All seniors 74 or older who live in the Interior Health region can now book their appointment to receive a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The health authority said a person born in 1947 or earlier, an Indigenous person born in 1966 (55-plus) or earlier, or a person who is “clinically extremely vulnerable” is now eligible to make the call.
People aged 16 to 74 who are determined to be part of the clinically extremely vulnerable group will receive an invitation letter in the mail signed by Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer.
Letters will be mailed starting March 24, Interior Health said. Everyone should receive their letter by April 15.
Last week, the health authority also announced that all adults in select rural and remote communities will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in April.
Interior Health has released a vaccination schedule for more than 40 communities in the region, including Sicamous, Greenwood, Beaverdell and Rock Creek.
“We looked at specific communities that are small and that are a little bit isolated and don’t necessarily have as much medical care,” Interior Health chief medical health officer Dr. Albert de Villiers said.
“It doesn’t really help to go in and doing all the 90-year-olds and then all the 80-year-olds because there might only be 10 of each. It’s just easier to do the whole community at the same time.”
Eligible residents for the remote community clinics will have to prove their place of residence by providing a postal code, personal health number, legal name and date of birth.
Next month, select front-line priority workers will also become eligible to receive their first dose of vaccine, including first responders, K to 12 educational staff, grocery store workers and postal workers.
Call 1-877-740-7747 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. seven days a week to book an appointment. An online booking option is not currently available.
Family members or those who provide trusted support can call in to register eligible seniors for a vaccine appointment.
Interior Health administered its first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 22, 2020, and in three months 101,156 doses have been delivered throughout the Interior, it said.
“I am so proud of our teams who have simultaneously kept their focus on contact tracing and supporting people in self-isolation to slow the spread of COVID-19 while rolling out this COVID-19 immunization campaign,” Interior Health president and CEO Susan Brown said on Friday.
“Meanwhile, staff and physicians throughout the Interior continue to support community health services, catch up on paused surgeries, support patients at two tertiary, four regional and 18 community hospitals, and provide so many more valuable programs. I am eternally grateful to everyone throughout Team IH for your endless commitment to care.”
For more information about its COVID-19 vaccination rollout, visit Interior Health’s website.