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Provincial Health Officer lays out estimated COVID-19 vaccine roll-out timeline

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has laid out an approximate timeline as to when British Columbians can expect to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, with the first batch planned for early 2021.

Henry said the province, in partnership with the Federal government, plans to roll out the first batch of Moderna and Phizer vaccinations in the first few weeks of January.

Henry said at least two other vaccines have also been submitted for approval, one from AstraZeneca and one from Janssen, which will be expected later in the year.

“They’re likely to be the only ones we’ll have in early 2021. We’ll have about six-million doses across the country that we expect to come through the weeks of January, February and March,” said Henry. “By the time we get into April of 2021, we’re expecting increased numbers of all vaccines to be available, but it will take some time.”

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Henry said she is hopeful that vaccinations will be available to everyone who wants one by September.

For the first batch, however, distribution will focus on healthcare workers and vulnerable people, as there are not enough doses to go around just yet.

“Our first priority will be to make sure that we’re protecting those who are most at risk. We know that is our seniors and our elders in our communities, in our long-term care homes and our hospitals,” explained Henry. “Once we have more vaccine available, we will be making it available to all of us in B.C. That is when we can get to managing and controlling this pandemic. But for now, we must stay strong.”

Henry has urged the public to keep adhering to the measures the Public Health Office has put in place until the pandemic subsides.

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