COVID-19 immunization program in British Columbia

vacuna covid

The immunization program against COVID-19 seems to be going according to schedule in British Columbia.  

During this first phase are receiving the vaccine residents and staff of long-term care facilities. Also, individuals assessed for and awaiting long-term care. Residents and staff of assisted living residences are included too. Similarly, hospital health care workers who may provide care for COVID-19 patients in settings like Intensive Care Units, emergency departments, paramedics, medical units and surgical units are in this group too—likewise, remote and isolated Indigenous communities. 

During this time, community-based seniors with 80 years old or more and Indigenous seniors with at least 65 years old will receive one of their doses. Additionally, Hospital staff, community general practitioners (GPs) and medical specialists not immunized in Phase 1. Also, vulnerable populations living and working in select congregated settings are included. 

Phase 3 is scheduled from April to June. This stage includes people aged 79 to 65, in five-year increments based on birth year. 

Also, anyone between 16 to 79 years old with a condition that makes them extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 could get their dose starting in April, regardless of their age. 

B.C. health officials estimate at least 180,000 people are eligible for early vaccination.

 Those conditions include:

– Solid organ transplant recipients

– People with specific cancers, including the blood or bone marrow, such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma, who are at any stage of treatment

– People with cancer undergoing active chemotherapy

– People with lung cancer in the process of radical radiotherapy

– People who are undergoing immunotherapy or similar continuing antibody treatments for cancer.

– People having cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, like protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors.

– People who had bone marrow or stem-cell transplants in the last six months or are still taking immunosuppressive drugs after this procedure. 

– People with severe respiratory conditions. This includes all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

– People with rare diseases significantly increasing the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency and homozygous sickle cell disease.)

– People on immunosuppression therapies exponentially augmenting the risk of infection, such as biologic modifiers, high-dose steroids, AZT and cyclophosphamide.

– People who’ve had a splenectomy (their spleen removed).

– Adults on dialysis/with chronic kidney disease.

– Pregnant women with significant heart disease, either congenital or acquired.

– Significant neuromuscular conditions requiring respiratory support.

Phase 4, from July to September, will include people aged 59 to 18. 

Extensive trials haven’t been completed on people under the age of 18. 

It’s estimated approximately 4.3 million people will be vaccinated in B.C. by the end of September. 


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