VICTORIA -- British Columbia will begin rolling out its COVID-19 mass vaccination program in earnest next week, and will allow seniors to begin booking their immunization appointments.

Throughout the month of March, people over the age of 80 can begin scheduling their vaccine appointments with their local health authority.

Appointments will first open for people over the age of 90, and then will open for younger people in five-year increments.

On March 8, people over the age of 90 and Indigenous peoples over the age of 65 can begin calling their health authority to arrange a vaccine appointment.

People living in the Island Health region can call the health authority at 1-833-348-4787 to book a vaccine appointment.

The call centre is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Family members, friends, or any support person can also call to make an appointment for a senior on their behalf.

On March 15, people over the age of 85 can begin scheduling appointments, and on March 22 seniors over the age of 80 can start booking their immunizations.

Anyone who misses their initial age bracket window can still book an appointment any time after. The province only asks that people do not call ahead of their age bracket.

vaccine slide

(Province of B.C.)

When arranging an appointment, British Columbians will be asked their name, date of birth, postal code, contact information and personal health number (PHN), which can be found on the back of a B.C.'s driver's licence or BC services card.

The province stresses that it will not ask for information such as a Social Insurance Number, banking or credit card details, or driver's licence number.

Currently, B.C. is in "Phase 2" of its vaccine rollout plan, which focuses on elderly people, vulnerable populations and health-care workers. Phase 2 is expected to last until April.

Phase 3 of the provinces vaccine rollout plan will see people between the ages of 60 to 79 receiving their immunization, as well as clinically vulnerable people between the ages of 16 to 69.

Phase 3 is estimated to run from April to June.

Lastly, Phase 4 of the province's vaccine rollout plan will cover any resident between the age of 18 and 59. This last phase is expected to run from July to September.

The province says timelines are subject to change depending on vaccine shipments and that further details on age vaccine phase will be released closer to their start date.

In March alone, the province estimates that 400,000 British Columbians will be immunized.

More details on B.C.'s province-wide immunization program can be found here

vaccine slide

(Province of B.C.)