A booster vaccine is recommended for high-risk populations whose bodies may not generate an effective immune response with just two doses.
The British Columbia government announced Tuesday that it plans to offer COVID-19 booster shots to all British Columbia residents.
It will begin offering the third doses to high-risk populations first, typically people who received their initial injections earlier, including people 70 and older, indigenous people 12 and older, and clinically vulnerable people who are immunosuppressed.
Healthcare workers working in high-risk areas such as COVID wards, ICUs and the emergency department will also be prioritized.
Health officials said a booster shot is highly recommended for high-risk populations whose bodies may not generate an effective immune response with just two doses, making them more vulnerable to breakthrough cases.
The general population will be eligible for their third injection from January to May, and the timing will depend on the person’s age, risk, and interval from second dose. BC aims to make the booster dose available to people six to eight months after their second injection.
Residents of long-term care homes and assisted living facilities, the immunosuppressed and some First Nations communities that have experienced outbreaks have already started receiving their booster doses earlier this month.
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People who are registered through the province Get vaccinated The portal will be invited to book your booster appointments online when it is your turn. There will be no registrations available.
Health officials say BC will use the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as booster doses. The mRNA vaccines can be used interchangeably and it is not necessary to align the third injection with the first two doses. People who received AstraZeneca will be offered mRNA vaccines as a booster.
Booster clinics will be run by health authorities in community locations, while some communities will be offered boosters through a community-wide vaccination approach. Booster shots will also be available at participating pharmacies; Appointments for these pharmacies can be booked through the Get vaccinated website.
The government said BC has a sufficient supply of mRNA vaccines through the end of the year, and the federal government has already procured enough vaccines by 2022.
More to come …