COVID-19 vaccines for all British Columbians
Posted In: Employee Benefits Planning

Author: Pacific Blue Cross

What you need to know about BC’s COVID-19 vaccination plan

As BC’s number one health benefits provider, our mission is to improve health and wellbeing for all British Columbians.

Because we provide health benefits coverage to over 1.6 million people in the province, we feel a special responsibility to help you streamline your employee/plan member information needs about the COVID-19 immunization plan—particularly given how rapidly it’s changing.

Please visit our Vaccinations & COVID-19 Resource Page, a central repository of vaccine information with links to key resources. We’ll keep this content current, so you can rely on it when making any internal plans for communicating to your plan members.

Finally, some optimism

According to Dr. Bonnie Henry’s latest update, everyone who is eligible for a vaccine will have access to a vaccine before July 1, 2021. This is encouraging news indeed!

BC’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan is designed to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19. In general:

  • Everyone who would like a vaccine will have the opportunity to be vaccinated when they’re eligible to receive it.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone living in BC.
  • You do not have to be a BC citizen to receive the vaccine. If you live here, you can get one.
  • The vaccine rollout will be completed in four phases, starting with the most vulnerable/high risk members of our population. We’re currently in phase 2.
  • Each regional health authority is coordinating vaccination delivery within their regions and has a unique call centre number.
  • Appointments can be made for any of the available clinics in the health region.

Current immunization focus

It’s important to monitor the immunization schedule for vaccine eligibility. New age groups are being permitted to schedule vaccine appointments on an almost daily basis, depending on the supply of vaccines received in the province.

Vaccines primer

Vaccines help protect individuals from getting sick by teaching the body’s immune system to remember and recognize a virus, so it can defend itself if exposed in future. If enough people get vaccinated, it makes it difficult for the disease to spread. This gives everyone protection, which is known as ‘herd immunity’.

Currently, Health Canada has approved four vaccines for use with COVID-19:

By receiving any one of the vaccines above, individuals will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in BC. Please note: We are unable to answer specific health-related questions, nor are we giving advice on whether your employees should be vaccinated. It’s important they speak to their health care providers if they have these types of questions.

How we’re supporting the vaccination effort

Employee education sessions on the science behind vaccines can be booked through Pacific Blue Cross and our preferred pharmacy network. For more information including fees for this support, please contact your Account Executive.

Information regarding the immunization effort is changing all the time. Visit our Vaccinations & COVID-19 Resource Page for current details.

We will continue to keep you informed as BC’s immunization plan progresses.