B.C.’s home health providers start receiving vaccinations

From the moment that the province announced their vaccination plan, EngAge BC began working alongside SafeCare BC to ensure that family-retained (i.e., private) home health operators were not forgotten in the roll-out of the groundbreaking COVID-19 vaccine. Over the last week we have heard from many of our members whose staff have now received their first vaccination.

Here is what two Greater Vancouver Community Services Society employees had to say:

“This was really important to me to receive my vaccine because it is important to protect other. My co-workers, my clients, and myself are all more protected now that I have had my vaccine. I am extremely grateful that we eventual had the opportunity to get the vaccine because it makes my job safer.”

Rowena Balleza, Community Health Worker

“I signed up to get the vaccine the moment I was able to. In fact, I was immunized by lunch time. I had been waiting patiently for our turn but worried at the same time because Community Health Workers were not a priority [at first] even though we see some of the most vulnerable clients in their homes on a day to day basis. I am grateful for the advocacy that went into making this happen for Community Health Workers and now I can protect my clients, my coworkers and myself more. It is still important to wear the correct PPE but if the vaccines are as effective as studies show, this is a much needed layer of protection.”

Terence Blancas, LPN

What’s next?

If you are a home health organization who has not been contacted by your local health authority, please let us know by emailing Rebecca Frederick, Senior Manager, Strategic Engagement, EngAge BC at rebecca@engageseniors.ca.

We understand that many of your clients will also be eager to receive their vaccinations. Home health care providers will not need to identify their clients, rather those receiving home health services will be captured through the Ministry of Health’s age-based cohort booking system. Information on that service can be found here and this guidance can be shared with your clients.