Like all British Columbians, individuals served by CLBC, their family members, support workers and service providers are eager to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, when they can expect to receive a vaccination, and how it will work.
CLBC supports the position of the Provincial Health Officer that it is important that everyone who wants to be vaccinated against COVID 19 gets a vaccination to protect themselves and those around them. We know that many of those we serve are clinically vulnerable and want to get the vaccination as soon as possible. Some may have questions about the vaccines or how it will work.
Information on COVID-19 vaccinations for individuals eligible for CLBC
The B.C. Government has announced that people supported by Community Living BC (CLBC) are being prioritized to receive their COVID-19 vaccination in April. This information was part of this news release explaining who would be included in the “clinically extremely vulnerable” category of people that would be prioritized.
We have clarified and confirmed that CLBC clients eligible to be included in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ category are people in either of the following situations:
- You are 19 years and older and eligible to receive services from CLBC
- You are 18 years old and you have been assessed for and have been found to be eligible for CLBC services when you turn 19
On May 27, with more than 60 per cent of adults in B.C. having received their first dose, the province announced that the time between first and second doses has been reduced to eight weeks for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable (including everyone eligible for CLBC services) and for the age-based program. This means some people eligible for CLBC services have already started getting notifications to book appointments for their second doses as of late May.
As a reminder, to get your second dose, you need to be registered in the province’s Get Vaccinated System. If you already registered to receive your first dose, you don’t need to do anything and you will be notified by email, text or phone when it is your turn to book an appointment for a second dose.
For more details, you can read a message from CLBC CEO Ross Chilton distributed on May 27 here.
Messages from self advocates and provincial leaders
COVID-19 vaccinations have begun in B.C. They will help keep people and communities safe from the virus and end this pandemic.
To help people feel safe and confident about taking the COVID-19 vaccine, self advocates are leading the way with some support from our provincial leaders, including Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and Ross Chilton, CEO of CLBC.
Check out the video message below where they share special messages about the importance of getting vaccinated.
How CLBC is working with the Office of the Provincial Health Officer
CLBC is working with the Office of the Provincial Health Officer to convey information about people in our sector and to provide recommendations on how to implement vaccinations for those we serve. CLBC will support those in our sector by providing key information on the process as it becomes available.
Please remember that this is the largest immunization plan our province has ever implemented. There are many groups in and outside of community living who are at risk, and only limited vaccine supplies to start with. While things may not go perfectly, let’s support our health workers and each other – everyone will have an opportunity for a vaccination soon! Send your questions or concerns to CLBCInfo@gov.bc.ca.
B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan
On January 22, 2021, the B.C. government announced its immunization plan. The plan aims to provide everyone who wants one with a vaccination by September 2021.
The timeline for vaccinations is based on expected supplies of the vaccines. At first there will not be a lot of vaccines available, and so the plan will focus on those most at risk first. It identifies those who live in congregate settings, including CLBC funded staffed residential facilities or group homes, to be among the first in our sector to receive vaccinations from February to March, 2021. It also identifies people with developmental disabilities who are clinically extremely vulnerable as receiving vaccinations from April to June 2021. (More details about who is included are to follow). Others will be vaccinated in age groups starting from the oldest.
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?
Yes. Canada has one of the most thorough systems to approve new vaccines to ensure they are safe. You can read about it here.
Plain language information about vaccines
It is important to support individuals to make decisions about the vaccine in the same way we do for other health decisions. Some people have substitute decisions makers. Most people will be making their own decision with support from someone they trust. Many people have appointed someone to support their decision making using a Representation Agreement.
To help with decision making around the vaccine you can visit the Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (HCARDD) website here for plain language information about COVID-19 and the vaccine, including these two resources:
Protecting Indigenous communities
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) website has important information for Indigenous communities about COVID-19 here.
The FNHA’s Medical Officers strongly recommend that First Nations people opt to get the vaccine to protect themselves, their loved ones, Elders, and others in their community. You can find a helpful fact sheet from FNHA about COVID-19 vaccination here.
Consent to receive a vaccination
It is important to support individuals to make decisions about the vaccine in the same way we do for other health decisions. Some people have substitute decisions makers. Most people will be making their own decision with support from someone they trust.
The Public Guardian and Trustee answers important questions about consent on its web site here.