Connect with us

Business

COVID-19: Here's how to get your vaccination shot in B.C. – Vancouver Sun

Published

 on


Here is what you need to know to get your jab.

Article content

The vaccines are coming. After a long wait, B.C. is gearing up for one of its largest mass immunization efforts in history.

On March 1, Premier John Horgan unveiled Phase 2 of the province’s COVID-19 rollout plan and announced that seniors over 80 and Indigenous people over 65 will start receiving their vaccinations on March 15.

Here’s what you need to know to get your jab.

Q: Who has been vaccinated so far?

A: Phase 1 of B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization rollout, which started late December, targeted front-line health-care providers and people living in long-term care and assisted living facilities.

As of Feb. 26, 252,373 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the province, 73,808 of which were second doses.

The B.C. government has promised that approximately 4.3 million British Columbians over 18 will be vaccinated by September, equating to 8.6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Advertisement

Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Q: How do I book an appointment?

A: As part of the Phase 2 rollout, seniors who are 90 and older and Indigenous people who are 65 and older will be able to book their vaccinations starting March 8, while seniors 85-89 can book starting March 15, and seniors 80-84 can book beginning March 22.

Booking information — including health authority contact details, complete call-in schedules, hours of operations and step-by-step instructions on how to call to book an appointment — will be available on March 8 at www.gov.bc.ca/bcseniorsfirst.

The government has promised that seniors would also be able to make one call to book their appointment through their health authority call centre.

Here is the contact list of regional health authority call centres, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 7p.m., seven days a week:

• Fraser Health: 1-855-755-2455
(Fraser Health also has online booking: Fraserhealth.ca/vaccinebookinginfo)
• Interior Health: 1-877-740-7747 ‡
• Island Health: 1-833-348-4787
• Northern Health: 1-844-255-7555 ‡
• Vancouver Coastal Health: 1-877-587-5767

People will be given a list of local vaccination clinics to choose from and the call centre agent will confirm the appointment time and location.

People should only call in when they are eligible. Anyone who misses their age-based dates can still call, book and be vaccinated at any time after they become eligible.

Q: What information will I need to provide to call centre?

A: The call centre will ask for:
• Legal name;
• date of birth;
• postal code;‡
• personal health number (PHN) from the back of B.C. driver’s licences or BC services cards;
• current contact information, including an email address or phone number to receive texts.

Advertisement

Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

To avoid fraud, the province is warning people that the health authority will never ask people for their social insurance number, driver’s license number or banking and credit card details.

Q: When can I get vaccinated?

A: Vaccination for the general population is expected to take place from April until September 2021. The vaccines will be administered by age in five-year increments, starting with people aged 75 to 79.

British Columbians will register and book their appointments to receive their first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine through an online registration tool. The province has not yet revealed details or a website for the online registration system.

The provincial government provided this estimate of when appointment slots would open for various age ranges:

Phase 3:

• people 75 to 79: First shot April; second shot May
• people 70-74: First shot April; second shot May
• people 65-69: First shot May or June; second shot June or July
• people 60-64: First shot June; second shot July
• clinically vulnerable people 16-69: first and second shots between April and June

Phase 4:

• people 40-59: First shot July; second shot August
• people 35-39: First shot July; second shot August
• people 30-34: First shot July; second shot August
• people 25-29: First shot July or August; second shot August or September
• people 18-24: First shot August; second shot September

Q: What if I’m a front-line worker, am immunocompromised or have other serious health conditions? Can I get the vaccine earlier? 

A: The province had said that once additional vaccines are approved by Health Canada and become available, front-line essential workers or workers who belong to specific industries may be included in the later part of Phase 3 or 4. Chances got better last week after Canada approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. It has secured 22 million doses, which are expected to arrive between April and September.

Advertisement

Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

People age 16 to 69 who are deemed to be clinically extremely vulnerable can get appointment slots in April and June.

Q: Where can I get vaccinated?

A: Vaccination clinics will be set up in gyms, arenas, convention halls, and community halls. Residents of rural communities may be able to access mobile clinics, which can also provide vaccinations to people who are homebound with mobility challenges.

Vaccines are not expected to be administered at doctors’ offices.

Q: What do I need to bring to my appointment?

