Skip to main content

COVID-19 vaccination toolkit for health professionals

Guidance and information on COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination resources for health professionals in the province of British Columbia

Last updated: September 22, 2021


COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in Canada

(click to enlarge)


COVID-19 continues to be a serious public health threat. Health Canada has authorized the use of several COVID-19 vaccines in Canada, supported by evidence that they are safe and effective.

COVID-19 vaccination is underway in B.C. The COVID-19 Immunization Plan provides information on the roll-out of the immunization program. Everyone who would like a vaccine and who is eligible to receive one will be able to receive a first dose before July 1, 2021.

This toolkit includes resources for individuals supporting the COVID-19 immunization program in B.C.

Key resources

Vaccine guidelines

The following are direct links to the Biological Product pages, which are the clinical decision support tools for each of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines for use in B.C.:


Pfizer-BioNTech

Moderna
Astrazeneca/COVISHIELD
People with certain medical conditions may require specific recommendations and considerations with respect to COVID-19. Please refer to heading "Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals" for further resources.

Health care provider Q&A

This Q&A includes general information about COVID-19 vaccines and questions and answers specific
to the vaccines currently in use in B.C. COVID-19 vaccine information is evolving, and as such, this Q&A will be updated as new information and new COVID-19 vaccines become available in B.C.


What: Comprehensive COVID-19 question and answer document for vaccines currently in use in B.C. - BCCDC


Audience: Health care providers


Use: Learn more about the vaccine development and safety, efficacy, dosing, scheduling, administration, contraindications and considerations, vaccine storage and handling for the COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use in B.C.


News & latest updates

To find the latest updates and new resources for all COVID-19 materials for health professionals, visit and subscribe to BCCDC's New Today page.


What: HealthLinkBC File #124 COVID-19 Vaccines


Audience: Health care providers and the general public

Use: Supporting individuals in making an informed consent is critical to the immunization process. This HealthLink BC file can be used to support people in making a voluntary informed choice on the disease being prevented, eligibility, risks, benefits and considerations when being immunized.

 A plain language guide immunizers can provide to individuals following vaccination.


Audience: Immunizers for COVID-19 vaccines

Use: Review of possible side effects and symptoms to monitor in the days following vaccination, as well as information on immunity, reminders regarding follow-up and maintaining public health guidelines. 

Translated versions available in American Sign Language, Arabic, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Farsi, French, Korean, Punjabi, Spanish, Tigrinya, and Vietnamese.


Audience: People who received their first dose of vaccine

Use: A document about getting a second dose, mixing vaccine brands, and information about second dose options for individuals who received AstraZeneca or COVISHIELD vaccine as their first dose.

Public Q&A resources

Health care professionals and the individuals they engage with may have questions about COVID-19 vaccines.

These evidence based resources will help you to learn more, or to provide support to those looking for information.


What:  Frequently asked questions for COVID-19 vaccines – Immunize BC 


Audience: B.C. residents looking for evidence based immunization information and tools


Use: Provides an overview to questions on popular topics such as:

  • registration, clinics and phases
  • safety, allergies and side effects
  • dose, scheduling and timing with other vaccines
  • after the vaccine

What:  COVID-19 immunization Q&A – Immunize Canada


Audience: Health Care Providers and B.C. residents looking for evidence based immunization information


Use: Question and answer sheet that addresses common questions concerning COVID-19 immunizations.


 

Q&A: Second dose considerations for AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD first dose recipients

What: Question and answer document on second dose considerations for first dose recipients of AstraZeneca or COVISHIELD vaccine


Audience: Health care providers


Use: To inform health care providers of recent recommendations regarding the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines and assist them in responding to patient questions.  


Updated recommendations for AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD vaccines letter for physicians (PDF)


 

Supporting resources to assist heath care providers in conducting an informed consent conversation and health assessment with a person being vaccinated.

WHAT: COVID-19 Screening Checklist - BCCDC

AUDIENCE: COVID-19 immunizers

USE: To support both a health assessment and informed consent with a person being vaccinated. Questions listed are related to the contraindications, precautions and special considerations for COVID-19 immunization.‎


WHAT: Translated Informed Consent/Health Assessment Questions


AUDIENCE: COVID-19 immunizers


Use: In order to minimize the need for translators at mass COVID-19 immunization clinics to facilitate the informed consent/health assessment conversation with clients who do not speak English, questions that would typically be asked prior to COVID-19 Immunization have been translated into several languages. Based on the client's responses, the healthcare provider can determine whether further discussion with the clients via a translator is required.


Arabic | Simplified Chinese | Traditional Chinese | Farsi | French | Hindi | Japanese | Korean | Punjabi | Spanish | Tagalog | Vietnamese


Consent forms for COVID-19 immunization of children:

Cover letter for overseas parents of international students


WHAT: Valid contraindications and deferrals to COVID-19 vaccination


AUDIENCE: Health care providers


USE: For support of medical accommodation under the Provincial Health Officer's COVID-19 Vaccination Status Information and Preventive Measures Order.


