British Columbians aged 80 and over and Indigenous seniors aged 65 and over are expected to start receiving vaccines in March as part of Phase 2 of BC’s vaccination plan. The exact timing will be determined based on availability of supplies. While we await details for how people in these groups can register and book appointments, family doctors and their teams can take steps to prepare.
- Check your patient panel and identify patients who are 80 years and over and Indigenous seniors aged 65 and over.
- Keep a list of these patients (there is no need to forward this to your health authority). After registration details become available from government and/or your health authority, consider proactively reaching out to these patients with information about the vaccines and the booking process.
- Start familiarizing patients with information about the COVID-19 vaccines. Let them know that you are recommending they get the vaccine and explain why. For resources to support you with this step, see below.
- Reassure your patients that the vaccines are safe and effective. A recent national survey found that over 90% of participants said they look to their doctors and other health care professionals as the most credible source of information about the vaccines. Your communication can help reassure your patient about any concerns they may have, and help them feel confident about getting the vaccine. As a start, you can use the following talking points:
- The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and can protect you from getting sick with COVID-19.
- Millions of people around the world have been immunized with very few side effects.
- You can’t get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
- It works really well to help your body fight the virus and to prevent you from serious illness.
- The sooner the majority of the population is vaccinated, the sooner we can get back to normal as a society.
- Vaccination information for doctors and patients is available on the Doctors of BC COVID-19 resource page. Watch for updates that will include fact sheets and Qs and As to share with your patients to address questions about safety, possible adverse reactions, and effectiveness of the vaccines. You can also refer patients to the Doctors of BC patient Qs and As.
- More information on how the process will work can be found on the Immunize BC Question and Answer page – look for the response under the first question. This also provides general and detailed Qs and As for the public.
- If you are wanting to share information on the four phases of the BC vaccination plan, look to the BCCDC’s COVID-19 vaccine page.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada has prepared a COVID-19 Vaccination Tool Kit for Health Care Providers and Vaccination communications resources for Indigenous communities and organizations.
If you have suggestions about the kinds of communications materials that would be of most benefit to you, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.