A: Make sure you wear mask, bring your Personal Health Number (if you have one) and wear loose fitting clothing. The intramuscular injection will be made into the arm, close to the shoulder.

It is recommended to arrive a few minutes before your appointment time. After checking in, you will get your vaccine dose then have to wait in an observation area for 15 minutes.

Q: Will I be given a record of my vaccination?

A: Most people will receive an immunization card that they’ll need to bring with them when they get their second shot.

You’ll also have an option to receive a digital copy of your immunization record that will be available on the province’s Health Gateway site, which you can register for by using the BC Services Card app on your phone.

Health Gateway is available to anyone 12 and older with a BC Services Card.

Q: When do I get my second dose? 

The province has extended the timeline between the first and second dose to 16 weeks or 112 days. The vaccine manufacturers recommended a timeline of 21 to 28 days between doses, but the B.C. Centre for Disease Control says “extending the time between first and second doses does not reduce vaccine protection over the long term and for most vaccines, a slightly longer interval is better.”

Advertisement

Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

After you get your first dose, you will be notified by email, text or phone when you are eligible to book an appointment for the second dose.

Q: What vaccines are available? What are the side effects and how effective are they?

A: Canada has approved three vaccines: The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Possible side effects include redness or pain at the injection site, fever, chills, or fatigue.

Pfizer and Moderna say their vaccines provide a 94 to 95 per cent immunity when two doses are administered.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has a lower efficacy rate at 62 per cent, but is 100 per cent effective in preventing serious cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations and death.

Q: Is it mandatory to be vaccinated against COVID-19?

The vaccine is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended by health officials. The provincial government says everyone who would like a vaccine and who is eligible to receive it will have the opportunity to be vaccinated.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone living in B.C. who is eligible to receive it.

chchan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/cherylchan

With files from Scott Brown and Katie DeRosa


Get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


  1. COVID-19 symptoms include a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. Those who think they're infected should call a health-care professional before visiting a doctor's office.

    COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus

  2. Wondering whether you've been exposed to COVID-19?

    COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

  3. If you need to get tested for COVID-19, here's where you can do so. Explore our interactive map and list to find a testing centre near you. This file photo shows a drive-through testing centre located in Burnaby.

    COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

  4. None

    COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

U.K. advises limiting AstraZeneca in under-30s amid clot worry

Published

 on

LONDON —
British authorities recommended Wednesday that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine not be given to adults under 30 where possible because of strengthening evidence that the shot may be linked to rare blood clots.

The recommendation came as regulators both in the United Kingdom and the European Union emphasized that the benefits of receiving the vaccine continue to outweigh the risks for most people — even though the European Medicines Agency said it had found a “possible link” between the shot and the rare clots. British authorities recommended that people under 30 be offered alternatives to AstraZeneca. But the EMA advised no such age restrictions, leaving it up to its member-countries to decide whether to limit its use.

Several countries have already imposed limits on who can receive the vaccine, and any restrictions are closely watched since the vaccine, which is cheaper and easier to store than many others, is critical to global immunization campaigns and is a pillar of the UN-backed program known as COVAX that aims to get vaccines to some of the world’s poorest countries.

“This is a course correction, there’s no question about that,” Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said during a press briefing. “But it is, in a sense, in medicine quite normal for physicians to alter their preferences for how patients are treated over time.”

Van-Tam said the effect on Britain’s vaccination timetable — one of the speediest in the world — should be “zero or negligible,” assuming the National Health Service receives expected deliveries of other vaccines, including those produced by Pfizer and Moderna.

EU and U.K. regulators held simultaneous press conferences Wednesday afternoon to announce the results of investigations into reports of blood clots that sparked concern about the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The EU agency described the clots as “very rare” side effects. Dr Sabine Straus, chair of EMA’s Safety Committee, said the best data is coming from Germany where there is one report of the rare clots for every 100,000 doses given, although she noted far fewer reports in the U.K. Still, that’s less than the clot risk that healthy women face from birth control pills, noted another expert, Dr. Peter Arlett.

The agency said most of the cases reported have occurred in women under 60 within two weeks of vaccination — but based on the currently available evidence, it was not able to identify specific risk factors. Experts reviewed several dozen cases that came mainly from Europe and the U.K., where around 25 million people have received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“The reported cases of unusual blood clotting following vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine should be listed as possible side effects of the vaccine,” said Emer Cooke, the agency’s executive director. “The risk of mortality from COVID is much greater than the risk of mortality from these side effects.”

