Front-line workers prioritized, including teachers, grocery store staff, to receive vaccines in April

VICTORIA, B.C – The province says more than 300,000 frontline worker will receive their first dose of the Astr…

VICTORIA, B.C – The province says more than 300,000 frontline worker will receive their first dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine in April.

Workers are receiving the doses earlier than originally scheduled due to age-based vaccinations moving ahead of schedule, says provincial officials during a vaccine rollout update Thursday.

“Many of these people have come to work throughout this pandemic, continuing to teach and care for our children, stock the shelves of our local grocery store and keep our communities safe. By immunizing these front-line workers, we are making workplaces and communities throughout our province safer,” says Premier John Horgan.

The priority groups include:

The groups have been identified as workers in places and sectors where the use of personal protective equipment and barriers can be challenging, outbreaks and clusters have occurred or are ongoing, workers must live or work in congregate settings, and maintaining the workforce for a critical service is necessary.

These workplaces are in addition to large industrial camps, such as site c, agricultural operations and food processing plants labelled as a priority.

In total, the province expects to receive around 340,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of May 2021. A combination of community pharmacists, existing immunization clinics and mobile clinics will be used at some worksites to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to front-line workers.

More information on booking arrangments for front-line workers is set to be released in the coming weeks.

The age-based vaccine rollout is ahead of schedule with every senior 80 years old and over, and Indigenous people 65 years old and over will be eligible to book a vaccination appointment by March 19th.

The next age cohort may be eligible as early as Saturday. Health authorities call centres have now extended to include those who are 79-70 years old and Indigenous peoples 55 and over.

The province says everyone in B.C. who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to receive their first dose before July 1st.

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