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Vancouver construction workers get fast-tracked for COVID vaccine


June 16, 2021
By The British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA)

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The British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) announced B.C.’s first COVID-19 vaccine ‘fast lane’ for construction workers in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health Regions.

Workers in B.C.’s construction industry who live or work near the clinic locations of The Italian Cultural Centre, located in Vancouver; The Christine Sinclair Community Centre, located in Burnaby; and the Abbotsford Ag-Rec Centre, can show up between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on the designated dates to get their first dose of the vaccine. No pre-registration is needed, and while a government ID or a provincial health number (PIN) is not necessary, but bringing it will speed up the vaccination experience.

“Our workforce has done a phenomenal job of keeping safe during pandemic, and that after a long day on the jobsite it can be hard to prioritize getting your vaccine scheduled when you get home,” said Chris Atchison, president of the BCCA. “We want to make it as easy as possible for workers to keep themselves, their families and their sites safe, and are appreciative of the efforts made by the Fraser and Vancouver Coast Health to accommodate our essential workforce.”

BCCA has partnered with the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA), the British Columbia Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA), BCCA Employee Benefits Trust (EBT) and the Council of Construction Associations (COCA) to get the word out about the fast-track clinics.

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“This is a message to our workforce, starting with the sites and employers in Vancouver who have put so much into keeping our industry safe, that getting vaccinated is an important thing to do,” said Donna Grant, president of VRCA. “If turnout is good, we’ll keep it going and we’ll expand.”

The late-in-the-day, end-of-week times slots were chosen to make it easier for workers to head from the site to the clinic before they go home, and so they can rest and relax in case of any temporary side effects. The locations in this pilot were selected by the VRCA for their proximity to a high density of workers and work sites.

The construction industry is the largest employer in B.C.’s goods sector, with 242,000 workers at its core. As the province strives to get 70 per cent of British Columbians vaccinated in order to support the further roll-back of COVID-19 safety protocols, the construction industry plays an important role in achieving that success.

“We have enormous respect for our workforce and the essential contribution they’ve made to B.C.’s economy by working throughout pandemic. We want to help them stay healthy and hope that workers who haven’t had the chance to get their first dose yet will take advantage of this fast-track opportunity.  We’re making it as easy as we can – just head from your worksite to a participating clinic and get it done.”