Vaccine rollout is focused on health care workers first, especially those dealing with long-term care facilities. (Nathan Denette - Canadian Press)

Vaccine rollout is focused on health care workers first, especially those dealing with long-term care facilities. (Nathan Denette - Canadian Press)

General public shouldn’t expect vaccines until fall: Interior Health South Okanagan Similkameen

Interior Health focused on vaccinating long-term and first-line care workers

Don’t expect to receive a vaccine soon, the focus right now is on doctors, seniors and others most at risk.

During a budget presentation to the South Okanagan Similkameen Hospital District, Interior Health South Okanagan Similkameen executive director of clinical operations Carl Meadows took the opportunity to speak to the board on the ongoing pandemic and vaccine roll-out.

“Our COVID-19 numbers in the community are dropping, but we have had some significant events in places that have been made public,” said Meadows. “It has been a very long few months.”

Vaccines are focused first and foremost on long-term care and assisted living citizens and staff.

The priority from there then goes to COVID-19 unit staff, ICU staff, emergency staff and then physicians and staff that work in any of those areas.

“We tailored it to level of risk, and that’s how we’re doing our implementation,” said Meadows. “It’s probably going to be fall, that the general public gets access to it.”

READ MORE: No funding for Primary Care Networks from South Okanagan Similkameen Hospital District

Separate from the vaccine roll-out, which is facing its own difficulties on a national level due to the availability of the vaccine, the dropping numbers are a promising sign, as long as they continue that way.

“We did a great job. Our first COVID patient wasn’t even allowed out of their car, they had been travelling and our team caught it quickly,” said Meadows. “We’re still cautiously optimistic. Our numbers in Penticton and the South Okanagan are going down, but our testing numbers are also down.”

Meadows noted that communities had faced challenges, including the McKinney Place long-term care facility outbreak in Oliver. A review of the outbreak, and lessons from that, has been requested by Meadows, and how to go forward with other four-bed long-term care facilities.

READ MORE: Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

READ MORE: South Okanagan COVID-19 numbers continue downward trend

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

vaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Okanagan College, Vernon campus. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)
WATCH: Student housing coming to Vernon, Salmon Arm

Province announces $66M for new student beds for Okanagan College campuses

Ogopogo statue at Paul’s Tomb in Kelowna. (Colintube1 - YouTube)
Children’s author asks City of Vernon to use ‘Ogopogo’ in new book

The City of Vernon has held famed lake monster’s copyright for past 65 years

An air quality advisory continues in Vernon March 4 due to high levels of dust in the air from winter traction material. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Dust still hasn’t settled in Vernon, starting to rise in Kelowna

Air quality advisory will last until the next rainfall or until enough street sweeping work is done

Pharmacists will distribute NARCAN nasal sprays at 470 Belleville St. May 1 from 7 a.m. until 6 pm. or until handouts are gone. (Black Press File).
Man brought back to life by Vernon RCMP

Victim was not breathing following overdose, until life-saving efforts of police

After 54 years as an educator and community leader in Kelowna, Rolli Cacchioni has died of a stroke. (Contributed/SD23)
Long-time Kelowna educator, community figure dies

SD23 Trustee Rolli Cacchioni died of a stroke March 23, after 54 years with the school district

More than 60 students with the Vernon Community Music School came together for a virtual rendition of Canon in D by Johann Pachbel March 4, 2021. (Contributed)
WATCH: Young talent on display in Vernon music school’s virtual orchestra

More than 60 students ages 3-17 took part in a virtual performance of Pachbel’s Canon in D

Mike Barrett plans to start cycling on March 10 to raise funds for the Unicorn Project school in India. He aims to cycle 13,000 kilometres, with the last stretch traveling from Dehli to Bodhgaya. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton retiree to cycle 13,000 km to raise funds for school in India

Mike Barrett hopes to raise at least $5,000 for the school

Shiromali Krishnaraj arrives from India and receives a mandatory COVID-19 test at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. B.C.’s approved rapid tests also use a nasal swab, with a machine to scan for COVID-19 antibodies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s rapid COVID-19 tests have produced only two positive results

Tests deployed for exposures in schools, outbreaks in care homes, jails

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Emergency Health Services confirmed that a call was received just before 10 a.m. Ground paramedics, as well as an air ambulance, are on the way to the area. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BREAKING: Helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Nanaimo bar display at the Nanaimo Museum. (City of Nanaimo Instagram)
City of Nanaimo points to correct recipe after New York Times botches batch of bars

City addresses ‘controversy’ around dessert square’s layers

A man holds a picture of Chantel Moore during a healing gathering at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. First Nation demands transparency in probe into second fatal RCMP shooting

‘Police have killed more Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members than COVID’

A B.C. government-run cannabis retail outlet was proposed for a building to be constructed at the Salmon Arm SmartCentres site. (File photo)
Province backs away from plans for Salmon Arm cannabis store

BC Cannabis Store was proposed to be in building to be constructed at shopping centre

Most Read