B.C. COVID-19 vaccine distribution to ramp up this spring
VICTORIA -- Lorri Strandlund is a nurse at Craigdarroch Care Home in Victoria. She says she feels very lucky because she got a COVID-19 vaccine four days ago.
Strandlund is part of the just over one per cent of British Columbians who have received the shot so far.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” said Strandlund outside the facility on Tuesday. “I’m protecting my family, my coworkers, the residents here.”
According to a recent survey by the Angus Reid Institute, 60 per cent of Canadians polled say they’d like to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
The problem is that there aren’t nearly enough jabs in the arm available yet for all those who would like one.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that the Federal government had secured 20 million more doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which are expected to arrive by April or May.
Trudeau also reiterated his pledge that every Canadian who wants a shot will get one by this September.
“From our agreements with Moderna and Pfizer alone, we will now have 80 million doses of COVID vaccine arriving this year,” Trudeau said.
But for now, the supply of the vaccine by Ottawa is slow compared to demand for it in B.C.
On Monday, B.C.’s Health Minister acknowledged the discrepancy between supply and demand.
“We’ve essentially used up all of the Pfizer and we’ve allocated or used up all of the Moderna,” he said. “And more will come later in the week. And this is what we’ll see for weeks and weeks to come.”
Across the province — including Vancouver Island — health authorities have extended the period between people receiving their first and second dose of a vaccine to 35 days, up from 21 or 28 days.
The longer period is deemed safe and allows for more vulnerable people to receive their first vaccine dose as quickly as possible.
The delivery of vaccines to B.C. is expected to ramp up each month through spring, with about 10 per cent of the population — those most at risk — getting inoculated by the end of March, before more doses start arriving from April and onwards for the rest of the province.