British Columbia

B.C. to begin COVID-19 booster shots for long-term care, assisted living residents

British Columbians living in long-term care and assisted living homes are due to start receiving COVID-19 booster shots this week.

Residents also offered influenza vaccine as cold and flu season arrives

Vancouver Grace Seniors Home is pictured on April 23. B.C. is going to begin providing a third dose of vaccine to residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities this week. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

British Columbians living in long-term care and assisted living homes are due to start receiving COVID-19 booster shots this week.

Health officials have said they are offering boosters because of the risks of living in group settings and the fact that older people are shown not to develop as strong an antibody response to their first two vaccine doses.

"We know that our seniors and elders have carried a heavy burden and we continue to see cases in these homes," Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a news conference on Sept. 28.

Henry said the latest data show a third dose is most effective about six months after the second.

Those eligible will be getting their extra shots along with "high dose" influenza shots as traditional cold and flu season arrives.

Henry has already announced plans for a third vaccine dose for people who are most immuno-compromised and says more information is coming on third doses for those whose health is not as compromised.

B.C. reported 22 active health facility outbreaks in long-term care, assisted living facilities or acute care settings as of Friday. The Fraser Health and Interior Health regions accounted for the highest number of outbreaks, with seven each.

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