B.C. bumps up booster shot timeline for AstraZeneca recipients

B.C. bumps up booster shot timeline for AstraZeneca recipients
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B.C. health officials announced on Monday that the timeline for booster shots is being bumped up for British Columbians who received two doses of AstraZeneca.

During a live press conference, Dr. Bonnie Henry said that the booster shot program — which was expanded last week to include all residents — will be adjusted for those who received AstraZeneca in order to get them booster shots sooner than others.

“The data has shown that individuals who received two doses of AstraZeneca have had a waning of protection from infection,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry.

While the vaccine still has good protection against serious cases of COVID-19, according to Dr. Henry, the data is proving that it has lower lasting protection against infection.

As a result, B.C. will be issuing booster shot invitations to people who received two doses of AstraZeneca at the six-month marker. This means these individuals will be eligible for booster shots six months after their second dose.

“This may be sooner than other healthy adults in the community where we know there’s very good strong protection that is lasting well,” noted Dr. Henry.

Invitations will start to be sent to this group of people in the coming months.

For people who received doses of Pfizer or Moderna, the timeline to be eligible for booster shots can be up to eight months from their second dose.

According to the Province, only mRNA vaccines — Pfizer and Moderna — are available for booster shots at the moment and anyone who received AstraZeneca will be offered one of those two options for their third dose. The government emphasizes that there is no need to align residents’ current vaccines with their booster shots either.

“That combination, particularly of a viral vector and an mRNA vaccine, has shown to be very effective and long-lasting,” added Dr. Henry.

The Province outlines that anyone who is currently registered in the Get Vaccinated system will be invited to book their booster shot online once it is their turn. The provincial call centre at 1-833-838-2323 will continue to be available for those who can’t access online booking as well.

More coming.


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