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B.C. Children's Hospital: How to avoid long hospital waits – The Kingston Whig-Standard

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For non-emergent illnesses and injuries, parents can visit the new urgent and primary care centres or call 811 for free advice.

B.C. Children’s Hospital is reminding parents that they can avoid long and unnecessary waits at its emergency department over the holidays by choosing from several other options to treat children with non-emergent illnesses and injuries.

Jason Payne / Vancouver Sun

B.C. Children’s Hospital wants your little loved ones to stay out of the waiting room and get promptly treated this holiday season.

The Vancouver hospital is reminding parents that they can avoid long and unnecessary waits at its emergency department over the holidays by choosing from several other options to treat children with non-emergent illnesses and injuries.

Dr. Benetta Chin, an emergency physician at B.C. Children’s Hospital, said doctors and nurses know that the holidays are a stressful time to be caring for a sick child, with many clinics and doctors’ offices closed and emergency rooms so busy.

“Of course, if you come, we are happy to see you and will give you the best care possible,” Chin said.

“But we also feel frustrated for families when we see that they’ve been waiting six hours for a sore throat or even earache that could be dealt with at a walk-in setting or even at the urgent and primary care centre.”

Chin said that while many illnesses and injuries can be treated at a family doctor’s office or walk-in clinic, families are also encouraged to bring sick children to new urgent and primary care centres open in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Ridge Meadows and elsewhere across B.C.

If a child isn’t seriously ill, parents can phone HealthLinkBC at 811, where they can speak with a nurse for health advice any time of day or night, free of charge.

But the hospital says you should take your child to the emergency department if they have:

• A persistent high fever for more than four days

• Excessive coughing, especially with a fever

• An injured limb that looks swollen or crooked

• Not urinated within 12 hours and have stopped drinking fluids

• Blue lips and skin that appears pale

• Trouble breathing, especially with rapid or laboured breathing patterns

• Excessive vomiting, particularly if it is bright green or there is blood in the vomit

• Ingested a toxic chemical, including a suspected drug or alcohol overdose

Watch out for head injuries and bring your child to emergency if they have:

• Fallen more than five feet or 1.5 metres

• Started vomiting after a head injury

• A visible bump after a head injury and the child is less than three months old

• Lost consciousness

Mental health emergency:

• If your child is thinking about or trying to end their life, get urgent help by calling 911 or 1-800-SUICIDE.

neagland@postmedia.com
twitter.com/nickeagland

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B.C. call centres open to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments for elderly, Indigenous – The Tri-City News

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VICTORIA — Call centres open today across British Columbia to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments for some of the province’s most elderly residents.

B.C. says the vaccine call centres will open at 7 a.m. at the Fraser, Island, Interior, Northern and Vancouver Coastal health authorities to make appointments for people 90 years and older and Indigenous people who are 65 and older or identify as elders.

Health authorities announced dozens of sites Sunday where B.C.’s most elderly residents will go to receive their vaccine.

Island Health’s pandemic planner Victoria Schmid says people 90 years old and older and Indigenous people 65 and older who make appointments this week will get their COVID-19 vaccine next week.

She says those born in 1936 or earlier can start calling for appointments on March 15 and those born in 1941 or earlier can start to schedule their vaccine appointments March 22.

Schmid says the plan aims to have all people in the province 80 years and older and Indigenous people 65 and older receiving one shot of COVID-19 vaccine by April 12.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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B.C. announces vaccines sites ahead of booking COVID-19 shots appointments Monday – PrinceGeorgeMatters.com

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VICTORIA — Health authorities across British Columbia announced locations for COVID-19 vaccine centres Sunday, the day before some of the province’s oldest residents could start booking appointments to get their first shots. 

Vaccine call centres are set to open Monday morning to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments for people 90 and older, and Indigenous people 65 or older, as well as those who identify as Indigenous elders.

Island Health officials said Sunday 19 community sites across Vancouver Island have been identified to administer COVID-19 vaccines and 25 community sites in the Vancouver Coastal Health region will be used as clinic locations.

The Interior, Northern and Fraser health authorities say they will confirm vaccination sites with people when they book a COVID-19 appointment.

“We recognize that there’s lots of people that are eager to call in and get going (Monday), so just another reminder that please, unless you are in that category of over 90 or Indigenous over 65 or you identify as an elder, please don’t call next week so we can get through this important population,'” said Victoria Schmid, Island Health’s pandemic planner.

“Your turn will come,” she said at a news conference Sunday. “We just need everyone to be patient right now.”

People can contact their health authority and book appointments for themselves or their spouse, and family members or friends are permitted to schedule an appointment on someone else’s behalf, Schmid said.

People will be asked to provide the person’s first and last name, date of birth, postal code and personal health number and will be asked for an email address or text number to confirm the COVID-19 vaccine appointment, she said..

People born in 1936 or earlier can start calling for appointments on March 15 and those born in 1941 or earlier can start scheduling their shots on March 22.

