Childcare, school staff, first responders in Fraser Health can book vaccinations this week

Teachers line up in Surrey on Wednesday to begin receiving AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots. Global News

Ten of thousands of priority workers in Fraser Health are now eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine.

Fraser Health says all licensed childcare workers, school-based staff, police and RCMP along with fire departments in the health region who have not yet received their COVID-19 vaccine can book their immunization appointments starting Wednesday.

Click to play video: 'Good news for B.C.’s mass vaccination program' Good news for B.C.’s mass vaccination program
Good news for B.C.’s mass vaccination program – May 3, 2021

The plan is to complete the immunizations over the next 10 days.

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“We are reaching out to these groups directly today to share details and next steps,” a release from Fraser Health reads.

“Now that we have substantially completed immunizations of school-based staff, police, and firefighters in all of our high-transmission neighbourhoods, today’s action to expedite immunizations of these groups in the remaining communities will ensure they receive immunization as quickly as possible, and is a follow-up to the communication we shared with them last week regarding their immunization schedule.”

Read more: Pregnant women in B.C. now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

Since the worker category came into effect, more 55,000 people who identify as being a part of this group have been vaccinated.

Many workers have been vaccinated through the age-based rollout and whole community clinics.

Click to play video: 'Dr. Bonnie Henry on registering for second dose of  COVID-19 vaccine on provincial website' Dr. Bonnie Henry on registering for second dose of COVID-19 vaccine on provincial website
Dr. Bonnie Henry on registering for second dose of COVID-19 vaccine on provincial website – May 3, 2021

All health authorities in B.C. hope to vaccinate all school-based staff, childcare workers and first responders by mid-May.

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Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health have been vaccinating priority workers in hot-spot areas. The province originally planned on immunizing more than 300,000 priority workers with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, but had to pivot after guidance around using the vaccine for certain age groups changed.

The province plans to include grocery store and postal workers as part of the next phase of priority workers. Food processing workers and workers where outbreaks have occurred have already been prioritized.

“While it remains critical that we continue following public health orders and guidance, registering for the COVID-19 vaccine helps put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, and brings us one step closer to reconnecting with the people we care about the most and returning to the activities we enjoy,” the release reads.

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