In our effort to prevent a fourth wave of our pandemic, the province has started Phase 4 of the vaccination program.
This is a crucial step towards herd immunity. When 70% to 80% of our population is immunized, we may see the gradual lifting of our public health restrictions.
Starting on May 11, everyone 40 and up (born in 1981 or earlier) can book a first COVID-19 vaccination. Your first step is to register on the provincial vaccination site: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register
It makes sense for everyone (born in 2003 or earlier) to register on this site, even if you are under 40 or have already received your first dose.
If you were one of the lucky few to have already receive your first dose early on in the program, you may have been told that you would be contacted when you are eligible to book your booster shot. However, in the early months of the program, registration was through your health authority.
In order to receive a booking notification for your second dose, you will need to register on the provincial vaccination site.
Are you in a high-transmission neighbourhood?
I just discovered that I’m living in a high-transmission neighbourhood. None of my neighbours were aware of that either. To find out if your neighbourhood is identified, go to this website and enter your postal code. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/neighbourhood#communities
These high-transmission neighbourhoods have been identified in every health authority, and include some areas of southeast Vancouver and South Burnaby. If your postal code comes up, you may be able to book your vaccine before the usual provincial age cohorts.
Pregnant women 16 and over may also book their vaccinations now. This group has been prioritized as COVID-19 is much more dangerous for both pregnant mothers and their babies.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said data in B.C. shows pregnant women experience severe illness from COVID-19 at a rate similar to people in their fifties. To book by phone, call 1-833-838-2323 and identify that you are pregnant.
We are all experiencing pandemic fatigue, frustrated with the restrictions on our daily lives and missing the quality of social interactions that bring meaning to our lives.
As part of Providence Health Care’s Dialogue on Aging, I’ll be giving a free online talk at 1 p.m. on May 13th: Surviving and Thriving During the Pandemic and Beyond. I’ll share practical strategies to cope with aging, under-certainty and the challenges of life and discuss key emotional health skills and perspectives to transform our stories, manage stress and achieve our positive potentials.
For more information: https://publicpresentations.providencehealthcare.org
Dr. Davidicus Wong is a family physician. His Healthwise Column appears regularly in this paper. For more on achieving your positive potential in health, read his blog at davidicuswong.wordpress.com.