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Provinces’ vaccine tracking good, but some inaccuracies: auditor general

A report from the auditor general’s office has found that B.C.’s tracking of vaccination status throughout the pandemic was mostly accurate, but there were some issues regarding healthcare workers and long-term care. 

Auditor general Michael Pickup said adequate processes were in place to monitor vaccination rates for the entire province, by age and location.

But while rates were available for residents and staff in long-term care and assisted living, there was no centralized registry of residents or staff in the province’s 500 long-term care and assisted living facilities.

Pickup said this could have led to inaccurate estimates of vaccination rates. 

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He recommends the Ministry of Health ensures it has access to a current registry of residents and staff at public and private care facilities. 

“COVID vaccinations were critical to the pandemic response and reliable information on the coverage rate was important for managing the vaccine campaign, particularly when the supply was limited,” said Pickup in a release.

“We found the health ministry was able to collect and share information consistently, but it had challenges in getting reliable information for some of the high-risk population groups.”

The issue with rates for healthcare workers came from data not being updated frequently. 

Pickup said the province did a good job with its initial estimates when vaccines were only available for healthcare workers with high exposure risks. 

The problem arose when more workers became eligible for the vaccine. Pickup said the ministry didn’t revise its estimate so there weren’t accurate rates from February to October 2021. 

He said the rates were fixed once vaccines were made mandatory. 

His recommendation here also involved access to a current registry.

Provincial officials said they agree with both recommendations and will be implementing fixes. 

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