Coronavirus vaccine to be distributed by age group
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
So far, the coronavirus vaccine has not had any reported side effects except those who got allergic reactions from it.
With the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus, many people feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel with this pandemic. But with the shipments of the vaccines being delayed because of factory renovations and more vaccines yet to be approved, getting “back to normal” may be more complicated than originally thought.
In the case of British Columbia, the province has a plan based on the current research about the pandemic. On January 22, Premier John Horgan, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, and the head of the vaccination rollout Dr. Penny Ballem announced how everyone in the province will be able to get the vaccine. The plan is for 4.3 million people to be vaccinated by October. Because the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the only vaccines that are approved in Canada right now, everyone will need two doses of it. So far, the coronavirus vaccine has not had any reported side effects except those who got allergic reactions from it.
Because of the needed double dose, the province will get 8.6-million doses of the vaccine to accommodate everyone who wants it. Henry explains why they decided that they will rollout the vaccine based on recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, BC’s Immunization Committee, and the Public Health Leadership Committee. Like the province’s Restart Plan for the coronavirus pandemic, the vaccination distribution will be in four phases.
Currently, we are in “phase one” where the elderly in long term care homes and hospital workers as well as residents in remote and indigenous places will get it first. In the next phase which begins this month, the rest of the elderly population will receive the vaccine. As Ballem explains the phases in the rollout, she gave more information about how the rest of the population will be able to get the vaccine.
The coronavirus vaccine will be given in five-year age gaps beginning at 79 years old until 18 years old and each person will get each dose in two months. When it is an age group’s turn to get the vaccine, they can pre-register to book an appointment to get immunized a month before they receive it. They will get a record of the vaccination both in paper and digital form to keep track how many doses they got. AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines (which only require one dose) may also be approved soon making for a more efficient vaccination plan.
The vaccine is 95 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 symptomatic illness, though it is unclear whether it prevents the spread of the virus altogether. While many wait to get the coronavirus vaccine, people are still asked to wear a mask and practice social distancing.