What: Guidance Document on the Management of Inadvertent Vaccine Errors


Audience: Health care providers


Use: Assist immunization providers with the management of inadvertent COVID-19 vaccine administration errors.

What: World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Qualified COVID-19 Vaccines


Audience: COVID-19 immunizers


Use: This document is intended to provide health care providers with approaches for individuals who have received COVID-19 vaccination outside of Canada.

Education recommendations for COVID-19 Immunizers as per respective regulatory college scope of practices and Provincial Health Officer Orders

(Click to enlarge)



The BCCDC Immunization for Older Children and Adolescents Course is intended for health care providers who will be administering COVID-19 vaccine to those 12 years of age and older.


Ensuring many people are vaccinated over a short period of time in B.C. will require a large workforce drawing on a diverse range of health care professionals.

Becoming a COVID-19 immunizer


Audience: Individuals eligible to vaccinate as per their Regulatory College or Provincial Health Officer Orders

To ensure you have met all the necessary competencies to provide COVID-19 vaccines in B.C.:

WhatEducational requirements prior to being able to immunize – BCCDC 

Audience: Individuals eligible to vaccinate as per their Regulatory College or Provincial Health Officer Orders

Use: Reference document to guide all immunizers in ensuring they have met the necessary training, knowledge and skills to provide COVID-19 vaccines in B.C.

What: Clinical Immunization Roles, Scope, and Recommended/Required Education related to the PHO Order on  health professionals and COVID-19 immunization.


Audience: Health care providers


Use:  This document provides an overview of the clinical immunization roles, scope and education for health professionals eligible to immunize under the Provincial Health Officer Orders.


What: Immunization FAQs related to the PHO Order on  health professionals and COVID-19 immunization.


Audience: Health care providers


Use:  This document answers questions about clinical immunization roles, scope and education for health professionals eligible to immuize under the Provincial Health Officer Orders.


Health care professionals play an essential role in providing the public with evidence based information regarding immunization.


The following resources may help to support that role:


What: Immunization Communication Tool for Immunizers - British Columbia Immunization Committee Professional Education Working Group

 

Audience: Health Care Providers communicating vaccine information to the public


Use: An approach providing a systematic method to answer difficult immunization questions and help to enhance immunization communication between health care providers and the public.


What: COVID-19 Immunization Communication Tool


Audience: Health care providers communicating COVID-19 vaccine information to the public


Use: An approach that provides health care providers a basis for responding to questions about COVID-19 and immunization.


What: Immunization Communication Course - PHSA Learning Hub


Audience: Health Care Providers communicating vaccine information to the public


Use: For immunizers wanting a deeper dive to improve their knowledge, ability and confidence with engaging in effective immunization communication.


What: COVID-19 vaccines Healthfile – Healthlink BC

Audience: Health care providers and the general public

Use: Supporting individuals in making an informed consent is critical to the immunization process. This healthfile can be used to support people in making a voluntary informed choice on the disease being prevented, eligibility, risks, benefits, and considerations when being immunized.


What: Vaccine Safety - BCCDC website


Audience: Health Care Providers communicating vaccine information to the public


Use: Offers information and materials for health care providers to help address misconceptions and concerns about vaccine safety.


WhatPlanning for your vaccine: Pregnancy or breastfeeding – BCCDC, BC Ministry of Health, Perinatal Services BC

Audience: People who are pregnant or breastfeeding

Use: Handout for pregnant or breastfeeding individuals to support making an informed choice about whether to get a COVID-19 vaccine. This handout covers the benefits and risks of getting a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding, expert recommendations, as well as considerations and options in decision making. 

Health Canada has created a several resources that immunizers can use to discuss COVID-19 immunizations in a clear manner with people being immunized.

 

Find information below to help you determine if there are any timing considerations or contraindications to COVID-19 vaccines for people with certain medical conditions.


To inform and guide clinical decision making for special patient populations, the following guidelines have been created:


Clinical Immunization Guidelines for Special Patient Populations – BCCDC and BC Ministry of Health

Audience: Health Care Providers

 

Use: The Guidelines include information on the recommendations and considerations, vaccine efficacy and safety, and the contraindications or exceptions for people with the following medical considerations:

 

Autoimmune diseases

Cancers

Cystic Fibrosis

Hematologic

Inborn Errors of Metabolism

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Kidney/Renal

Neuromuscular

Pregnant people with heart disease

Splenectomy

Transplant


Immunosuppressive Therapies and Timing with COVID-19 Vaccination

WHAT: Immunosuppressive Therapies and Timing with COVID-19 Vaccination


AUDIENCE: COVID-19 immunizers


USE: Provide information to immunizers regarding when  to provide COVID-19 vaccination and when to direct individuals to speak with their healthcare team prior to vaccination.

COVID-19 vaccines are sensitive biological products that must be carefully managed to protect their potency and stability.
Information related to the transport, storage and handling to maintain optimal temperature conditions, otherwise known as cold chain, can be found below.

