The Call, Part Two - The Orca

The Call, Part Two

Jody w Glasses 1

With delays in vaccine rollout, waiting on the crucial second dose is key. Jody Vance shows how the process worked in her case.

Ever since writing about getting The Call from Dad’s care home about receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, I’ve had this weird internal tick-tock clock in my head. Dose 1 done, now we wait.

They said it would it be more than the suggested 28 days between doses; likely 36, if not 42 at the latest. With a band-aid on my left shoulder, I nodded okay.

Since then, I’ve been counting. Lots of friends and colleagues have reached out to ask if I’ve heard anything?

I’m a bit of a canary in this. When would the second dose happen? Would delivery disruptions derail dose two indefinitely? Was I facing more uncatchable knuckleball than simple curveball?

At the end of the day, my focus was about Dad’s second dose much more than mine. If I needed a re-do in six months…well, so be it.

When would the second dose happen? Would delivery disruptions derail dose two indefinitely?

My goal was and is to stay positive about vaccines arriving, while staying negative (or at least very, very cautious) on COVID-19 during the wait.

Today I’m pleased to be able to offer this Orca Exclusive update: the good news has hit, dose 2 is here – for both my father (a carehome resident) and me (an essential caregiver).

While all communications from public health, rather strictly, directs recipients to “not share the link, the password, the locations of vaccination sites on social media,” I’m going on the assumption that they’d be okay with my telling you it’s happening – and the way it’s happening is well thought out, simple, and streamlined.

Let’s revisit vaccine rollout, shall we?

BC is currently in Phase 1, which sees extremely vulnerable people at the head of the line. Phase 2 is next. Given the (hopefully) massive influx of delayed vaccine we can (hopefully) expect it to ramp up quickly.

Phase 3 and 4 is the much-anticipated General Population immunization. Barring more supply disruption, this is scheduled from April to September, rolling out in 5-year age increments, starting with those 75 to 79.

It’s important to factor in the wait time between doses. For example, a 79 year old getting their first dose in April, will get a second dose in May – and then have two weeks of boost before immunity is achieved.

The “when” is big…but so is the “where.”

There are immunization clinics being organized in 172 communities in BC, each run by the local health authority. It will mean clinics at school gyms, arenas, convention halls, and community centres. There will be mobile clinics in self-contained vehicles for rural communities and for those who can’t travel.

Speaking for myself, there were LOTS of options and appointment times.

Without breaking the rules, I can tell you the process is turnkey. For me it came in the form of a text message with a link and password that took me to the health authority registration page where my first dose information was already noted. I had to confirm my healthcare number, personal email,  and home address – and then was given a list of locations with appointment times.

I live in Vancouver, and other locations will have different resources and challenges. But speaking for myself, there were LOTS of options and appointment times. Convenient options, safe options such as drive-throughs.

After three weeks of “we are the worst” headlines on vaccine procurement, it’s nice to find out that’s not the case – at least, not in my case. I’d say we’re somewhere in The Middle.

Exhale a bit. Vaccines are arriving and the rollout is about to ramp up to where it was first announced to have been three weeks ago.

Impatience in a pandemic is more than understandable – but I hope you can transition to anticipating the relief that comes with a shot(s) in the arm.

Tick Tock.