Eric Stubbs says it’s “great news” as the province announced police officers would be included in vaccine priority groups, starting next month.
On Thursday (March 18), B.C. health officials announced frontline workers, including police, firefighters, child-care, grocery store, postal and K-12 education staff would start getting the vaccine in April.
“We don’t yet have the specifics as to how the vaccine will be rolled out, to whom and when,” said Stubbs, the assistant commissioner of criminal operations for the B.C. RCMP, in an emailed statement.
“We look for learning more in the upcoming days, and once we have a greater understanding, we will ensure that our employees are notified first.”
Stubbs added the B.C. RCMP’s COVID-19 team has been “working closely” with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth since the onset of the pandemic.
“This is great news for all our officers and employees who have been working in these unforeseen circumstances across the province, on and off the frontlines, throughout the pandemic,” said Stubbs, adding the B.C. RCMP was “very pleased” to hear the announcement this week.
In Thursday’s announcement, officials said the priority groups were identified by public health and the COVID-19 Workplace Task Group.
The frontline workers will start to receive their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in April, as part of the province’s second and third phases of the immunization plan.
Everyone in BC is now on track to receive a first dose of the vaccine by the end of June – two months sooner than originally anticipated.
Our updated progress so far includes:
• First dose vaccinations offered for all residents and staff in long-term care. #CovidBC (1/2) pic.twitter.com/Nw0cF6asq1
— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) March 18, 2021
B.C. is expecting to have 340,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine by late May, allowing the more widespread vaccination of front-line workers.
Social distance, masks and other precautions are still needed, as vaccine takes time to be effective and does not entirely remove the risk of infection, and vaccines are not a “get out of jail free card,” Henry said.
– With files from Tom Fletcher
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