The BC government has announced that starting March 24, it is sending letters to more than 200,000 British Columbians identified as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) to COVID-19, with details on how they can register for their vaccine ahead of their age cohort. Some of you will want to call your doctor’s office for more information.
Before you call your doctor’s office, please review the following information. It will answer a lot of your questions about what you should be doing and when. It is important that phone lines at your doctor’s office remain open for those requiring immediate medical care.
If you are directed to call your doctor’s office, please do so after April 15 or later and only after you have contacted the call centre.
Here are simple steps to follow:
Determine if you are clinically extremely vulnerable
Only patients in the group identified as clinically extremely vulnerable will be eligible for early vaccination prior to their age group. You can find the list of eligible conditions here. The list was developed by public health leaders in BC based on international and BC data, scientific studies, and advice from BC physicians and providers in cancer care, kidney diseases and other immunocompromised conditions.
If your specific condition is not listed here, we still encourage you to become vaccinated as soon as the opportunity arises. The good news is that, with current timelines, you will receive your vaccine with your age group within the next few months. There is no need to contact your doctor’s office to simply enquire whether you should be on the list. Your doctor does not have the ability to add additional conditions to this list.
Wait to receive your letter from the Provincial Health Officer and then book your appointment
As noted, 200,000 British Columbians identified as clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 (will receive letters from the Provincial Health Officer between now and April 15.) The letters contain information on how they can register for the vaccine.
When you receive your letter, you can call your health authority’s call centre to book an appointment to receive your vaccine. You do not need a doctor’s note in order to book your appointment, or to call your doctor’s office once you receive this letter. Just go ahead and book your vaccination appointment directly as instructed on the letter.
If you do not receive a letter by April 15, and you are on the list of critically extremely vulnerable conditions
Contact the vaccination call centre after this date. If staff there have information that identifies you as critically extremely vulnerable, then they will help you book an appointment.
If you are on the list, but the call centre does not have you identified as being in the group of critically extremely vulnerable conditions
You will be asked to call your doctor. Your doctor will then connect with you and confirm your eligibility by filling out an attestation form, enabling you to receive the early vaccination. There is no need to worry. There are a number of reasons why you might not get get notified, including: a recent move to BC, treatment in another province, medication prescriptions are not going through the BC PharmaNet system, or your home address on file is outdated.
If you are advised that you are not eligible to receive the vaccine earlier due to not being in one of the CEV groups
You will still be able to receive your vaccine within the next few weeks, along with your age cohort. Please note that the list of eligible conditions has been approved by the Provincial Health Officer, and exceptions will be very rare. Your doctor will not be able to add you to the list, if your condition is not already listed.