At the age of 91, Vic Blancard has learned a lot about patience, but he’s lost his over the issue of COVID-19 vaccinations.
Blancard, a Burnaby resident, contacted me recently because he keeps hearing about how seniors in long-term care homes are rightly being vaccinated for COVID-19, but not people his age who still live on their own.
“We’ve never heard tickety-boo about any of this vaccination,” said Blancard. “What’s going on? They say they are looking at people in the 90s – baloney. Something should be done about this. Where is the vaccination in Burnaby for a person in their 90s? Where is it?”
Blancard said he’s tired of waiting for this to get done and I have to agree. My mom lives in Burnaby and is turning 82 soon. She still hasn’t received any notification about when she’ll receive her vaccination. I’m fed up. I lay awake at night worrying that she’ll be infected before she is vaccinated.
All we get are vague comments from Health Minister Adrian Dix that things are in the works and it’s all going to happen. I’m tired of hearing Dix’s promises. I want action - now.
So does Blancard.
British Columbians 80 and above, Indigenous seniors over the age of 65 and other hospital staff receive vaccines are supposed to receive them by the end of March. Then the province will move onto those who are 75-79 years old.
Vaccinations will then carry on in descending five-year age brackets.
Mobile clinics, in-house visits and digital records are set to play a critical role in the province’s efforts to administer doses to 4.3 million eligible British Columbians by the end of September. Those under 18 are not yet eligible but that may change as more vaccines are approved.
The current timelines are based only on the availability of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, however. Canada has secured orders with additional manufacturers that be may be granted regulatory approval in the weeks and months ahead.
Clinics will be set up beginning in March across 172 B.C. communities in partnership with municipalities, businesses and volunteers.
At peak immunization capacity, the province will be relying on 715 full-time immunizers across all five health regions as it seeks to administer about 100,000 doses per day.
Those immunizers are expected to see 140 patients a day to administer doses.
Mobile sites will also be deployed where necessary and home visits will be made possible for those unable to attend clinics.
So there you go. Some sort of timeline, but only if we get enough doses in time. Meanwhile, seniors like my mom and Vic Blancard play a terrible waiting game.
- With additional reporting by Tyler Orton, Business in Vancouver
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.