B.C. residents who got 2 AstraZeneca doses may get booster shot sooner, health officials announce

Vancouver –

B.C. residents who received two AstraZeneca shots to protect themselves against COVID-19 may receive an invitation to get their booster shot a little earlier than others.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry shared the update during a morning news conference Monday, saying B.C.’s booster-dose program is moving forward. The top doctor announced last week that third doses would be available to the general public starting in the new year.

“We started already with long-term care, with seniors in our community, with people who have compromised immune systems,” Henry said. “The data has also shown … that individuals who received two doses of AstraZeneca have had a waning of protection.”

Henry said those individuals “still have very strong, good protection for serious illness,” but their protection from infection isn’t as robust.

“As a result, people who received two doses of AstraZeneca will be receiving invitations for their booster dose at six months,” she said. “This may be sooner than other healthy adults in the community where we know there’s very good, strong protection that’s lasting well.”

When Henry announced the booster-dose program, she said invitations will be sent out between six and eight months after a person received their second shot, with the specific timing of that rollout determined by age and level of vulnerability.

Henry said all booster doses – including for those who got AstraZeneca – will be with an mRNA vaccine.

“That combination, particularly a viral vector and an mRNA combination has been shown to be very effective and long-lasting,” she said.

Last week, Henry presented some local data on the effectiveness of vaccines. Against all infections, including the Delta variant, two doses of AstraZeneca was proving to be 72 per cent effective. By comparison, two doses of Pfizer or a mix of AstraZeneca and an mRNA was 91 per cent effective at preventing infection. Two doses of Moderna had the highest rate at 92 per cent. 

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