B.C.’s COVID-19 figures continue to improve, with 199 new cases reported on Thursday
People who received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for their first dose and are due for their second may have to receive the Pfizer vaccine instead, the provincial health officer said on Thursday.
Dr. Bonnie Henry said “spotty issues with supply of Moderna” would lead to cases over the next few weeks where people will only have a choice of the Pfizer vaccine.
“There will be some instances where (Moderna) may not be available,” Henry said.
“In that case you’ll be offered Pfizer as an alternative to the Moderna for your second dose. You can choose to rebook later in June when more Moderna is available, but I would encourage everyone to take the vaccine that you are offered when you go in for your second dose.”
She said Health Canada has promised more Moderna by the end of the month.
Henry said that as of Monday the 280,000 people who received a dose of AstraZeneca vaccine through the pharmacy and high-risk worker vaccination programs in March and April would receive notice that they are eligible for their second dose.
Use of AstraZeneca was temporarily suspended in late April due to blood-clotting fears. However, Henry said the province had kept enough on hand for second doses.
“So people who received AstraZeneca in March and April, you have two choices now,” Henry said.
“You can receive a second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine, and we will ensure that we have enough AstraZeneca available for everybody who wants to receive their second dose of AstraZeneca.
“The other option that you have, if you wish to, is to receive a messenger RNA (Pfizer or Moderna) as your Dose 2.
“If you chose a second dose of AstraZeneca it will be administered at a pharmacy. If you want an mRNA vaccine it will be administered at an immunization clinic,” she said.
After the AstraZeneca doses on hand are used, B.C. will no longer use the vaccine.
“If you received your vaccine at a pharmacy, the pharmacy will contact you to book your next appointment. We ask that you please don’t contact the pharmacies to book — they will contact you,” Henry said.
Henry said there were 199 cases of COVID-19 reported over the past day and two deaths. There are now 2,563 active cases of the disease, of which 224 are being treated in hospital including 62 in intensive care.
All these COVID-19 figures are improving.
As of Wednesday, 71.8 per cent of adults in B.C. have received at least one dose of vaccine and 229,585 people have received their second dose for maximum protection (just over five per cent of adults).
One third of doses injected on Wednesday were second doses.
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