The rollout of the bivalent vaccine that fights the infection of the original strain of COVID-19 and Omicron variants is now underway in most of BC, and everyone five years and older should get their fall boosters – despite some fatigue of the vaccine.
At mass clinics in Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health and Island Health, every fall booster given to those over 18s is now the bivalent or combination vaccine.
Moderna’s Spikevax booster, which arrived in Canada earlier this month, targets two strains of COVID-19, unlike the regular vaccine that is still given to most children for their boosters.
Invitations will be sent out by the county with priority to those most at risk of developing serious symptoms and health professionals.
Shawn Leatham received his booster at a Victoria clinic on Tuesday. He works at a hospital and said the decision was a good one, explaining that he “wanted to help everyone and also keep myself healthy and safe.”
Marg Crowley also got a boost at the same clinic. She said she was happy with the bivalent vaccine.
“I support it. I think the more people are immunized, the better off we are, the faster we can get out and get on with life,” she told CTV News.
Officials know many people who have three injections and a recent infection may think they don’t need another shot, but they are urging anyone ages five and older to consider a fall booster.
Monica Stevenson, a public health clinical coordinator who oversees several mass immunization sites, said she understood vaccine fatigue, and the reduction in deaths and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 was proof that vaccines work.
“I know it’s hard for the public to turn their heads – yet another vaccine. But look at the facts. Look at the numbers. We have a vaccine that works and we are trying to get ahead of this virus before it runs.” back at us,” she told reporters outside the Quadra Street clinic.
After infection, experts recommend waiting at least three months before receiving a fourth dose of vaccine.
most children receive a regular or childhood vaccine. Pharmacies also have doses.
On Vancouver Island, staffing challenges keep clinics from running at full capacity. Stevenson said that although the levels varied by facility, appointments fill up fairly quickly.
Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health and the Department of Health did not respond to CTV within the deadline.
Pharmacies also have doses.
In a few weeks, British Columbians will be able to get a flu shot and a booster at the same time, and officials say it’s safe to do so, with no additional side effects.
Whether that’s the new normal, or whether a new COVID-19 vaccine is recommended every six months, doctors said it’s too early to know.