COVID-19 booster doses: BC accelerates its program – archyde

BC’s COVID-19 booster dose program is accelerating amid the continued surge in cases in the province, health officials said in their latest pandemic briefing in 2021.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, Minister of Health Adrian Dix and Dr. Penny Ballem gave the update on Friday morning, the day after BC broke another COVID-19 caseload record.

“With the numbers growing rapidly, we face challenges,” said Henry.

“Given the rise of Omicron and the need to protect as many workers as possible, we’re also moving the (booster) period to six months.”

Previously, patients were contacted six to eight months after the second dose for their booster dose. At the start of the booster dose program, the province gave priority to people who were clinically more susceptible and the elderly. So far, people over 60 who have waited at least six months since their second dose should have been invited to a booster.

Henry also announced Friday Pregnant women are immediately entitled to a booster vaccination Dose as soon as six months have passed since the second dose, regardless of age.

Ballem, who heads the province’s vaccine program, said nomination capacity would expand in the coming weeks in hopes that the booster dose program “will be completed even sooner”.

“Now that our vulnerable and seniors are protected, we are moving to an interval-based invitation process,” said Ballem, adding that Omicron “has really changed needs across the province.”

“People who live to be six months, regardless of their age between 18 and 59, are invited as close to that date as possible.”

Backlog of 800,000 people

As a result of this adjustment, hundreds of thousands of British Columbians are suddenly eligible for their third inclusion.

“At this point we have a backlog of people under 60 who are over six months old,” Ballem said, explaining that the approximately 800,000 people in that backlog could be “a few days to a few weeks” above their sixth. Month interval.

Ballem said the province’s priority is to address this backlog first and send out invitations to them first, although this will take time.

One reason for the change in strategy is that when the vaccine first came out, priority was given to health workers and other frontline workers to get their first and second doses. However, these workers span many age groups.

“They represent a large part of the group whose six-month refresher is now overdue,” said Ballem.


Ballem said the introduction of invitations will also depend on the capacity that health officials have been working to build.

Part of the plan is to bring back mass hospitals like those that ran out of convention centers and sports arenas when the vaccine rollout began. Ballem also said more pharmacies are increasing their capacities and more immunizers are being hired.

Given the ever-increasing capacity, Ballem said, those who wait weeks for an appointment that has already been booked can log back into the provincial system to look for an earlier appointment. If you want, you can continue to search for appointments from home.

“Waiting for your invitation,” said Ballem. “It will come.”

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