B.C. health minister says COVID-19 vaccine rollout to ramp up next week
VICTORIA -- The foot traffic was steady but slow Wednesday afternoon entering Victoria’s immunization clinic, and last week’s frenzy of AstraZeneca shots at Vancouver Island pharmacies has petered off.
Health Minister Adrian Dix says folks should get ready for things to ramp up in a big way with the province’s age-based vaccine program.
“The lack of vaccines meant that the age cohorts moved slowly, but they are going to pick up in the next week,” said Dix Wednesday. “Next week, we’re going to receive twice as much Pfizer as we’ve been receiving, so that’s 276,000 doses.”
A fourth shot, the single-dose vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson arrived in Canada Wednesday. It’s expected in B.C. next week, although only a relatively small amount of the 300,000 total doses are likely coming to the province, and those will be targeted for people who could be hard to track down for a second dose.
“Firefighters, forest firefighters and others,” said Dix. “One of the groups were looking at is cross-border truckers,” the health minister added
As for second doses of AstraZeneca, Dix says more information about how to sign up for those is coming. However, those who’ve already booked a second jab for four months away — through the pharmacy where they got their first one — should keep the appointment.
But everyone, including all those who got an AstraZeneca shot should register online with the government website to stay in the loop and get notice of their next one, he said.
“It’s in the interests of everyone to register, and I encourage everyone to do so,” said Dix.
It isn’t known yet when more AstraZeneca will be coming, but much more Moderna and Pfizer are on the way with 1.1 million doses of Pfizer coming in May alone.
“Once we get to Monday of next week we are hoping to be inviting people to book rapidly by age through the week, so this is going to move much more quickly now,” said Dix.
People 58 year old and older can book a vaccine appointment on Thursday.