Please NOTE that ancillary and more detailed information can be found on the COVID-19 Immunize BC Operations Centre: Standard Operating Procedures webpage. 

Guidelines & standard operating procedures


AUDIENCE: Individuals supporting the transport, storage and handling of all COVID-19 vaccines

USE: This webpage directs users to information included in the Standard Operating Procedures for COVID-19 vaccines, including vaccine-specific cold chain, reporting and data requirements, and communication pathways.


WHAT: BC Immunization Manual “Appendix E: Management of Biologicals”  - BCCDC

AUDIENCE: Individuals supporting the transport, storage and handling of provincial vaccines

USE: Includes complete overall guidance on the management of vaccines, including the cold chain process, general recommendations, required equipment, handling of biological products, and the management of a cold chain incident.


WHAT: Guidance Documents - BCCDC

AUDIENCE: Individuals supporting the receiving and handling of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines

USE: Provides specific guidance for the receipt and handling of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines; including dry ice procedures where relevant. Topics such as temperature requirements upon vaccine receipt, cold chain maintenance, equipment and unpacking thermal shipping containers are covered.

WHAT: Shipping and Handling Guidelines - Pfizer-BioNTech

AUDIENCE: Individuals supporting the receiving and handling of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.

USE: This guide details all user processes and procedures that must be followed upon receiving Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine; including information on the contents and packaging, unpacking the thermal shipping container, and returning of the thermal shipping container. The guidelines also provide information in relation to dry ice - facts, safety guidance, disposal, and replenishment.


Online training & webinars

WHAT: BCCDC Vaccine Management webpage (training videos) - BCCDC


AUDIENCE: Individuals supporting the transport, storage and handling of provincial vaccines

USE: The BCCDC Vaccine Management webpage includes training videos on overall Biological Management for vaccines. These videos include an introduction on managing biologicals, cold chain breaks, surplus of vaccine, and vaccine expiry.


WHAT: Dry Ice Handling Safety Training Course - LearningHub course #24530

AUDIENCE: Any employees handling thermal shippers, dry ice replenishments or disposal.

USE: This course provides dry ice safety training for the purposes of vaccine packing and transporting.

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe the hazards of dry ice.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of safe dry ice handling, storage, disposal, and transportation practices.
  3. Use dry ice safety strategies in the application of vaccine storage, handling, and transport.

WHAT: Vaccine Storage and Handling Course - LearningHub course #19652

AUDIENCE: Medical Office Assistants, Health Unit Aides, as well as any other interested immunizer (e.g., PHNs, Pharmacists, RNs, Physicians, health care students).

USE: To learn or refresh knowledge regarding how to appropriately handle and store vaccines based on our provincial guidelines. Cold chain and cold chain breaks are discussed.


WHAT: Short videos - Pfizer-BioNTech

AUDIENCE: Individuals supporting the receiving, storage and handling of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.

USE: Visual representation and a step-by-step guide to receipt, storage and handling of the thermal shipping containers, dry ice and vaccine.

Quick reference guides

WHAT: Vaccine Storage and Handling Quick Reference Guide - BCCDC


AUDIENCE: Individuals supporting the transport, storage and handling of provincial vaccines

USE: An illustrated quick reference guide for the storage and handling of vaccines that can be kept at 2-8 C. Topics covered include: acceptable refrigerators for vaccine storage, monitoring of vaccines, transporting vaccines, and cold chain incidents. Though this resource is not specific to mRNA vaccines, some of the information can be used to inform their storage and handling when they are being used at 2-8C.


WHAT: Temperature Probe Characteristics – Immunize BC Operations Centre

AUDIENCE: Individuals supporting the transport, storage and handling of all COVID-19 vaccines

USE: Reference sheet comparing and contrasting the characteristics of the Ultra probeless dry ice, Ultra dry ice probe, and Ultra temperature monitoring devices.


WHAT: The S.T.E.P.S to COVID-19 Vaccination Leaflet– Pfizer-BioNTech

AUDIENCE: Individuals supporting the storage, handling and administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.

USE: Reference guide reviewing the S.T.E.P.S (Store, Tally doses and thaw, Equilibrate and dilute, Prepare and administer, Safely dispose and ship back materials) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.


WHAT: Storage and Handling (page 1) – Moderna

AUDIENCE: Individuals supporting the storage and handling of the Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.

USE: Page 1 of this reference guide illustrates the storage and handling of the frozen and thawed phases of the Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.


WHATCold Chain Incident Reporting process – Immunize BC Operations Centre

AUDIENCE: Individuals supporting the receipt, transport, storage and handling of COVID-19 vaccines

USE: Step by step reporting process for temperature excursions occurring while vaccine is in the custody of the manufacturer, enroute to a primary delivery site and temperature excursions occurring while vaccine is in the custody of the health authority.




SOURCE: COVID-19 vaccination toolkit for health professionals ( )
Page printed: . Unofficial document if printed. Please refer to SOURCE for latest information.

Copyright © BC Centre for Disease Control. All Rights Reserved.

    Copyright © 2021 Provincial Health Services Authority.