British Columbia’s provincial government had pledged that people who are 80 years old and over and reside in the community would get their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in February or March, but delays in vaccine supply have slowed things down somewhat.
Still, B.C.’s Health Minister Adrian Dix said Friday that first doses for this highly vulnerable demographic could be expected by mid-March.
“You can expect to be vaccinated between March 15 and the end of March,” said Dix, after noting that the lack of supply of the vaccines has been the only impediment to faster administration of the shots.
Despite Dix’s optimism, Colwood Mayor Rob Martin said Friday that better communication is needed between municipalities and the province on how the elderly – particularly those with mobility challenges – will get to vaccine clinics.
“What’s critical is that it’s accessible and we can move people who need to get there, and we’re going to need to work on that,” said Martin.
There was some encouraging news this week on that front.
Langford announced the site of its mass vaccination clinic: the dry floor arena at Eagle Ridge Community Centre. And, on Friday, Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne said the city was finalizing details with Island Health to use its community centre.
“It’s an empty site and it’s available, so it would be silly not to use this,” said Mayne outside the centre.
CTV News has also learned the Panorama Recreation Centre on the Saanich Peninsula, and the Seapark Leisure Centre in Sooke are also being considered as sites.
Sooke Mayor Maja Tait wouldn’t confirm a location, but stressed her community needs a clinic.
“For those with accessibility concerns, transportation challenges, it’s important that our community have a clinic located in the District of Sooke,” said Tait.
Island Health still hasn’t revealed the sites of the numerous centres it plans to set up in the coming weeks. The health authority says that information will be released in the coming weeks and months, leaving those next in line playing a guessing game that is getting a bit old.