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B.C. under-30s lead in shots as COVID-19 vaccine card arrives

Vaccination at schools, colleges a priority to close age gap
Vaccination percentage of B.C. residents age 20-29, to Aug. 21, 2021. Red line is first dose, purple is two doses. Blue bars indicate case count by week for the age group. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

B.C. residents between age 18 and 25 have been among the most likely to be infected with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and now they are closing the gap rapidly in vaccination protection as access to recreation and entertainment will soon require it.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says younger people have stepped up for vaccination in large numbers since the announcement of a vaccine card for recreation and restaurants to take effect Sept. 13.

“Leading the way are those aged 18 to 24, 85.5% of whom have been vaccinated with their first dose immunization,” Dix said Sept. 7 in a briefing on the new vaccine card. “And still this weekend, again, leading in registrations, leading in new bookings, the number will go up.”

The emphasis on getting younger people vaccinated is also driven by the return to school and post-secondary studies, some of which is in person for the first time in a year.

“This week, focusing on young people 12-17 and 18-30, we are going to continue working with school districts and working with our post-secondary sector to see more and more opportunities, particularly for young people, to get vaccinated in this time,” Dix said.

B.C. health authorities continue to operate appointment-based and walk-in clinics around the province. A full list of clinic locations and hours by region can be found here. Registration and booking appointments in B.C. can be done here, or by calling 1-833-838-2323 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Fines for violations of the vaccine card order are the same as other public health orders, and can be enforced by police, liquor and cannabis inspectors, gaming inspectors and conservation officers. Depending on the violation, individuals can be fined $230 or $575, and a fine of $2,300 can be applied to owners or operators of businesses and event organizers.

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