Booster shots will soon become a reality for many in B.C. who are already fully immunized against COVID-19.

Provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, shared the next steps in B.C.’s immunization plan today.

“Everyone in B.C. who have received their two doses who wants a booster dose, will be eligible to receive it at least six months after dose two,” she explained. “And the timing that you’ll be offered this booster dose will depend on risk, and the time it has been since your second dose.”

For the time being, priority is going to residents and workers in long term care, hospital workers in ICUs as well as emergency and COVID wards, the immune compromised, seniors and Elders over 70, and Indigenous people living in communities that have had known outbreaks.

Henry says they want to optimize the vaccine to have longer protection “so, for most people, we have good strong protection for this respiratory winter season but this booster dose will provide protection into, we hope, at least next year. And it may be, we’re still looking at the data, it’s too early to tell, but it may be that a three-dose primary series is going to give us long-lasting protection for many years, that may be all we need.”

She adds third doses will optimize the benefits of the vaccine with longer protection, create a strong and quick response from antibodies, protects people at higher risk of severe illness, and keep hospitalization rates down.

Invitations to book a third dose will be sent via the BC Get Vaccinated system and will be based on an interval of between six to eight months depending on the risk, and the third dose program will be starting with various groups until December.