Across the province, the COVID-19 vaccination effort continues, with focus shifting to booster shots.
Currently, more than 350 pharmacies across 80 communities are now administering vaccines.
Come mid-January, approximately 700 additional pharmacies are expected to join, administering the majority of booster shots for everyone eligible through the Get Vaccinated registration and booking system.
“We’re expanding the breadth of our effort and making it more convenient than ever for British Columbians to book a COVID-19 vaccine with their local participating pharmacies,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
“Thanks to more pharmacies joining the effort, people can book an appointment for a time that works best for them at a location close to home.”
Pharmacies across the province have been delivering COVID-19 vaccines since April 2021. Now, they join the effort in administering booster shots, to increase access to eligible residents across the province.
The vaccine rollout to pharmacies follows a successful trial that assessed whether pharmacies could connect to the Province’s Get Vaccinated registration and booking system.
Booster shots are approved for those 18-years of age and older.
Once eligible, residents will receive an invitation to book an appointment to receive their booster vaccine. This can be expected approximately six to eight months after their second dose.
“This partnership with pharmacies enhances the provincewide effort to provide community-based and convenient places to get your booster shot,” said Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead of B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Program.
During the week of December 6th, more than 25,000 booster shot appointments were made at B.C. pharmacies.
As of this publication, there are now 5,435 active cases in the province.
Like most of the world, cases of COVID-19 in BC have soared over the weekend with another 2,550 new infections reported with 415 of those being in the Island Health region.
It is believed BC health officials will be implementing additional restrictions during a live press conference Tuesday afternoon surrounding the Christmas holidays.
Starting yesterday, the following restrictions went into effect:
- Indoor personal gatherings, including in rental and vacation properties are now limited to one household plus 10 other individuals, or one additional household, but only if all in attendance are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated people should not be permitted
- The province is now requiring all events of any size to scan BC Vaccine Card – the QR code must be scanned at all events
- As in the past, movement between tables at food establishments like restaurants will be restricted and masks wearing when not seated must be enforced
- Large events and concerts with over 1,000 people in attendance, such as Victoria Royals games, will operate at 50% capacity.
- All sports tournaments in BC are to be suspended
- All New Year’s Eve gatherings and events will be restricted to being seated-only events, with no mingling or dancing allowed
The provincial health officer is also emphasizing the need for retail stores to have COVID-19 safety plans in place for holiday and Boxing Day sales.