It is the online booking system a year in the making.
The B.C. government’s Get Vaccinated website is now active and eligible British Columbians will be able to book their COVID-19 vaccine apppointments through the website starting Tuesday.
“British Columbians faced the countless challenges of this past year with incredible courage,” Premier John Horgan said in a statement.
“Today marks a major milestone in our fight against COVID-19, and we ask everyone to wait their turn and follow three steps to help put this pandemic behind us.”
Starting at 8 a.m., Tuesday people born in 1950 and before (71 years and older), Indigenous peoples 18 and older, and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and have received a letter inviting them to book a vaccination, will be able to use the booking system.
The province has opted for a three-step process. Eligible British Columbians must first register and receive a confirmation code. Once get an email, text or phone call telling them they are eligible to book, they can then book an appointment.
The final step is visiting a vaccination clinic and getting vaccinated. The web portal is only for the age-based program including Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
Those who are not comfortable booking online can call 1-833-838-2323 or in-person at a Service BC location.
“We encourage everyone in B.C. to get their vaccine at their first opportunity when it is their turn,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.
British Columbians can check the website regularly to see when it is their time to register.
The province has concerns the website could be overwhelmed when registration opens Tuesday. Officials are asking British Columbians to wait until their age cohort is called to register “to preserve system capacity.”
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said B.C. is taking an important step into Phase 3 of the province’s immunization plan.
“Every vaccine delivered makes all of us safer – let’s keep our momentum going and get everyone who wants one, their first dose by Canada Day,” Henry said.
The online booking portal is separate from the ongoing Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine program. People aged 55 to 65 in the Lower Mainland continue to be eligible to book an appointment to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at a participating pharmacy. The program will be expanded this week to include other B.C. communities.
By the end of this week the province, in working with the BC Pharmacy Association, will be expanding the 55 to 65 program to people in Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Parksville, Prince George, Quesnel, Terrace, Vernon and Victoria.
The province says nearly 770,000 eligible British Columbians have received their first dose of vaccine, and more than 87,000 have received their second dose.
To register online you need to province first and last name, date of birth, postal code, and Personal Health Number. The website also requires an email address that gets checked regularly or a phone number that can receive texts.