Pending the arrival of the first shipment of Omicron-targeting bivalent doses, the B.C. government is reportedly to begin sending invitations for fall COVID-19 vaccine boosters by the end of the week.
With about 109,000 doses of Moderna’s newly authorized bivalent vaccine scheduled to arrive in B.C. this week, with expected shipments increasing to 405,000 by mid-month, plans for the province’s latest vaccine rollout were unveiled Tuesday afternoon by Health officials stressing the ongoing importance of maintaining strong immunity against the various iterations of the virus.
The possibility of the arrival of hundreds of thousands of weekly doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s bivalent vaccine was also noted by B.C.’s health officials
“It is without a doubt vaccination that has allowed us to get to this point where we no longer need to have broad imposed measures – like mask mandates, like closures, like distancing – that we know are so disruptive to society,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said, appearing in her first COVID-19 news conference in months.
“Because so many people have stepped up and received their immunizations, we are in a very different climate now than we were even just a year ago.”
The earliest appointments for bivalent shots, officials confirmed will be given to residents who are at higher risk of severe infection, such as the immunocompromised, and to those who have waited for a long time since their last dose.
Noting immunity to be complicated, Henry said that although depending on their circumstances individuals benefit from different levels of protection lasting for different lengths of time, there is much better protection among those who are boosted according to studies
Recipients generally should allow a gap of at least six months between their two shots, with exceptions for some vulnerable groups, including residents of long-term care homes, who could receive their fall booster just three months after their last dose.