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

This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)
Interior Health notes 80 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

108 people in the region have died from the virus

Last week warming temperatures were a concern for Avalanche Canada forecasters, and those trends likely contributed to an avalanche that killed a West Kootenay snowmobiler on Thursday, March 4. Jen Coulter file photo.
Warming trend contributed to Kaslo fatality: Avalanche Canada

Concern for persistent layers has reduced since then

Phase four of the Kicking Horse Canyon project would twin the winding stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway just east of Golden. ~ Photo by B.C. Ministry of Transportation
Additional closures announced to Trans-Canada east of Golden

Additional closures will be needed in May as a part of Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project

BC CDC monthly data showing geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases over the last 13 months. (BC CDC photo)
Monthly data for COVID-19 updated

The map shows the total case count through the last 13 months

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Five Kelowna writers are featured in an anthology that launched in time for International Women's Day. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
International Women’s Day: Book exploring fears features Kelowna writers

The book has launched in time for International Women’s Day

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice, and provides Kelowna Capital News with weekly stories from the world of local, national and international law. (Contributed)
Kootnekoff: Royal Dismissal

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

(File photo)
RCMP seek witnesses after 2 different reports of man chasing children in Kelowna

Both incidents occured around Dougall Road in Rutland

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Most Read