Every day this week, the age for seniors in Richmond and the rest of the health authority allowed to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments will go down – on Monday, those aged 84 and older can book, on Tuesday, those aged 83 and older can book, and so forth.
This is ahead of schedule, as originally Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) was going to allow only those aged 85 and older to book appointments this week.
Seniors can book appointments at three clinics in Richmond that were being set up last week: East Richmond Community Hall (just west of Cambie secondary), Jackson Lam Adult Day Care (Austin Harris) in Steveston and at River Rock Casino.
However, health officials have said, if it's easier to access another centre - for example, where a caregiver lives - they are limited to booking an appointment in their hometown.
The number to call to book an appointment is 1-877-587-5767 and phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
VCH pointed out call volumes are lower in the afternoon and evening.
When calling, seniors will need to give their first and last name, personal health number, date of birth, postal code and phone number.
By April 12, mass vaccination clinics in large buildings, like community centres, are expected to be set up.
In addition to age-based vaccinations, the province announced Monday its initial shipment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be used to vaccinate workers in vulnerable sectors including food processing plants, farms and greenhouses as well as industries requiring employees to live in congregate settings, health officials announced Monday.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said the vaccine is being allocated to industries where barriers and full use of personal protective equipment can be challenging and where outbreaks and clusters are ongoing.
"Immunizing workers in these settings will not only protect workers, it will also protect the communities around them, including many rural, remote and Indigenous communities," Henry and Dix said in a joint statement.
As of Friday, B.C. had reported just under 87,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began and had administered almost 381,000 doses of vaccine.
March 15: seniors 84 and older
March 16: seniors 83 and older
March 17: seniors 82 and older
March 18: seniors 81 and older
March 19: seniors 80 years and older
Indigenous people aged 65 and older can call to book an appointment any time.
- with files from Canadian Press