British Columbians with various forms of cancer, severe respiratory conditions and transplant recipients can register for their COVID-19 vaccine starting March 29.
Around 200,000 clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people will become eligible sooner because of B.C.’s accelerated immunization program, the province said.
“Since day one of our immunization plan, we have set out to protect those who are most at risk to COVID-19,” said Dr. Penny Ballem, head of the program.
“We used clinical evidence from around the world and clinical expertise and patient registries in B.C. to develop this list and look forward to taking another important step forward in our immunization plan.”
People identified as CEV will receive a letter in the mail in the coming days with information on how to book their shot. They must bring the letter with them to their appointment, according to the province.
B.C. recorded 682 new COVID-19 cases and one death over the last 24 hours. There are now 5,409 active cases, including 314 people hospitalized with the virus, 83 of them in critical care.
Island Health reported 20 more cases, bringing the total number of active cases to 217. Of those, 98 are in the central island region, 100 are in the south island and 19 are in the north. Thirteen people are in hospital with COVID-19, three of them in ICU.
The province has administered 557,508 doses of the three COVID-19 vaccines, including 87,168 second doses, according to a joint statement by Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer and Adrian Dix, minister of health.
Starting tomorrow at noon, people over 76 can book their COVID-19 vaccine appointment and by Friday people aged 74 and up can book.
Another 144 variant of concern (VOC) cases were confirmed in the past day, making the total 1,510, though only 171 are considered active, according to the province.
“This includes 1,357 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 43 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 110 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant,” reads the statement.
If people who believe they are in the CEV group have not received a letter by April 15, they can contact the provincial call centre or visit the online registration and booking system —scheduled to launch April 6, to confirm if they are on the CEV list. If they are not, they can ask their physician or nurse practitioner about their eligibility.
Across B.C., 561 more people have recovered from the virus, bringing the total to 86,307. There are 9,488 people under active public health monitoring.