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Greater Victoria firefighters, police starting to get vaccinated after priority bump up

Island Health shared priority codes for frontline workers to register for COVID-19 vaccines
Firefighters will now have priority access to vaccines on Vancouver Island. (Black Press Media file photo)

Firefighters, police, teachers and childcare workers have been bumped to the top of the list for vaccines on Vancouver Island, as of May 1.

The news was welcomed by Saanich Fire Chief Dan Wood, who said he received an email from Island Health with priority access codes for members to register with. The crew working Saturday have already gotten appointment confirmations for Tuesday and Wednesday, Wood said.

“We recognize the tremendous strain on Island Health resources, trying to make this happen and we know access to vaccines has been an issue. We recognize that, but we’re grateful we’re finally getting the vaccines.”

READ MORE: Greater Victoria firefighters, police left searching for leftover COVID-19 vaccines

The priority access comes after long weeks of asking why people with jobs that require a lot of public interaction had not already been prioritized. Until now, the best option had been getting lucky with end-of-day vaccines.

Const. Cam MacIntyre with the Victoria Police Department said, “we look forward to having our front line officers vaccinated as they have been working throughout the pandemic in challenging environments, often requiring close contact with members of our community.”

READ MORE: Saanich firefighters not prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine despite working on frontlines

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