Monday August 9, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends
Now the interval between first and second doses of COVID vaccination is 28 days in BC.
The announcement was made today by Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry, along with Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Anyone who gets their second dose at the 28-day mark might need a third shot later on, but Dr Henry is not yet firm on that. She does note, however, that six to eight weeks is presently the recommended interval between first and second doses.
In a response to Island Social Trends today, Dr Henry even ventured to say that six months (approximately 32 weeks) might be the ideal interval for the most optimal protection against COVID-19 infection.
Meanwhile, people who have immune system challenges or for whatever reason cannot mount a strong immune response will be offered a third shot at some point, Dr Henry told Island Social Trends today.
As to “whether a third dose gives extra protection”, Dr Henry says there will be “more information in the next week or so”.
But that in “the short term” she doesn’t expect there will be a need for a third dose for the rest of the people who’ve received two doses this year. “Maybe next year or the year after,” she said in her response in today’s media session.
Okanagan got to 28 days first:
A special announcement at the end of July advised people living in the Central Okanagan (within the Interior Health Authority region) that they could follow the 28-day interval guideline.
That was due to the high new-case numbers of COVID-19 test positive results in that region.
Advisories to anyone past 28 days:
Over the coming next few days, about 170,000 advisories will be issued to people in BC who have received their first dose of COVID vaccine now over 28 days ago, but who have not yet received their second dose.
‘Time to get your second dose’ will be the gist of the message, now that 28 days is the interval instituted by BC public health. Those messages will go out by email or text, depending on what contact information a person has provided when getting their first dose.
Beat the clock:
Part of the push to see more people vaccinated with their second dose is due to the looming season of ‘back to school’ and ‘return to campus’ which comes officially on September 7 after the Labour Day weekend.
Dr Henry today said that she hopes everyone on post-secondary campuses gets fully vaccinated with two doses as soon as possible. That includes faculty, researchers and staff as well as students.
International students who are coming to campuses in Canada this fall must be fully vaccinated, said Dr Henry today.
“The border is open to vaccinated Americans,” said Dr Henry today. She considers that to be a low risk. “They need to be tested before they come,” she added.
“Being fully vaccinated is the key point,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix today, adding that “it’s the responsibility for the federal government to ensure”.