Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. aims for 2nd vaccine shot for all this summer, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

The rollout of second doses will be similar to the first dose, with those at the greatest risk at the top of the list

British Columbia’s top doctor says she’s set an end-of-summer target for everyone in the province to receive their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced Thursday a decrease in the time between the first and second dose of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, cutting the interval to eight weeks from 16 weeks.

The province has enough supply of those vaccines to cut the wait time between the first and second shots, she said.

But the interval for people who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as a first dose and are waiting for their second AstraZeneca shot may take longer.

“I’m asking you to hold tight for a few more days,” she added.

Henry said the province is waiting for results from international data on AstraZeneca, including the effectiveness of mixing vaccine shots and ongoing concerns about rare blood clots.

But Henry did set a goal for everyone to get a second vaccine dose.

“I anticipate everyone will have their second dose by the end of summer,” she told a news conference.

Quebec said Thursday it will shorten its wait time between the first and second AstraZeneca shots to eight weeks. Health Minister Christian Dubé said the decision to reduce the wait times is based on advice from the province’s immunization committee.

Henry said a second vaccine dose adds protection for the community.

“Protection through immunization is what we need to focus on right now. It ensures you have maximum protection for a maximum amount of time.”

B.C. was the first province to extend the length of time between doses to a maximum of 16 weeks in order to spread the protection throughout the population while there was a shortage of vaccines.

Henry said the rollout of second doses will be similar to the first dose, with those at the greatest risk at the top of the list.

She said seniors, Indigenous people and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable will be getting their invitations to book a second shot.

“People can expect to receive that invitation between now and the weekend,” Henry said. “They are essentially first in line.”

Henry said the province will try to ensure that everyone gets the same vaccine they were first administered, but a shortage of the Moderna vaccine may mean that people will have to substitute it for a Pfizer shot.

She said the National Advisory Committee on Immunization has reviewed the evidence on using different vaccines and has updated the guidance, confirming that while it is preferable to have the same product, it’s not always possible.

“If that is the case, we now have good evidence that it’s safe to have an alternative of the same type of vaccine.”

Pfizer and Moderna are the same type of vaccines, she said.

“This is the approach that we will be taking. As much as possible we’ll try to make sure that everybody gets the second dose with the same product they had for their first dose,” she said.

Henry said B.C. has now provided first doses of vaccines to more than three million of the 4.3 million people eligible to be immunized in the province. She said the vaccine number amounts to 65.8 per cent of people eligible for a vaccine who are 18 years old or older.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

Flowers planted along Highway 19 in downtown Parksville. (Submitted photo)
City of Parksville plants more than 15,000 annual bedding plants

Residents encouraged to take flower photos and post to social media

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

The Parksville Civic and Technology Centre. Offices will re-open to the general public on June 21. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville’s city hall offices to open again on June 21

Offices will resume pre-COVID hours of operation

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read