Some workers in Whistler are set to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
The community was previously a COVID-19 hot spot, recording nearly 300 cases in January. Transmission mostly occurred in shared household settings among young adults.
After the province announced it was allocating the first batch of AstraZeneca to high-risk workers, those employees living in staff housing at Whistler Blackcomb are next in line to receive their shot.
Confusion continues over B.C. workplace vaccination programs
At a recent council meeting, Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton welcomed the news.
“Late last week, Vancouver Coastal Health also informed us that they will be vaccinating community members living in staff housing and high-density shared housing, a segment of our community that has seen the highest COVID-19 transmission,” he said.
“This is extraordinarily good news for our community.”
According to the health officials, the province has allocated 60,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine to target high-risk worksites.
“We’ve seen outbreaks that have affected not just the camps and the accommodations, but have spilled over into our communities in the large industrial camps,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.
COVID-19 immunizations begin for all adults in B.C. hot spot
When asked about the rationale behind distributing vaccine to Whistler staff ahead of frontline workers, Vancouver Coastal Health referred Global News to a Ministry of Health statement from March 15 that stated the province was initially “hopeful additional vaccines would be approved so we could allocate them to priority and front-line workers and industries ahead of Phase 3.”
Special challenges for Indigenous people during Prince Rupert mass vaccination
Instead, the initial shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be administered to workers like those in Whistler and other industries such as food processing plants.
The province has used the AstraZeneca vaccine to immunize all adult residents of Prince Rupert and Port Edward, which have seen significant community transmission.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.