B.C.’s top doctor said the province is looking to bolster vaccinations in Surrey, the region hardest hit by COVID-19.
“We’re looking at a whole bunch of things around the communities where risk is highest and Surrey is the highest in the province,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday.
“We are looking at several different strategies, including immunization of people in the education system, but also targeting businesses and some of the communities.”
The province’s supply of AstraZeneca vaccine gives B.C. the flexibility to target communities where transmission is highest, Henry said, adding that the province hopes to receive even more AstraZeneca doses in the next week.
Last week, the province announced that teachers were among the professions included on a list of workers to be prioritized to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We don’t have enough vaccine to do everybody in the school system right now so we will be prioritizing by where the risk is greatest,” Henry said Monday.
On Tuesday, Surrey School District Supt. Jordan Tinney said the district has been given approval to work with Fraser Health on vaccinating staff at all K-to-12 schools.
Henry said the province continues to see low rates of transmission in the school settings but that schools reflect transmission in the community.
“All of the educators in the school system are part of our priority group because of the role that they play in supporting the education system and how disruptive it is when we have exposure events given the high rates of transmission in our community,” she said.
“It’s very similar to why we are prioritizing police services, fire services, our emergency medical services, not because they’re at high risk, but because they have an important function in society that can be disrupted, and disrupted quite severely, if we start to get clusters and people have to be self-isolating.”
The province reported 1,785 new COVID-19 cases over the past three days, the majority of which were in the Fraser Health region, where Surrey is located.
Earlier this month, the province launched a campaign to immunize all the adults in the communities of Prince Rupert and nearby Port Edward. Vaccination clinics there offered the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.View link »