BC COVID-19 IMMUNIZATION PLAN
All children age 5 and over can now register for their vaccine.
Youth can get vaccinated by themselves, make plans with friends or ask a parent or trusted adult for help.
Please register and then book on line, by phone or at a Service BC office near to you. For details how to register click here
CHILDREN AND TEENS:
Families who have registered their children aged 5-11 on the Get Vaccinated portal will start receiving their invitations for vaccination on Monday, November 29.
There will be three types of clinics: smaller family clinics, all-age clinics, and pharmacies for those aged 12 and older. Vaccinations of the 5-11 year-olds will happen in the clinics, although school sites may be used, but not during school hours.
Scheduled community-wide clinics will operate for children living in remote areas or small communities, which may also offer adult boosters at the same time.
If a child is 4 years old, they must wait until at least their 5th birthday to be eligible. If an 11-year-old turns 12 between doses 1 and 2, they will get an adult dose for their second shot.
Families can have all their young children vaccinated at the same time, as long as they are all registered at the same clinic on the same day. There will be private spaces and quiet areas to accommodate children who are concerned about needles, and children with special needs.
Approximately 350,000 BC children are eligible to be vaccinated, and more than 90,000 have registered.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has issued guidance on the Pfizer paediatric vaccine.
British Columbia has reported zero hospitalizations among children 12-17 vaccinated against COVID-19.
Caring for Kids ( also Canadian Paediatricians) also has good information in a Q&A format on their website including the rare side effect of myocarditis.
A link to an information sheet for parents of children between 5 and 11 regarding the vaccine from Doctors of BC.
A position statement from the Canadian Paediatric Society about vaccinations for children age 5 to 11:
For a statement about pregnancy and vaccination from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada , please read here
Everyone age 70 and over can now get a booster shot. In addition Indigenous people age 18+, people receiving care at home, severely immunocompromised people, those who received Astra Zeneca for doses 1&2 and health care workers can also get their booster shot.
From January 2022, everyone age 18 and over will also be eligible 6-8 months after the date of their second dose.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and BC's immunization plan please look at the BCCDC website here
Another helpful site for vaccine information is Doctors of BC, it has more answers to commonly asked questions.
For answers about 8 vaccines myths- see here!
Thank you for your patience, and please continue to do all you can to prevent spread of the virus even after vaccination , to keep you and your loved ones safe.
This means wearing a mask when you’re out, staying six feet from others, limiting contact to those living in your household, and washing your hands frequently.
In-person COVID testing is done through the Vernon Health Unit. Please call 1-877-740-7747 to book or you can book online at:
This is an on line self-assessment tool for COVID 19 from BC Ministry of Health. THE LINK IS HERE
Interior Health have an excellent site with lots of useful information which is updated regularly and it can be found here
The BC Centre for Disease Control has an extensive Covid website which can be found here
Information from Healthlink BC can be found here
LifeLabs COVID Antibody test
Some patients are asking doctors to sign requisitions for COVID antibody tests offered by LifeLabs, under the impression that the test is needed for travel or work purposes.
A COVID antibody test is not required for purposes of travel or work.
MSP does not cover a visit with your doctor if you are requesting a COVID antibody test.
If patients want to see the doctor to request this test, you will be charged for the visit.
Patients will also be billed by LifeLabs for the test.
COVID TESTING PRIOR TO TRAVEL
This is not available in BC. Please see the attached link to a letter that can be printed from Dr Bonnie Henry
OTHER USEFUL LINKS:
Information for people with chronic health conditions:
Managing anxiety and stress in families with children/youth:
COVID 19 parenting tips:
LETTER TO PATIENTS ABOUT REOPENING THE OFFICE
As you will be aware, British Columbia is beginning a phased plan to slowly open up again, with businesses and services working in new ways compared to how they worked before the arrival of COVID.
This is only possible because we have all followed the instructions of Dr. Bonnie Henry, in particular physical distancing, hand washing and staying at home as much as possible.
COVID has not gone away, but the risk of one of us catching COVID and of COVID overwhelming healthcare has reduced.
It is very important that we go through these next steps cautiously and safely, so that the risk of overwhelming healthcare and the risk of you catching COVID do not both increase dramatically. It is important that you continue to follow the measures that Dr. Henry advises; it is through all of our behaviour that we will prevent COVID cases rising again.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will start provision of a slowly increasing amount of in- person healthcare in our offices and provide some of the routine healthcare that could be safely suspended at the beginning of this pandemic, such as screening, through a stepwise plan. This plan will only progress as long as the risk of COVID to all of us remains low.
In the first instance, we will continue to see patients virtually, via video or on the telephone. Where we deem it necessary, not just for urgent conditions or conditions we couldn’t diagnose without doing a physical examination, but for some examinations needed for chronic diseases or some screening for example—face to face care will now occur in our own offices.
The reasons we will not see everyone in-person are as follows:
● We have to continue to reduce COVID risk in our offices through physical distancing, which will reduce the amount of people we can have in our office at any one time.
● The risk of COVID has not gone away—consequently, the regional Health Authorities require us to wear PPE (masks and eye protection) during all in-person encounters. PPE remains in short supply worldwide—therefore we have to be economical with its usage.
● We have to clean our exam rooms frequently and thoroughly to ensure you are not at risk of catching COVID from your visit- this will reduce the number of people we can see in our office each day.
● We know that virtual care is safe and effective in a number of conditions and welcomed by a number of our patients as more convenient.