This picture taken on May 23, 2020 shows a laboratory technician holding a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand at Chulalongkorn University in Saraburi. (Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

This picture taken on May 23, 2020 shows a laboratory technician holding a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand at Chulalongkorn University in Saraburi. (Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

Interior Health ready and waiting for vaccine to arrive

‘Public Health are experts at receiving and distributing vaccines’

Interior Health (IH) says it is ready and able to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine once it arrives in the Okanagan. But the health authority doesn’t yet have a timeline as to when that may be.

“Interior Health is working very closely with the BCCDC to ensure we are ready to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine once it arrives in the Interior,” said an IH spokesperson.

“Public Health are experts at receiving and distributing vaccines. We have teams ready to help deploy the COVID-19 vaccine and we encourage everyone to monitor BCCDC guidance carefully as details are finalized.”

The first vaccines are set to arrive in B.C. next week, said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix described the early days of the coronavirus vaccine plan Wednesday, with 4,000 doses of frozen Pfizer vaccine arriving at two sites in Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health next week packed in dry ice.

READ MORE: First vaccines go to health workers

Health care workers in long-term care and the acute wards dealing with sick COVID-19 patients are priority one, followed by long-term care residents, seniors over 80 years old in the community, and those at risk because of chronic conditions, including people in Vancouver homeless shelters and in first nations communities where chronic health conditions are also prevalent.

“It’s a safe vaccine,” said Interior Health chief medical health officer, Dr. Albert de Villiers. But he recognizes that some will have apprehension about taking it.

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