COVID-19 Vaccination in BC: Second Doses for Continuing Care Residents and Workers

January 28, 2021 | News, COVID-19

  • Due to the temporary delays in vaccine supply, the province has made the decision to delay second doses to up to 42 days after the first dose for those who have already been vaccinated.
  • This is because the evidence from the clinical trials showed that the first dose alone gives up to 90% protection from COVID-19, for at least 6 weeks (or 42 days). This level of protection is reached around 15 days after the first dose.
  • This means that while there is limited supply, the province has decided to give more people some protection now. The second dose can be thought of as a ‘booster’ that provides longer-term and even higher protection from being infected. Everyone who has been vaccinated with the first dose will still get this extra protection.
  • Although it is longer than the ‘ideal’ spacing between doses originally recommended by the manufacturers, some participants in the trials received their doses up to 42 days apart. The data showed no difference in overall levels of protection when the second dose was delayed.
  • This spacing between doses has been approved by Health Canada. Other provinces and countries are taking a similar approach while vaccines are temporarily scarce.