Premier John Horgan is asking people to help elders living in every B.C. community get ready for a COVID-19 mass vaccination effort that is expected to start by the end of March.
Most people aged 80 and up still live in their own homes, but some may not be plugged into modern communication and may need a hand to get prepared, Horgan told reporters Wednesday. He encouraged people to check in with elderly neighbours as the official effort to register and vaccinate everyone in the province begins to ramp up.
Despite temporary delays in vaccine shipments, the federal government has assured B.C. that its contracted shipments of Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccine will arrive by the end of March. B.C.’s plan is to start registering people by age group in March.
The largest immunization program in the province’s history will use clinics in 172 B.C. communities, using school gymnasiums, arenas, community halls, church halls and convention centres, as well as mobile clinics for rural areas. Mobile teams will also be dispatched to people who aren’t able to leave their homes, using transit buses and other self-contained vehicles.
Horgan said he’s contacting MLAs to assist in their communities, particularly those who speak Cantonese, Filipino, Punjabi and other languages.
“We’re going to ask all the members of the legislature to reach out to people they know to be in the cohort they’re looking for to start vaccinations, the 80-pluses,” Horgan said. “We’re asking neighbours of people who are isolated, who may not have access to technology, if you know you’ve got an elderly person living next door to you, contact public health. Take that step. Be a good Samaritan, be a good neighbour.”