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Bowen Islanders getting the vaccine: what we know and what we don't

As Bowen Island is part of West Vancouver's health area, we don't yet know if Bowen Island will have a vaccination clinic
Stock image of a man injecting a woman with a COVID-19 vaccine
At peak immunization capacity, the province will be relying on 715 full-time immunizers across 172 vaccination sites.

With mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics expected to start at the beginning of March, Bowen Islanders are wondering how their immunizations will work. Short answer? We know when and how but not necessarily where.

Bowen Islanders 80 and older who receive home health-care support can generally expect vaccinations to be given in their homes beginning in early to mid-March. 

Those 80-year-old Islanders who are mobile can expect to receive a vaccination between March 15 and the end of March. But where to go has not been made clear. Bowen practitioners have been agitating for a clinic on the island, but so far there has been no official word about this. 

By Monday, March 1, detailed information about this vaccination plan will be available, Heath Minister Adrian Dix said this week. 

There are three steps to the plan. First you register either by telephone (the number is not responding yet) or online. Then you will be contacted either by telephone or online to book an appointment. On your appointment day, you go to a clinic (so far, we don’t know where that will be for Bowen Islanders) where you check in and get your shot. For the second dose, you will be notified by email, text or phone. There has been a report that postcards will be mailed to notify people when second shots will be given.

 Local Health Authorities are organizing immunization clinics in 172 B.C. communities. These widespread mass vaccination clinics will begin in April. 

 The immunization of those over 80 is part of phase two of the province’s vaccination schedule. Phase two includes long-term-care facility staff, residents and essential visitors, as well as medical professionals, remote and isolated Indigenous community members, Indigenous people over 65 and vulnerable populations in certain congregated settings. 

Health-care workers now able to administer the vaccine will include dentists, paramedics, midwives, pharmacy technicians and retired nurses. They will be first in line for vaccinations. 

The general population vaccinations will begin in April, starting with those aged 79 to 75 and descending in five-year increments. 

 Health authorities caution that having had a shot does not mean that people can disobey the advice about careful behaviour. Even those who are vaccinated can still be carriers.

For more information visit the Immunization Plan website.