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B.C. set to begin COVID-19 booster doses for ages 65 and up

Big group coming due 6 months after second vaccine
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie head for an update of the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, June 30, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. public health officials are starting to send out invitations to people under 70 to book their COVID-19 booster shots by the end of this week, as a large population group comes due for their third shots.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday that 500,000 people have had a booster shot, from older and more vulnerable populations, including all Indigenous adults. By the end of this week, 90 per cent of people aged 70 and up will have been invited to book, and 81 per cent of that group has already booked or received their booster, Henry said.

Registration and booking appointments in B.C. can be done online here, or by calling 1-833-838-2323 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week. Henry said Dec. 7 she has received many messages asking about boosters, and people should make sure they are registered and be patient as the appointments are booked.

B.C. public health is adding pharmacies to the booster dose program, as pharmacists also work through the seasonal influenza vaccine program. People who have registered with the vaccine program may be directed to a pharmacy rather than a community clinic. Priority for boosters is also being given to B.C. residents who received two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, and more of that vaccine is also expected to arrive in B.C. for people who wish to take it as their second dose.

The booster program is ramping up as B.C. parents continue to register children aged five to 11 for their first doses of coronavirus vaccine. Health Minister Adrian Dix said as of Dec. 6, more than 33,000 children under 12 have received a vaccine, and thousands more are signing up and being scheduled.

B.C. health authorities continue to operate scheduled appointment COVID-19 vaccination clinics around the province. A list of clinic locations and hours by region can be found here.

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