A nurse administers the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy’s Hospital in London, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

A nurse administers the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy’s Hospital in London, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

B.C. plans for COVID-19 ‘mass vaccination’ by March

At least two more vaccines expected to be approved

B.C. public health officials expect to deliver 792,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine by March, with a “mass vaccination” strategy in place by then as additional vaccines are approved for use in Canada.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Jan. 4 there are firmer timelines for delivery of vaccines, with increased volume of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines starting in March. Health Canada is expected to approve the AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines soon, allowing a mass vaccination program to begin in descending five-year age groups after people aged 80 and older have been vaccinated.

Details of the mass vaccination program are being worked out and will be presented later in January, Henry said.

High-priority groups including front-line health care workers, senior care home residents and those waiting for a space in long-term care, and 25,000 residents of remote and Indigenous communities, are receiving vaccinations in January and February.

Next are community-based seniors aged 80 and up (65 and up for Indigenous seniors), for a total of about 260,000 people. Also in this priority group are people in shelters or correctional facilities and adults in mental health residential care.

Public health authorities reported the latest new cases Monday, showing no significant increase as the first days of holiday season activities began to show up with the incubation period of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. There were 565 cases reported Friday, New Year’s Day, 607 cases Saturday, 500 cases Sunday, and 539 cases Monday.

RELATED: B.C. sees 2,211 new cases, 45 deaths since New Year’s Eve

RELATED: Four Surrey households fined for New Year’s parties


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tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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