Northern Health, in consultation with the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer is helping to facilitate the vaccination of workers in high risk locations such as industrial work settings as part of BC’s province-wide immunization program.
Additional supply of COVID-19 vaccine in BC is allowing for complementary immunization programs targeting outbreak response in communities and high-risk industrial settings, while Phase 2 of BC’s foundational immunization program continues to be implemented for seniors 80 years of age and older, and Indigenous people 65 and older.
Vaccination of workers in high risk industrial settings have been one of the key parts of BC’s vaccination strategy, and was planned to start as additional vaccines were approved and become available. This will not impact the completion of Phase 2 immunizations, and the move to Phase 3 and 4 immunizations across the North.
BC’s supply of the AstraZeneca – SII Covishield vaccine – is being targeted toward large industrial project worksites, including where workers live or work in congregate settings, in the Northern Health region. The first priorities are workforces of LNG Canada, Coastal GasLink, Trans Mountain Pipeline, BC Hydro’s Site C project, and Rio Tinto Alcan. Additional industrial settings will be targeted in the coming weeks.
Beginning in the next few days, approximately 15,000 doses will be distributed and utilized toward this effort in the NH region; Northern Health is helping to facilitate the immunization effort, and industry will be responsible for delivering vaccine to their workforces, at their own clinic sites.
This, along with the Phase 2 – seniors 80 years of age and older, and Indigenous people 65 and older – will provide more protection for rural, remote and First Nations communities ahead of the start of Phase 3 in April.