Health officials in British Columbia say that they’re preparing for all scenarios if third doses or booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine are needed this fall.
While they’re confident that they can adapt and manage any situation, it remains unclear whether additional doses are needed at this time.
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“There is a lot of thought being put into that subject,” BC Health Minister Adrian Dix tells Daily Hive in an interview. “And no conclusions have been drawn yet.”
“I mean, we’ve just had these vaccines. So we don’t want to draw conclusions before the evidence comes in on what we need for further doses. That said, we’re preparing for it.”
One scenario that officials have considered would provide third doses to select groups of the population, such as seniors and those living in long-term care who received the COVID-19 vaccine much earlier. Another scenario would give a partial third dose or a full third dose to everyone in the population.
Dix notes that no matter the case, preparations will be needed to administer more first and second doses — for individuals who may be new to the province, children who have just turned 12-years-old, or anyone who ultimately decides to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We’re preparing for that even though no decision has been made,” he stressed. “I will repeat, no decision has been made. And there’s not enough evidence to make a decision yet.”
On Thursday morning, Moderna suggested that a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine would not only be necessary but provide “robust antibody responses” against COVID-19 variants of concern, including the Gamma, Beta, and Delta variants.
— Moderna (@moderna_tx) August 5, 2021
Results from the studies can be found in Moderna’s second-quarter fiscal report.
Other challenges for the province include managing the logistics and location for administering additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Larger spaces used as immunization clinics, such as the Vancouver Convention Centre or Victoria Convention Centre, may no longer be available.
“Some of those places may not be as available, so we’re going to have to make adjustments,” Dix explained. “And that huge workforce from the tourism industry that supported our vaccination efforts, they’re hopefully going to be working in tourism, and so there’s going to be some challenges.”
Regardless, Dix says he remains confident that the team can manage any challenges ahead.
“We’ve got the best people imaginable leading our vaccination effort.”