Arlett said there is no information suggesting an increased risk from the other major COVID-19 vaccines.

The EMA’s investigation focused on unusual types of blood clots that are occurring along with low blood platelets. One rare clot type appears in multiple blood vessels and the other in veins that drain blood from the brain.

While the benefits of the vaccine still outweigh the risks, that assessment is “more finely balanced” among younger people who are less likely to become seriously ill with COVID-19, the U.K’s Van-Tam said.

“We are not advising a stop to any vaccination for any individual in any age group,” said Wei Shen Lim, who chairs Britain’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization. “We are advising a preference for one vaccine over another vaccine for a particular age group, really out of the utmost caution rather than because we have any serious safety concerns.”

In March, more than a dozen countries, mostly in Europe, suspended their use of AstraZeneca over the blood clot issue. Most restarted — some with age restrictions — after the EMA said countries should continue using the potentially life-saving vaccine.

Britain, which relies heavily on AstraZeneca, however, continued to use it.

The suspensions were seen as particularly damaging for AstraZeneca because they came after repeated missteps in how the company reported data on the vaccine’s effectiveness and concerns over how well its shot worked in older people. That has led to frequently changing advice in some countries on who can take the vaccine, raising worries that AstraZeneca’s credibility could be permanently damaged, spurring more vaccine hesitancy and prolonging the pandemic.

Dr. Peter English, who formerly chaired the British Medical Association’s Public Health Medicine Committee, said the back-and-forth over the AstraZeneca vaccine globally could have serious consequences.

“We can’t afford not to use this vaccine if we are going to end the pandemic,” he said.

In some countries, authorities have already noted hesitance toward the AstraZeneca shot.

“People come and they are reluctant to take the AstraZeneca vaccine, they ask us if we also use anything else,” said Florentina Nastase, a doctor and co-ordinator at a vaccination centre in Bucharest, Romania. “There were cases in which people (scheduled for the AstraZeneca) didn’t show up, there were cases when people came to the centre and saw that we use only AstraZeneca and refused (to be inoculated).”

Meanwhile, the governor of Italy’s northern Veneto region had said earlier Wednesday that any decision to change the guidance on AstraZeneca would cause major disruptions to immunizations — at a time when Europe is already struggling to ramp them up — and could create more confusion about the shot.

“If they do like Germany, and allow Astra Zeneca only to people over 65, that would be absurd. Before it was only for people under 55. Put yourself in the place of citizens, it is hard to understand anything,” Luca Zaia told reporters.

The latest suspension of AstraZeneca came in Spain’s Castilla y Leon region, where health chief Veronica Casado said Wednesday that “the principle of prudence” drove her to put a temporary hold on the vaccine that she still backed as being both effective and necessary.

French health authorities had said they, too, were awaiting EMA’s conclusions, as were some officials in Asia.

On Wednesday, South Korea said it would temporarily suspend the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine in people 60 and younger. In that age group, the country is only currently vaccinating health workers and people in long-term care settings.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said it would also pause a vaccine rollout to school nurses and teachers that was to begin on Thursday, while awaiting the outcome of the EMA’s review.

But some experts urged perspective. Prof Anthony Harnden, the deputy chair of Britain’s vaccination committee, said that the program has saved at least 6,000 lives in the first three months and will help pave the way back to normal life.

“What is clear it that for the vast majority of people the benefits of the Oxford AZ vaccine far outweigh any extremely small risk,” he said. “And the Oxford AZ vaccine will continue to save many from suffering the devastating effects that can result from a COVID infection.”

Source: – CTV News

Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Facebook downplays ‘old’ breach exposing info on 533 million users

Published

 on

Facebook is downplaying the significance of a data breach that saw the personal information of 533 million of its users accessed online, saying the information is old and the vulnerability that was exploited was closed almost two years ago.

Over the weekend, Business Insider reported that personal information of Facebook users in 106 countries was found on a low-level hacking forum, free of charge. Cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock calculated that almost 3.5 million Canadians were included.

Information included names, phone numbers, locations, birth dates, email addresses and other identifying details. No financial or payment information was accessed, Facebook said.

