Many people may be under the impression that the B.C. government is only offering the COVID-19 vaccine based on a person's age and Indigenous status.
But people who live at home and are receiving home-care support can also be vaccinated, even if they're under the age of 65, in Phase 2, which began this month.
They're being vaccinated ahead of organ transplant recipients, people with various cancers, and those with severe respiratory issues who aren't receiving home support. People with those conditions will have to wait until Phase 3, starting next month.
In addition, people who provide support are also eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine during Phase 2 of B.C.'s four-phase immunization plan.
Phase 2 runs from February to April. It also allows seniors before in 1941 or earlier and Indigenous people born in 1956 or earlier to be vaccinated.
Those born in 1936 or earlier can start making appointments today, four days earlier than originally planned.
Others who can be vaccinated in Phase 2 include:
- hospital staff, community general practitioners (GPs) and medical specialists not immunized in Phase 1;
- vulnerable populations living and working in select congregated settings;
- staff in community home support and nursing services.
You can read a Ministry of Health statement below:
"B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan happens in four phases. The phased approach is based on expert advice and guidance from the NACI, B.C.’s Immunization Committee and the public health leadership committee. NACI recommends certain populations receive prioritization for early COVID-19 vaccination. Eligibility for all phases is based on the age you are turning in 2021 and whether a person is deemed clinically extremely vulnerable. See more on B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan here.
"In addition, people living at home who receive home-care support, along with the people that provide the support, are eligible to receive the vaccine during Phase 2 of the plan.
"B.C. is committed to an ethical approach to immunization phases. The COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed equitably and ethically to people in B.C. following national ethical frameworks and BCCDC’s COVID-19 Ethical Decision-Making Framework."
Phase 3 runs from April to June. To be eligible, people must meet the following criteria:
- aged 79 to 60, in five year increments:
- 79 to 75 (D1 April, D2 May)
- 74 to 70 (D1 April/May, D2 May/June)
- 69 to 65 (D1 May/June, D2 June/July)
- 64 to 60 (D1 June, D2 July)
- People aged 69 to 16 who are clinically extremely vulnerable (D1 and D2 April/June)
Here is how the Ministry of Health defines "clinically extremely vulnerable".
People with underlying health conditions that are clinically extremely vulnerable include:
- Solid organ transplant recipients
- People with specific cancers
- People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- People with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
- People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- People having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last six months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
- People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- People with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection (biologic modifiers, high dose steroids, AZT, cyclophosphamide)
- People who had their spleen removed
- Adults with very significant developmental disabilities that increase risk
- Adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)
- Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
- Significant neuromuscular conditions requiring respiratory support