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

(double-click to edit)
Daryl Jolly, his wife Kerry Pagdin, their sons Cole Jolly (left) and Graeme Jolly, and their dogs Gracie and Clover. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College arts chair diagnosed with lung cancer, family launches fund drive

In mid-May, Daryl Jolly developed a chest cough and started feeling fatigued.… Continue reading

TELUS is proposing to construct a 5G tower at Pople Park. Photo: Sheri Regnier
First 5G tower in Trail proposed for placement in popular park

TELUS has a consultation process open until June 28

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Coroners’ inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni teen rescheduled for June 21

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Most Read