FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — COVID-19 vaccine doses are on the way for workers at B.C.’s largest industrial projects in the north.
Northern Health announced it is in consultation with B.C.’s Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer to vaccinate workers at high risk industrial work locations.
Northern Health stated there will be additional supply of COVID-19 vaccine for immunization programs targeting high-risk industrial settings while phase two of B.C.’s foundational immunization program continues to be implemented for seniors 80 years of age and older and Indigenous people 65 and older.
“Vaccination of workers in high risk industrial settings has been one of the key parts of B.C.’s vaccination strategy and was planned to start as additional vaccines were approved and become available,” said a release from Northern Health. “This will not impact the completion of Phase 2 immunizations, and the move to Phase 3 and 4 immunizations across the North.”
B.C. will distribute the AstraZeneca – SII Covishield vaccine at large industrial project worksites, specifically those where workers live or work in congregate settings. High priority sites include LNG Canada, Coastal GasLink, the Trans Mountain Pipeline, BC Hydro’s Site C project and Rio Tinto Alcan.
Additional industrial settings will be targeted in the coming weeks.
Officials stated in the coming days, approximately 15,000 doses will be distributed to the industry where it will be given to workforces at project clinic sites.
Northern Health said vaccinating workers in the north will help protect rural, remote and First Nations communities ahead of the start of phase three vaccinations in April.