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Nearly everyone able to safely receive COVID-19 vaccines

Dear self advocates, family members and service providers –

Thank you again to everyone who is joining our CLBC COVID-19 telephone update calls with Dr. Behn Smith to receive the latest updates on vaccines.

In our September 23 update call, Dr. Behn Smith confirmed that after carefully monitoring vaccinations, we now know that nearly everyone is safer if they receive a vaccination. You can find the recording for the call here, and a plain language script of the call here.

If you have not received a vaccine because of a health condition, please talk to your doctor again. Doctors have been provided with new directions and it is likely it will be recommended you get vaccinated.

We understand that in the community living sector some individuals may have hesitated in receiving a vaccination due to weakened immune systems or other health conditions. This may have even been at the initial advice of health care practitioners. We know more now and it is important that you are making a decision on getting vaccinated based on the latest information.

The BC CDC website answers many questions about different conditions and indicates that it is now safe and best that nearly everyone get their vaccinations. You can read this information on the BC CDC web site here.

For those who may have hesitated due to weak immune systems or other health conditions, the evidence shows that vaccines are safe and that is important that you protect yourself from the very serious risk of severe illness or even death from COVID. If you have underlying health conditions and get COVID-19, you may be susceptible to becoming more seriously ill from the virus. The vaccinations will help protect you.

A very short list of people who cannot be vaccinated

According to Dr. Behn Smith and the BC CDC website, it is only those people who have a severe allergic reaction to ingredients in the vaccine that should not receive a vaccination.

Because we know that vaccinations are effective in protecting people, CLBC is urging everyone who may have hesitated previously due to health conditions to listen to the recording of our recent teleconference call here, visit the BC CDC webpage here, and then talk to their health practitioner again to help assess the risks of remaining unvaccinated and to learn about the safety and protection that comes with a vaccination.

Listen to self advocates who have gotten their shots

CLBC has also posted short videos from Dr. Henry and self advocates who share how they made their decision, what it was like to go to a clinic, and what they can do now that they are protected. You can find these videos here.

CLBC talks regularly with the Provincial Health Officer’s team. They are aware of the vulnerability of people with disabilities and keeping them front and centre in their decisions. CLBC’s leaders and staff, some of whom are family members and self advocates as well, take the safety of those we serve extremely seriously and we will continue to provide the latest advice and updates during this uncertain time to do all we can to help people stay safe.

Sincerely,

Ross Chilton
CEO, Community Living BC