B.C. sees big boost in bookings after announcing vaccine passport program

As B.C. moves to implement a COVID-19 vaccine passport, Ian Tostenson with the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Industry discusses the potential impact on restaurants.

The B.C. government says it has seen a “significant” boost in the number of people registering for and booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments, since it announced its incoming vaccine card program.

That initiative, announced Monday, will require people to show proof of one vaccine dose by Sept. 13, and of two doses by Oct. 24, to access a variety of non-essential services including restaurants, concerts and sporting events.

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According to the province, more than 19,000 people registered through the province’s Get Vaccinated portal on Monday and Tuesday, nearly triple the 6,521 people who registered on the same two days the week prior.

Actual bookings for first doses of vaccines also showed improvement, with more than 16,800 recorded on Monday and Tuesday, more than double the 8,096 on the same two days last week.

The Ministry of Health said the uptick was particularly pronounced among people younger than 40, accounting for more than 12,900 of the registrations and 11,301 of the bookings.

The actual pace of first dose vaccination appeared to be accelerating Wednesday as well.

The province said more than 8,000 people had received their first jab in the preceding 24 hours, up from about 5,000 the day prior, and fewer than 4,000 on the same day last week.

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The province says from Aug. 10 to Aug. 23, 83.3 per cent of new cases and 85 per cent of hospitalizations were among people who were not fully vaccinated.

As of Wednesday, 83.5 per cent of eligible British Columbians (75.1 per cent of B.C.’s population) has had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 75.4 per cent of those eligible (67.8 per cent of the population) have been fully immunized.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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