In today’s BC health update, Dr. Bonnie Henry revealed the province’s new plan for administering second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

With a steady supply of vaccines arriving, the province has been able to accelerate the delivery of second doses to residents. 

Previously, intervals between doses were stretched to 16 weeks, however, the announcement today included the vaccination interval being moved up to 8 weeks between doses. 

Starting today, invites for second doses will be sent out to over 400,000 British Columbians based on an age based and clinically/extremely vulnerable system. 

The second dose program will continue with the age based and clinically/extremely vulnerable populations, as the first dose program did. 

The government is currently providing second doses in long term care to both residents and health care workers, with completion expected in the next few days and weeks. 

For Indigenous and remote communities, the government will continue to coordinate the delivery of second doses with the communities. 

In the announcement, Henry also addressed public concern over availability of the Moderna vaccine, letting the public know another shipment of the vaccination will arrive in June.

For Astrazeneca recipients, Henry asks the public to remain patient for a few more days for further information, suggesting the Astrazeneca vaccine has a better response with slightly longer intervals between doses.

In regards to the interchangeability of vaccine doses, Henry suggested that although it is preferable to keep one’s second dose to the same vaccine as they received for their first vaccine, there is now good evidence on the topic of interchangeability of vaccines. 

This new evidence allows those who received Pfizer or Moderna to safely take the other mRNA vaccine for their second dose. However, the vaccine program will prioritize delivering the same vaccine to the public as their first dose. 

Currently, there is no further information on interchanging vaccine doses for those who received Astrazeneca as their first dose. 

If you had your dose prior to April 15th and did not use the online registration system, Henry said you can expect to receive a letter directly instructing you on how to register for your second dose. 

Anyone who is not registered should register now in one of three ways:

  • 24/7, online:
  • through a provincial call centre between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (Pacific time) at 1 833 838-2323
  • in person at the nearest Service BC location

Once registered, you will be contacted to book your appointment. 

For more information visit the BC Government’s Vaccination and Immunization page.

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