Here's how B.C. is rolling out fall boosters of COVID-19 vaccine
The B.C. government expects to begin sending invitations for fall COVID-19 vaccine boosters by the end of the week, pending the arrival of the first shipment of Omicron-targeting bivalent doses.
Health officials unveiled their plans for the province's latest vaccine rollout Tuesday afternoon, while stressing the ongoing importance of maintaining strong immunity against the various iterations of the virus.
"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."
Henry noted that immunity is complicated, with individuals benefiting from different levels of protection that last different lengths of time depending on their circumstances, but pointed to studies that have found there is much better protection among those who are boosted.
PRIORITIZING FALL BOOSTERS
Officials confirmed the earliest appointments for bivalent shots will be given to residents who are at higher risk of severe infection, such as the immunocompromised, and to those who have waited the longest since their last dose.
Recipients will generally have to wait at least six months since their previous shot, though there will be 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.
Anyone who has caught COVID-19 recently should wait three months before getting their fall booster, officials said.
Around 109,000 doses of Moderna's newly authorized bivalent vaccine are scheduled to arrive in B.C. this week, with expected shipments increasing to 405,000 by mid-month. The government noted it's also possible that hundreds of thousands of weekly doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's bivalent vaccine will be arriving in the province by that time, pending Health Canada approval.
B.C. is making bivalent doses available to all adults, and to those between the ages of 12 and 17 who are at increased risk from COVID-19.
Children between the ages of five and 17 who have no risk factors will be given a regular vaccine dose for their fall booster, and there is no booster eligibility for anyone under five.
Officials anticipate reaching peak capacity for vaccine distribution by the end of September, at which point around 280,000 people should be receiving a dose every week.
Pharmacies will be the first to offer the vaccines, with more than 500 locations across the province participating in the early distribution. Health authorities will follow with dedicated vaccination clinics that will begin opening on Sept. 19.
Officials encouraged the public to ensure they are registered through the province's Get Vaccinated website so they can receive their invitation and secure their appointment. More than four million invitations are expected to be sent over the coming weeks.
WHAT IS A BIVALENT VACCINE?
Multivalent vaccines are nothing new, with annual influenza shots notably carrying three or more virus strains in an effort to target the ones most likely to cause illness in a particular flu season.
Moderna's bivalent vaccine, which was authorized for use in Canada last week, targets the original COVID-19 strain along with the BA.1 Omicron subvariant.
The dose is slightly different from the one approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which targets the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants, which are believed to account for the majority of new cases in Canada.
Henry stressed that clinical trials found the BA.1 vaccine offers "a very strong immune boost against all of the Omicron strains," including BA.4 and BA.5.
The government said people will be able to receive their fall COVID-19 vaccine booster and flu shot at the same appointment beginning sometime in October, at both pharmacy and health authority clinic locations.
Health officials are hopeful uptake will be high for both vaccines this year, to help ward off an expected surge in illness heading into November and December.
Some 1.3 million B.C. residents never responded to their invitation to get a first COVID-19 booster, though a government survey indicated 35 per cent of those – or about 455,000 people – intend to get one this fall.
Approximately two-thirds of people who did receive a first booster said they will "definitely" get another, according to the province, and 21 per cent said they likely will as well.
Henry noted the trajectory of the pandemic remains "very uncertain," and said with significant transmission continuing around the world, there remains an ongoing risk that another variant of concern will emerge.
"We do know more and more about the virus and about how we can manage, both individually and collectively in this province – but we are not yet at a point where we can let our guard down," she said.
"We need to keep it up to be certain we are protecting those most at risk, and protecting our health-care system in the coming months."
Vancouver Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Canada makes amendments to foreign homebuyers ban – here's what they look like
Months after Canada's ban on foreign homebuyers took effect on Jan. 1, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has made several amendments to the legislation allowing non-Canadians to purchase residential properties in certain circumstances.
'Leave this with me': Alberta premier heard on call with COVID-19 protester
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, in a leaked cellphone call, commiserated with a COVID-19 protester about his trial while divulging to him there was an internal dispute over how Crown prosecutors were handling COVID-19 cases.