Schmid said she expected the appointments to last about 30 minutes, which includes a 15-minute waiting period following the administration of the vaccine.

She suggested people wear short sleeves to make it easier to give the vaccine and not to forget a mask.

A support person to can accompany people to the vaccine clinic, she said.

Schmid said sites for the community clinics were chosen for their accessibility and comfort and familiarity for Indigenous people.

“Ease of access was really important to us,” she said. “We really tried to keep a travel time to no more than 15 minutes within urban areas. We want to make sure these sites are accessible for individuals with mobility challenges.”

Immunization clinics will also be held at Indigenous friendship centres in Victoria, Port Alberni and Port Hardy, Schmid said.

Vancouver Coastal Health said in a news release its clinics will be located cross Metro Vancouver and the Squamish and Whistler areas and the Sunshine Coast. The clinics will be held at community, friendship, senior and cultural centres and other regional sites.

The health authorities plan to have B.C.’s population of elderly people, ranging in age from 80 to more than 90 years and Indigenous people 65 and older and elders, vaccinated against COVID-19 by April 12, Schmid said.

She said a person 90 years and older who calls next week for a COVID-19 vaccination will get their appointment within one week.

“They have a week to register for the following week’s vaccination appointment,” said Schmid. “After that, we’re going to move to register those over 85 and then moving down the week after to those over 80.”

Island Health’s Dr. Mike Benusic said he’s optimistic about the vaccination rollout.

“The announcements we’re giving right now provide me with such a sense of hope,” he said. “The fact is right now we have 25 times the number of people vaccinated within Island Health than people who have had COVID-19 within Island Health, and we’re only going to see that number sky rocket in the next few weeks and months.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

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Lines open Monday in B.C. to start booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments for seniors – Burnaby Now

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VICTORIA — Health authorities across British Columbia announced locations for COVID-19 vaccine centres Sunday, the day before some of the province’s oldest residents could start booking appointments to get their first shots. 

Vaccine call centres are set to open Monday morning to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments for people 90 and older, and Indigenous people 65 or older, as well as those who identify as Indigenous elders.

Island Health officials said Sunday 19 community sites across Vancouver Island have been identified to administer COVID-19 vaccines and 25 community sites in the Vancouver Coastal Health region will be used as clinic locations.

The Interior, Northern and Fraser health authorities say they will confirm vaccination sites with people when they book a COVID-19 appointment.

“We recognize that there’s lots of people that are eager to call in and get going (Monday), so just another reminder that please, unless you are in that category of over 90 or Indigenous over 65 or you identify as an elder, please don’t call next week so we can get through this important population,'” said Victoria Schmid, Island Health’s pandemic planner.

“Your turn will come,” she said at a news conference Sunday. “We just need everyone to be patient right now.”

People can contact their health authority and book appointments for themselves or their spouse, and family members or friends are permitted to schedule an appointment on someone else’s behalf, Schmid said.

People will be asked to provide the person’s first and last name, date of birth, postal code and personal health number and will be asked for an email address or text number to confirm the COVID-19 vaccine appointment, she said..

People born in 1936 or earlier can start calling for appointments on March 15 and those born in 1941 or earlier can start scheduling their shots on March 22.

Schmid said she expected the appointments to last about 30 minutes, which includes a 15-minute waiting period following the administration of the vaccine.

She suggested people wear short sleeves to make it easier to give the vaccine and not to forget a mask.

A support person to can accompany people to the vaccine clinic, she said.

Schmid said sites for the community clinics were chosen for their accessibility and comfort and familiarity for Indigenous people.

“Ease of access was really important to us,” she said. “We really tried to keep a travel time to no more than 15 minutes within urban areas. We want to make sure these sites are accessible for individuals with mobility challenges.”

Immunization clinics will also be held at Indigenous friendship centres in Victoria, Port Alberni and Port Hardy, Schmid said.

Vancouver Coastal Health said in a news release its clinics will be located cross Metro Vancouver and the Squamish and Whistler areas and the Sunshine Coast. The clinics will be held at community, friendship, senior and cultural centres and other regional sites.

The health authorities plan to have B.C.’s population of elderly people, ranging in age from 80 to more than 90 years and Indigenous people 65 and older and elders, vaccinated against COVID-19 by April 12, Schmid said.

She said a person 90 years and older who calls next week for a COVID-19 vaccination will get their appointment within one week.

“They have a week to register for the following week’s vaccination appointment,” said Schmid. “After that, we’re going to move to register those over 85 and then moving down the week after to those over 80.”

Island Health’s Dr. Mike Benusic said he’s optimistic about the vaccination rollout.

“The announcements we’re giving right now provide me with such a sense of hope,” he said. “The fact is right now we have 25 times the number of people vaccinated within Island Health than people who have had COVID-19 within Island Health, and we’re only going to see that number sky rocket in the next few weeks and months.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

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