British Columbia is shifting into its next phase in the vaccine rollout, allowing people to book their appointments online.
The provincial government wants people to register first to get a confirmation code, then book an appointment for a shot when they are contacted by health officials over email, text or phone.
The booking hub can be found at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated and officially launched on Tuesday, April 6, at 8 a.m.
As of 2 p.m., Health Minister Adrian Dix said there had been:
- 160,464 total registrations
- 82,249 registrations using the new online portal
- 26,655 booking invitations sent out for eligible people
- 23,827 appointments booked
“There’s no issues to report and quite positive feedback. So I’m proud of our folks,” Dix said. “This system is going to be a real legacy for us as we go through this, as we open up for more people they will be ultimately able to get access to their own vaccination information, which will be helpful.”
Victoria’s Douglas Boyd successfully booked online Tuesday morning and said the whole process only took about 20 minutes.
“The process worked, almost unexpectedly, really well and I’m really happy about that,” the 71-year-old said.
Boyd said once he registered he received an email about 15 minutes later saying he was eligible based on his birth year and giving him a link to book his appointment.
“I just clicked on the link and selected the new centre they’re opening downtown in the [Victoria] Conference Centre, selected the first date available which was April 17th and boom I’m in, I’m confirmed,” he said.
As of Tuesday, people born in 1950 and earlier (71 and older), Indigenous peoples 18 and older, and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable can register to book their vaccine appointment through the online portal.
The government says online registration is available 24 hours per day and should take an individual roughly five minutes to sign up.
To register online, B.C. residents must provide:
- First and last name
- Date of birth
- Postal code
- Personal Health Number
- An email address that gets checked regularly or a phone number that can receive text messages
Personal Health Numbers on the back of B.C. driver’s licences or BC Services Cards.
British Columbians will still be able to book vaccine appointments over the phone by calling a provincial call centre as well at 1-833-838-2323.
Those aged 55 to 65 and living in the Lower Mainland also have the option of booking at pharmacies to get an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as part of a parallel program.
On Tuesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix confirmed that the Astra Zeneca program will roll out to pharmacies in other communities, including Parksville, Nanaimo, and Victoria, by Thursday or Friday of this week.
In a written statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the supply of COVID-19 vaccines has allowed the province to move into the next phase of its rollout.
The online system opens after B.C. reported a record number of cases over the Easter weekend, including a high of 1,077 infections on Saturday.