A year of COVID-19 vaccines in B.C.

BRITISH Columbia is marking one year since the first COVID-19 vaccines arrived and were administered in British Columbia.

“While the global pandemic continues to challenge us in ways we had never imagined, I’ve been amazed at how British Columbians rolled up their sleeves to keep each other safe,” said Premier John Horgan on Tuesday. “Since we began the largest immunization program in our province’s history, the vast majority of people have stepped up and done their part. By remaining vigilant, continuing to follow public health orders and getting vaccinated, we will get through this together.”

On December 14, 2020, the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Vancouver. The next day, long-term care aide Nisha Yunus became the first person in B.C. to get vaccinated. More than 4.2 million British Columbians have joined her in getting at least their first dose. Vaccination opened to children aged five to 11 years old on November 30, 2021.

As of December 13, 2021, 91.5% of eligible people 12 and older had received their first dose, while 88.5% had received their second dose. More than 589,000 people have received a third or booster dose of vaccine, which helps ensure continued protection against COVID-19. Invitations for third and booster doses are being sent out based on level of risk, age group and date of second dose. All eligible British Columbians will have the opportunity to receive their booster dose within the recommended six to eight months after their second dose

The BC Centre for Disease Control reports that British Columbians who have not been vaccinated are 56 times more likely to end up in critical care due to COVID-19 than people who have received two vaccine doses.

“I want to extend my deepest gratitude to all the health care workers who have helped people get vaccinated over the past year,” said Horgan. “We all want to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families. The COVID-19 vaccine is proven to be safe and effective, and is bringing us one step further in putting the pandemic behind us.”

British Columbians who still need to get a first or second dose, or want to register their child, can find more information at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register