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Coronavirus: Some Whistler workers to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Click to play video: 'Whistler staff bumped up COVID-19 vaccine queue' Whistler staff bumped up COVID-19 vaccine queue
WATCH: Eyebrows are again being raised over who is being moved up in the queue for vaccines. Staff living in Whistler lodging are part of the group receiving the latest batch of AstraZeneca shots. And as Nadia Stewart tells us, the move to prioritize certain workforces is facing scrutiny. – Mar 17, 2021

Editor’s Note: The story has been updated to reflect that Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are being used to immunize the communities of Prince Rupert and Port Edward.

Some workers in Whistler are set to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The community was previously a COVID-19 hot spot, recording nearly 300 cases in January. Transmission mostly occurred in shared household settings among young adults.

After the province announced it was allocating the first batch of AstraZeneca to high-risk workers, those employees living in staff housing at Whistler Blackcomb are next in line to receive their shot.

Click to play video: 'Confusion continues over B.C. workplace vaccination programs' Confusion continues over B.C. workplace vaccination programs
Confusion continues over B.C. workplace vaccination programs – Mar 15, 2021

At a recent council meeting, Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton welcomed the news.

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“Late last week, Vancouver Coastal Health also informed us that they will be vaccinating community members living in staff housing and high-density shared housing, a segment of our community that has seen the highest COVID-19 transmission,” he said.

“This is extraordinarily good news for our community.”

Read more: B.C.’s first batch of AstraZeneca headed for workers at food processing plants, industrial camps

According to the health officials, the province has allocated 60,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine to target high-risk worksites.

“We’ve seen outbreaks that have affected not just the camps and the accommodations, but have spilled over into our communities in the large industrial camps,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 immunizations begin for all adults in B.C. hot spot' COVID-19 immunizations begin for all adults in B.C. hot spot
COVID-19 immunizations begin for all adults in B.C. hot spot – Mar 15, 2021

When asked about the rationale behind distributing vaccine to Whistler staff ahead of frontline workers, Vancouver Coastal Health referred Global News to a Ministry of Health statement from March 15 that stated the province was initially “hopeful additional vaccines would be approved so we could allocate them to priority and front-line workers and industries ahead of Phase 3.”

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Click to play video: 'Special challenges for Indigenous people during Prince Rupert mass vaccination' Special challenges for Indigenous people during Prince Rupert mass vaccination
Special challenges for Indigenous people during Prince Rupert mass vaccination – Mar 17, 2021

Instead, the initial shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be administered to workers like those in Whistler and other industries such as food processing plants.

Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are being used to immunize residents of Prince Rupert and nearby Port Edward after those communities experienced significant community transmission.

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