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

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

Overhead lights have been installed at the Oliver skatepark so kids can enjoy the park longer during winter hours. (Argon photo)
Community lights up Oliver skatepark, calling it a ‘game changer’ for youth

Both the dog park and Small Wheels Skatepark have lighting now

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Chelsea Ishizuka was borned and raised in Penticton but has now moved to Japan. When she found out there was a popular restaurant there named after Penticton, she had to go check it out. Here she is with the owner (right). (Facebook)
Popular restaurant in Japan named after city of Penticton

A Pentictonite now living in Tokyo discovered the eatery and the history behind its name

There is no true picture of how many youth in Penticton are experiencing housing instability or true homelessness. The Foundry and the city of Penticton are trying to find that out.
How many youth are experiencing homelessness in Penticton?

Foundry Penticton and the City have partnered on a youth survey open until March 13

(File photo)
COLUMN: How to help your young reluctant reader

Library has resources to help children

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
One of two Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreaks declared over

One outbreak declared over after two deaths, seven cases; another outbreak remains ongoing in the hospital

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna care home after 12 cases noted

Two staff members and 10 residents at Cottonwoods Care Centre have tested positive for COVID-19

Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary has teamed up with Globox on a fundraising raffle for its graduating class of 2021. (Photo supplied)
Okanagan secondary school grads glowing over fundraiser

Kalamalka Secondary teams with company on fundraising raffle, replacing annual apple pie fundraiser

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Isaac Gilbert is running for council in the by-election for Jake Kimberley’s vacated seat. (Submitted)
First candidate for Penticton council by-election makes himself known

Isaac Gilbert is making a second run at council after receiving 19.63 per cent of the vote in 2018

Most Read