What is the grocery rebate in federal budget 2023? Key questions, answered
To help offset rising living expenses, the Government of Canada has introduced a one-time grocery rebate for low- and modest-income Canadians. Here is what we know about the rebate.
Spending to increase economic capacity is fiscally responsible, Freeland says in post-budget defence
Defending her latest federal budget, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said spending that increases economic capacity is fiscally responsible.
RCMP arrest 5 while executing search warrant at Wet'suwet'en protest camp
RCMP officers executed a search warrant at a protest camp on Wet'suwet'en traditional territory near the under-construction Coastal GasLink pipeline Wednesday.
'Compostable' food packaging may contain hazardous 'forever chemicals': Canadian study
As Canada phases out single-use plastics, more restaurants are opting to use 'compostable' takeout containers. But a new study suggests some of these supposedly eco-friendly containers may pose hazards to our health and the environment.
Many Canadians like to tell 'white lies' about home-cooked meals: survey
Have you ever had to lie about the quality of a home-cooked meal to protect someone's feelings? According to a new survey by Research Co. you’re not the only one.
Victim of Vancouver stabbing had asked man not to vape near toddler, says grieving mom
The family of a 37-year-old man who was stabbed to death in Vancouver last weekend says he was attacked after asking someone not to vape near his young daughter.
From royal titles to animal testing: The law changes coming in the budget bill
The 2023 federal budget released this week includes a series of affordability measures, tax changes, and major spends on health care and the clean economy. But, tucked into the 255-page document are a series of smaller items you may have missed.
IIO investigating after man driving construction vehicle shot, seriously injured by police in Duncan, B.C.
A man was taken to hospital with serious injuries following a police shooting in Duncan, B.C., on Tuesday evening.
Police investigating 'targeted' attempted arson at home in Saanich
Police are investigating what they believe was a targeted arson attack at a home north of Victoria.
B.C. parents win battle to put son's Indigenous name on his birth certificate
After 13 months of fighting, the parents of a Campbell River, B.C., boy have received a birth certificate that accurately reflects the spelling of his name.
‘I started breaking down:’ Friends remember 15-year-old homicide victim
A 15-year-old girl shot to death in the community of Martindale early Tuesday morning, has now been identified by friends and police as Sarah Alexis Jorquera.
Woman in custody, charges pending following Lions Park LRT station stabbing
Calgary police say they've arrested a woman in connection with a stabbing at the Lions Park LRT station that stemmed from an altercation between several individuals.
Calgary archaeologist launches foundation to support female field researchers
A Calgary archaeologist wants to help more women get out in the field by launching the Fair Field Foundation, an organization to break barriers women often face.
Man found dead in SUV, Edmonton homicide detectives on the case
Police are looking for help in the suspicious death of a man found in a vehicle in north Edmonton Wednesday morning.
Spiritual leader's wife charged with sexual assault accuses police of taking cell phone without warrant
The wife of an Edmonton spiritual leader who is accused of sexual assault has a new lawyer.
'Fate was on my side': Lacombe snowmobiler recounts his close call after hitting a wire strung across a river
It was a weekend in January 2015. Jody Blokland was snowmobiling on the Blindman River with his brother and their four kids.
BREAKING | Man pulled from house fire in Toronto's Junction Triangle dies in hospital
A man is dead after being pulled from a fire at a home in Toronto’s Junction Triangle neighbourhood.
Man assaulted aboard TTC subway train: Toronto police
A male victim has been assaulted in an altercation aboard a TTC subway train, Toronto police say.
A rare weather phenomenon strikes southern Ontario again
Thundersnow has struck southern Ontario for a second time this month.
Bill 15: Quebec tables legislation to overhaul health system
The CAQ government has unveiled its long-promised plan to improve Quebec's public health network. Tabled at the Quebec legislature Wednesday by Health Minister Christian Dubé, Bill 15 promises a major shakeup.
'I lost a brother': Funeral held for teen who died in Old Montreal fire
Almost two weeks after his death, a funeral was held in Laval Wednesday for a teenager who died in the fire in Old Montreal.
