British Columbia’s provincial government has announced the launch of a new program called Vax for BC, which is aimed at getting more residents vaccinated with COVID-19 immunizations.
Starting on Tuesday, July 27, and lasting throughout the month of August, the government says Vax for BC will incorporate community events, vax vans and mobile clinics throughout “dozens of communities” in an attempt to get as many people vaccinated as possible with both first and second doses.
The Vax for BC program will allow eligible people to walk into events or mobile clinics and receive a vaccine without a scheduled appointment.
“With more than 80 per of eligible people in B.C. vaccinated with their first dose and more than 60 per cent fully vaccinated, we have made tremendous progress in our vaccine rollout,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The next few weeks is a great opportunity for everyone not yet fully vaccinated to take advantage of the number of Vax for BC opportunities throughout B.C.”
On top of delivering drop-in vaccine opportunities around the province, the government says the program will provide a chance for people to share messages and notes of gratitude to pandemic heroes over the last 18 months.
British Columbians are encouraged to share written messages online, in their windows at home and in-person at vaccination locations.
“The rollout of mass COVID-19 vaccinations for B.C. has been the effort of a lifetime, and this accomplishment is shared by every healthcare worker who has helped us stay safe, every front-line worker who has kept our communities going and every person in B.C. who has chosen to be vaccinated – I am thankful to each and every one of you,” added Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer.
The province says that it will be working with individual health authorities in order to set up regional events, however, there will also be provincewide Walk-In Wednesdays at mass vaccination clinics.
The province says that on August 4, clinics throughout the province will reserve approximately 20,000 doses for walk-in vaccinations for anyone 12 years and older still needing their first dose or people eligible to receive their second dose.
The government says that as more British Columbians get vaccinated through the Vax for BC program, efforts will be gradually refocused to other programs that target the hardest to reach people.
“In the weeks ahead, B.C.’s vaccine strategy will shift toward more local public health clinics, community outreach efforts, mobile programs and pop-up clinics,” reads a statement from the Province. “These will take place within specific communities and populations throughout the province, where the need is greatest.”
According to the BC Centre of Disease Control (BCCDC), less than 5 per cent of COVID-19 cases from June 15 to July 15 were among fully vaccinated people.
A full list of Vax for BC events happening throughout the province is listed in the backgrounder section of the news release and is also available online: gov.bc.ca/vaxforbc