In a statement on its website Tuesday the social media giant said the information was gathered via a vulnerability the company fixed almost two years ago, and disputed that it was a hack.

Data scraped, not hacked: Facebook

“It is important to understand that malicious actors obtained this data not through hacking our systems but by scraping it from our platform prior to September 2019,” said product management director Mike Clark.

Scraping refers to the act of gathering information that is already out there but somewhat hidden on public databases.

The company said whoever collected and assembled the data did so by abusing the contact importing service, which allows users to find other people in their network on Facebook.

Facebook said whoever did it seems to have uploaded a large set of phone numbers to see which ones matched Facebook users.

David Masson, director of enterprise security at cybersecurity firm Darktrace, says the information has likely been out there and spread widely for a while, before being outed recently.

“It’s been on the Web for quite a while, probably for sale to people,” he said. “But now somebody’s just offered it up for free.”

Building a profile

Greg Wolfond, CEO of data security firm SecureKey, said that in a vacuum, much of the information taken can seem innocuous and harmless, but when taken together can be very dangerous.

“What the hackers do is they try and get little bits of data about you in this case something like your phone number,” he told CBC News in an interview. They can then combine that with other bits of information — an address, a full name — and start building a profile.

What’s most dangerous is once they have gathered enough to attempt to gain access to a cellphone account. With the right combination of information, a telecom company may allow someone walking in to port the account number to a new phone.

 

Cybersecurity expert David Masson with Darktrace says Facebook users shouldn’t assume the company’s size and scope make them better at fending off attacks. (Darktrace)

 

“They take over your phone, and within minutes of taking over your phone, they’re trying to get into your bank account, to get into your Facebook account, your Google account, whatever you use that phone as your recovery for,” he said.

Typically, consumers are urged to fight data theft by doing things like changing passwords frequently, and making the complex. But those things are of little use when companies claim the right to reams of data about their users, and promise to keep it safe.

“Empowering individuals to share their data and putting a responsibility on parties that have the data to keep it secure,
is super important,” he said.

Not Facebook’s first user-info incident

Although the company is downplayed in the incident, it is far from the company’s first misstep with user info.

In 2018, the social media giant disabled a feature that allowed users to search for one another via phone number following revelations that the political firm Cambridge Analytica had accessed information on up to 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge or consent.

In December 2019, a Ukrainian security researcher reported finding a database with the names, phone numbers and unique user IDs of more than 267 million Facebook users — nearly all U.S.-based — on the open internet.

Spark15:32Digital security expert shares tips on how to protect your data while working remotely 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are spending more of our time at home online than ever before – and according to Citizen Lab’s John Scott-Railton, this makes us vulnerable to privacy and security threats. 15:32

Facebook says it will “continue aggressively go after malicious actors who misuse our tools,” and touted its dedicated team focused on this work” but  Masson says users shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that the company’s size and scope somehow make them better equipped to keep user data safe.

“It doesn’t matter how big or sophisticated you are, they can be attacked,” he said.

Like many breaches, this one was only discovered long after the fact, and that’s because the technology company’s use isn’t keeping up with the ones the hackers are using.

“There are better technologies that actually work on what happens once the bad guys get inside your network rather than when they’re banging on the door outside. So people [have] got to realize this will happen again.

Source: – CBC.ca

Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Before you continue

Published

 on



Google uses cookies and data to:

  • Deliver and maintain services, like tracking outages and protecting against spam, fraud and abuse
  • Measure audience engagement and site statistics to understand how our services are used

If you agree, we’ll also use cookies and data to:

  • Improve the quality of our services and develop new ones
  • Deliver and measure the effectiveness of ads
  • Show personalised content, depending on your settings
  • Show personalised or generic ads, depending on your settings, on Google and across the web

For non-personalised content and ads, what you see may be influenced by things like the content that you’re currently viewing and your location (ad serving is based on general location). Personalised content and ads can be based on those things and your activity, like Google searches and videos that you watch on YouTube. Personalised content and ads include things like more relevant results and recommendations, a customised YouTube homepage, and ads that are tailored to your interests.

Click ‘Customise’ to review options, including controls to reject the use of cookies for personalisation and information about browser-level controls to reject some or all cookies for other uses. You can also visit g.co/privacytools at any time.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending