The COVID-19 pandemic has seen essential workers on the frontlines – although working as teachers, dentists, and truck drivers are not expected to get the AstraZeneca vaccine until late April. (Angie Mindus)

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen essential workers on the frontlines – although working as teachers, dentists, and truck drivers are not expected to get the AstraZeneca vaccine until late April. (Angie Mindus)

B.C.’s essential workers on hold until late April for AstraZeneca shots

Health minister says first 68,000 doses will be used to address clusters, community outbreaks

B.C.’s essential workers, aside from those in health care, will not get priority access to the AstraZeneca vaccine to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 until late April.

This includes teachers, dentists, and truck drivers – many of whom have recently called upon the provincial government to vaccinate the frontline employees in their sector.

“It’s important for both their safety and peace of mind that they get vaccinated,” said Teri Mooring, president of BC Teachers’ Federation.

She told Black Press Media that numerous COVID-19 variants detected in Fraser Health region schools have made teacher’s need for vaccinations an urgent one.

RELATED: Why it’s ‘urgent’ B.C. teachers get vaccinated from COVID-19 before summer

Health Minister Adrian Dix confirmed this week the first 68,000 doses of the vaccine scheduled to arrive will be used to address coronavirus clusters and community outbreaks.

This comes as health officials accelerate mass COVID-19 vaccinations of second doses in older residents, with bookings for 84-year-olds starting noon on Monday.

Those 83 and older can call their health authority to book an injection Tuesday, followed by 82 and older Wednesday, 81 and older Thursday and 80 and older on Friday.

As of Friday (March 12), 380,743 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered to people, 87,024 had received both doses needed for full immunity from the virus.

Health Canada authorized the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in late February.

READ MORE: B.C. dentists and bus drivers want newly-approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

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