Quebec's health-care reform plan draws backlash from
Quebec's sweeping new health-care plan—Bill 15—drew mixed reaction following its announcement Wednesday. Several health-care professionals say it's a massive undertaking—especially for a health minister who initially said he didn't want reform.
Manitobans should prepare for a gas price hike according to an expert
Come the weekend, Manitobans will be paying more for gas and the price could climb even higher in the coming weeks and months according to a gas expert.
Brandon pauses public engagement on 30-year vision over 'inappropriate and unsafe behaviour'
The City of Brandon has paused its public consultation on its 30-year plan for the city due to 'inappropriate and unsafe behaviour' from some residents.
Manitoba family launches lawsuit over COVID-19 vaccination
A Manitoba family has launched a lawsuit alleging their 23-year-old son had a stroke days after receiving a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, leaving him legally blind.
Saskatoon police release video of 3 people placing 'large container' in dumpster where body was found
Saskatoon Police Service is asking for the public’s help in identifying three individuals they believe are connected to a suspicious death.
Saskatoon murder trial on hold as police investigate new revelations
A Saskatoon murder trial is being adjourned to allow police to follow-up on "significant information" that just came to the Crown prosecutor's attention Wednesday.
Dog that attacked five-year-old Saskatoon boy involved in three other attacks
CTV News has learned a dog that attacked a five-year-old boy last week had been declared dangerous in February 2022, but the city had lost track of the owner a year ago.
City council waiting for next steps in Experience Regina rebrand
The City of Regina is waiting for an update regarding the next steps for the Experience Regina rebrand.
Regina's Dewdney Avenue strip to undergo 2 year renovation project
The Dewdney Avenue strip between Broad Street and Albert Street is about to undergo a major two year renovation project.
Saskatchewan to spend $6 million for some hip and knee surgeries in Calgary
The Saskatchewan government is set to spend up to $6 million to send patients to Calgary for hip and knee surgeries.
N.S. mass shooting inquiry report must deliver 'clear commentary': family lawyer
A lawyer who represents Nova Scotia mass shooting victims' families said in an interview they are hoping "for clear commentary on what things went wrong and what things ought to have been done better or differently."
Cold front to sweep mix of snow, rain across the Maritimes Thursday
A low-pressure system moving north of the St. Lawrence River valley will sweep a cold front across the Maritimes on Thursday.
How Portapique residents past and present are dealing with reminders of the 2020 mass shooting
The eve of the release of the final report from the inquiry into Nova Scotia’s 2020 mass shooting is a reminder for residents of Portapique of their small community’s traumatic past.
Coyote encounter unnerves woman
An evening walk along the trails of Westminster Ponds in southeast London, Ont. turned into a frantic scene for Denise Singh and her two dogs.
Over a dozen dogs 'dumped' across Huron and Perth Counties
More than a dozen dogs were abandoned across Huron and Perth Counties on March 23 and 24, and local dog lovers are furious about it.
2,700 cattle escape $2-million barn fire
Damage is estimated at $2-million after a barn and grass fire in southeast London on Tuesday.
Northern Ont. family ‘ecstatic’ as 25-year-old murder mystery finally solved
Robert Steven Wright was convicted Wednesday of murdering Renee Sweeney, a little more than 25 years after her brutal killing shocked the community.
B.C. man pleads guilty to northern Ont. shooting, Crown drops attempted murder charge
A man who admitted to shooting up a home in Greater Sudbury in 2020 over a drug theft pled guilty Wednesday to reduced charges.
Driver caught travelling 200km/hr on major Ontario highway
A 20-year-old has been charged with careless driving after travelling double the speed limit on a major Ontario highway.
'Fairly emotional for everybody': Teen struck by LRT visits emergency crews who rescued him
Several weeks after a teen was stuck under an LRT train in Kitchener, he’s now up and walking and visited the emergency crews who helped rescue him.
Cambridge municipal election candidate suing city after names left off ballot
A retired political science professor says he was “stunned” by the way the Cambridge municipal election unfolded.
Businesses weigh in on government’s plan to reduce credit card fees
The federal government is touting plans to help small businesses by reducing credit card fees, but some local merchants say while they welcome the measure, the actual impact it will have on their operations will be minimal.