The BC Ministry of Health approves publicly funded vaccine programs and allocates money to the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) to purchase publicly funded vaccines. The Government of Canada, through Public Works, has established long-term contracts with vaccine manufacturers and assists in providing national oversight to this process and ensures vaccine purchases are coordinated, equitable and affordable.
In BC, the provincial vaccine supply is determined for the upcoming year based upon a number of different projections from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC). The provincial influenza vaccine supply, in particular, is forecasted 8 months in advance of the influenza season by each health authority. The local public health units are allocated a proportion of the influenza vaccines forecast by their health authority. Local public health units are therefore constrained by the pre-determined vaccine allocation from their health authority. As such, influenza vaccine availability to local health units and community vaccine providers such as physicians and pharmacists may be limited.
Vaccine manufacturers are awarded contracts for publicly funded immunization programs. These manufacturers provide vaccines to the BCCDC. Upon receipt of these vaccines, the BCCDC then supplies them to local public health units. Local public health units manage the supply and distribution of vaccines to community vaccine providers such as physicians and pharmacists.