Posted on: March 1, 2021
The BC Government has now provided more details about Phase 2 of the BC Immunization Plan. More than 400,000 people in the province will be immunized from March to early April. Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced extending the interval between first and second doses to 16 weeks.
Dr. Henry announced today that BC is extending the interval between the first and second booster dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to four months (16 weeks). Dr. Henry said first dose effectiveness is about 90%, and that protection lasts for many months. She based the decision to change the timing of second doses on BCCDC analysis of the data from BC's experience, as well as evidence from Quebec, Israel, the UK and conversations with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. “Extending the second dose provides very high real world protection to more people, sooner." Across the province, this change in the timing of second doses will allow about 70,000 people to be immunized by the beginning of April, and first doses for everyone wanting to be immunized should be available by July.
Details of Phase 2 were outlined in a news conference this morning.
Those in Phase 2 receiving their first vaccine dose in March and early April include:
- seniors and high-risk people residing in independent living and senior's
supportive housing (including health care providers);
- home-care support clients and community health workers;
- Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) peoples born in or before 1956 (65 years and
- older); and
- seniors born in or before 1941 (80 years and older)
Island Health is also contacting other Phase 2 groups directly, including many health care providers:
- direct care hospital staff
- community GPs, NPs, Medical Specialists and their office staff who come into contact with patients;
- community health workers;
- staff in independent living centres and senior's supportive housing;
- vulnerable populations in select congregate settings, and the care providers who work with them.
If you are contacted to book an appointment for your immunization, please do not share the call back phone number with your team or publicly. The call-centre does not have capacity to answer those calls, and they are preventing us from booking appointments.
Our call centre is also reaching out to arrange immunizations for other parts of this priority population:
- long-term home support clients;
- people living in independent living centres;
- people living in seniors supportive housing.
There is no need for people in these groups to call to book an appointment, the Island Health call centre will contact them.
For the 80+ and Indigenous 65+ priority population, the call-in schedule to book appointments will be staggered to avoid long waits and system capacity:
- March 8: Seniors born in or before 1931 (90 years+)/Indigenous peoples born in or before 1956 (65 years+) may call to book their vaccine appointment,
- March 15: Seniors born in or before 1936 (85 years+) may call to book their vaccine appointment, and
- March 22: Seniors born in or before 1941 (80 years+) may call to book their vaccine appointment.
A family member, caretaker, healthcare worker, advocate or friend can also book an appointment on their behalf. Immunization clinic locations will be confirmed at time of booking, with vaccinations starting as early as March 15, 2021.
You can find details at http://www.gov.bc.ca/bcseniorsfirst including contact information, call-in schedules, hours of operations and step by-step instructions on how to call to book an appointment.