COVID-19 Immunizations

 

Last Updated: September 10th 2021

 

We know the best way to put this pandemic behind us is through vaccinations. Over three quarters of British Columbians have been fully vaccinated and this is excellent progress, but there is still more work to do.

Public health continues to closely monitor case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths and the overwhelming majority of recent cases are occurring in people who have not been fully vaccinated.

 

 

Additionally with the Delta Variant we are now seeing more cases, hospitalizations and ICU numbers in younger age categories- all of which continue to be overwhelmingly in those who have not been vaccinated.

 

 

B.C. Vaccine Card

 

As of September 13, people will be required to provide proof of being partially or fully vaccinated – at least one dose — in order to visit indoor social settings like restaurants, bars, fitness classes and theatres.

By October 24, people must be fully vaccinated with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine to enter these settings.

 

 

Why are these measures necessary?

Faced with a rise in cases Health Minister Adrian Dix had this to say:

“We’ve seen the rise of the Delta variant, and it has impacted unvaccinated populations and so you’re presented with policy options of continuing to rely on measures that would affect all people, including the vaccinated, or focusing those measures on the unvaccinated and specific social circumstances.”

This is the same dilemma faced by many jurisdictions around the world right now. When we would see rising cases and transmission before vaccines were available, places like restaurants, nightclubs, bars, theaters were shut down and larger events were just not possible-because the risks of transmission were simply too high.

Now the majority of British Columbian’s are vaccinated and we are seeing very low transmission in those who are partially or fully vaccinated.

With this in mind we are taking steps that will continue to keep people safe, and that allow us to maintain the activities that make life full and interesting. That’s the purpose of the BC vaccine card – to do just that.

Like similar measures taken by other provinces and countries, the B.C. Vaccine Card will allow businesses to stay open and continue to serve their customers with a much lower risk of potential transmission.

No one will be denied a government or essential service under this policy. The Vaccine Card is only required in the non essential, high risk settings, such as the following:

 

 

 

How do I get my BC Vaccine Card?

  • Most people will get their card online:
    • Go to gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard, enter your PHN, date-of-birth and date of your first or second dose.
    • View, save a copy to your phone, or print your vaccine card – similar to a boarding pass for a flight.
  • If you can’t access your card online, there are lots of ways to get a printed card: asking a friend for help, going to Service BC or calling the contact centre at 1-833-838-2323 to have one mailed to you.
  • People who have signed up for Health Gateway will be able to access their vaccine card there as well.

 

More Frequently Asked Questions about the B.C. Vaccine Card

 

 

How can I Get Vaccinated?

 

Everyone ages 12 or older is now eligible to receive their first or second dose* of the COVID-19 Immunization. Island Health is making it easier than ever to get vaccinated- with drop in options available throughout our region.

 

Where to get vaccinated:

  • Drop in to any community clinic- no appointment necessary. Find a community clinic near you and their operational hours here: covid19.islandclinics.ca
  • If you prefer to book an appointment, appointments can also be booked at any community clinic by calling 1-833-838-2323 or going to getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca
  • Island Health’s two Vax Vans are on the road visiting popular destinations in communities across Vancouver Island.  Drop by and get your first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Their schedule and locations can be found here: COVID-19 Vaccine | Island Health
  • Island Health is working in partnership with post-secondary institutions to offer COVID-19 vaccines at many Vancouver Island campuses.  Post-secondary students and staff are welcome to attend any of  these temporary clinics to receive their first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Friends, family, and members of the public born in 2009 or earlier are also welcome to attend these clinics, including those who do not have Personal Health Numbers and/or people who are not residents of B.C.  Find locations and more information here: COVID-19 Vaccine | Island Health

 

*you are eligible to receive your second dose if it has been at least 28 days since receiving your first dose.

Vaccination Effectiveness

 

Data gathered so far in B.C., Canada and other jurisdictions throughout the world shows the effectiveness of the vaccines in our fight against COVID-19.

 

 

 

 

The below graphs shows the impact vaccines have had on Long Term Care home outbreaks and COVID cases in Health Care Workers. We know that once you receive your first dose of the vaccine it takes your body around 2-3 weeks to build immunity to the virus- and as you can see there has been a large reduction in cases and outbreaks once immunity is reached.

 

 

 

 

In March Prince Rupert was seeing the highest community transmission and averaging 100 cases a week. In response to the high transmission every adult in Prince Rupert was offered a vaccine and as of last week only 3 cases were reported. The sharp decrease in cases and transmission is further evidence of the effectiveness of vaccines.

 

 

This graph below shows the data collected over the summer on cases and hospitalizations from both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.