B.C. to offer early COVID-19 vaccines to people with serious health conditions
Cape Coral resident Susan Weisburger receives a Moderna vaccine for COVID-19 Wednesday morning, Dec. 30, 2020 during first day of vaccinations in the city at Cultural Park Theater in Cape Coral, Fla. (Ricardo Rolon/The News-Press via AP)
VICTORIA -- Hundreds of thousands of B.C. residents who are considered "clinically extremely vulnerable," or CEV, will be able to book their COVID-19 vaccine appointments staring Monday, March 29.
The B.C. government says that approximately 200,000 residents over the age of 16 are considered CEV, including people managing certain types of cancers, people with severe respiratory conditions, and people with rare blood diseases.
Anyone who is considered extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 will be contacted through a letter in the mail with information on how to book a COVID-19 appointment starting next week.
If you believe you are extremely vulnerable and do not receive an information letter by April 15, health officials say you should call your regional health authority or check the province's online vaccine registration system, which is slated to launch on April 6.
People who fall under the CEV category are asked to bring their information letter to their vaccination appointment to confirm their status.
To book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, people who are clinically extremely vulnerable will still have to call their regional health authority. Contact information for each health authority can be found here.
"B.C. has made tremendous progress on our age-based vaccine program," said Health Minister Adrian in a statement Tuesday.
"Now, we are able to expand to those people who are at increased risk from COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions or various medical treatments," he said.
The province says that physicians, care providers and international data helped define what B.C.'s current CEV list is.
A full list defining who a clinically extremely vulnerable person is in B.C. can be found on the provincial government's website here.
Health officials say that the CEV vaccine distribution program will run parallel to the province's age-based approach, which is currently focusing on seniors.