the province.
Clinics were set up in March by health authorities and may include mobile sites and home visits where necessary. Large spaces are being used for mass immunization in urban areas including in stadiums, convention halls, arenas, community halls and school gyms. In rural areas, mobile clinics in self-contained vehicles – like transit buses – might be used.
Every health authority has announced the locations of its own clinics, and more details can be found here and on individual health authorities' websites.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MY APPOINTMENT?
Individuals getting their vaccine will need to wear a mask to the clinic and bring their personal health number, if they have one.
They should also wear loose-fitting clothing for easy access to their arm. The vaccine is given by injection into the muscle of the arm, in the shoulder area.
On the day of their appointment, people will have to go through a check-in process, get their vaccine and then wait in an observation area for about 15 minutes afterwards to watch for adverse reactions. Those who get a vaccine will receive a paper copy of their record and a reminder for when to book their second dose. Digital copies of a vaccine record will also be available.
HOW CAN I GET TO MY VACCINATION SITE?
While most health authorities haven't given specific details about transportation to vaccination sites, Fraser Health announced a partnership with TransLink on April 30 to help people get to their appointments. Free shuttles are available to seniors, vulnerable populations and others in the region facing barriers around transportation. Eligible Fraser Health residents can request a ride by using their provincial vaccine registration number to complete a transportation request form. Once that is filled out, Fraser Health will book an immunization appointment and transportation together.
WHEN DO I GET MY SECOND DOSE?
B.C.'s health ministry says those who get their first vaccine dose will be notified by email, text or phone call when they are eligible to book an appointment for their second dose. Messages should be sent out about four weeks after someone has received their first dose.
WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?
British Columbians should speak to their health-care provider or call 811 if they have questions.