British Columbia

3rd dose vaccinations begin in B.C. for immunocompromised people

The province announced earlier this week that 15,000 clinically extremely vulnerable people would be invited for a third jab.

Third jab is easing worries about getting the coronavirus, says vaccine recipient

Michael Coyle, recipient of a third Pfizer vaccine shot, is pictured in Burnaby, B.C. on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC) (Maggie MacPherson/CBC news)

Some severely immunocompromised people in B.C. have received their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine after the province announced earlier this week that 15,000 clinically extremely vulnerable people would be invited for a third jab.

The group includes 50-year-old Michael Coyle, who received a kidney transplant last year. He currently takes immunosuppressant drugs so his body doesn't reject the organ.

"I'm happy this is another piece of the puzzle," said Coyle after receiving his third dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Friday afternoon. He says the third jab is easing his worries about getting the coronavirus. 

Coyle, a software developer from Burnaby, has been living apart from his family in Squamish. He says his son just returned to in-person classes, which has been a big concern.

Coyle says he returned to Metro Vancouver this week to get his third shot of the vaccine after receiving a text invitation.

"In most of the rural areas in B.C., like Sechelt, Gibsons, Whistler, Squamish, there are twice a month, walk-in clinics and there's no vaccination clinic other than that. So I decided to come down and get mine in Vancouver as soon as I was eligible, so I didn't have to wait."

He says he feels relief but still plans to continue reading studies on the effects of the vaccine, and go for further testing to find out what kind of impact the third dose would have on his body.

"We're going to try to get a test to see how well my immune system has reacted to this. So we are looking into getting a test at St. Paul's [Hospital]," said Coyle.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry explained earlier this week why people with compromised immune systems need a third dose.

"For these people a third dose is needed to give enough protection that most of us would get after our primary series of two doses," said Henry.

People who are part of the immunocompromised group include those who have had whole organ transplants, bone marrow transplants and stem cell transplants, those with blood cancers and certain immune disorders. 

Canada's national advisory body on vaccines still hasn't reached a decision on whether to provide additional shots to the broader population.

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