In December 2020, two COVID-19 vaccines (the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine) were approved for use in Canada. BC's COVID-19 immunization program began in December, starting with priority populations based on the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommendations with the goal of preventing severe illness and death due to COVID-19. In the context of limited supply due to worldwide demand for COVID-19 vaccines, BC will prioritize populations to reduce their high risk of severe disease and death as much as possible, and to maintain our health care system’s capacity to take care of those who need health care services. As COVID-19 vaccine supply increases over the coming months, eligibility will expand to more population groups. For current information regarding the populations who are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine in BC refer to the Vaccine Eligibility page.
Beginning November 2020, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine will be provided free to people who are pregnant in every pregnancy. Vaccination is recommended at 27-32 weeks of gestation but it may be given from 13 weeks up to the time of delivery. The aim of this new program is to protect newborn infants in BC from severe outcomes related to pertussis infection. It is anticipated that Tdap vaccine will be provided mainly by prenatal care providers including family doctors and midwives, but can also be provided by specialty prenatal care service providers and by community-based pharmacists, or at the local health unit at adult immunization clinics.
Vaccine Status Reporting Regulation Information for Health Care Providers - Q&A (Jan 2020)
At the direction of the B.C. Chief Nursing Officer Council a provincial decision support tool (DST) for the management of anaphylaxis, "Anaphylaxis: Initial Emergency Treatment by Nurses (Adult and Pediatric)" has been developed. The provincial DST was developed to ensure that the initial emergency management of anaphylaxis is consistent amongst all nurses across the province, in all settings. The provincial anaphylaxis DST is based upon the World Allergy Organization guidelines and has incorporated the most up-to-date evidence. The BC Immunization Manual, Part 3 - Management of Anaphylaxis in a Non-Hospital Setting has been revised to be consistent with the provincial DST.
Beginning May 2018 BC will begin transitioning to the use of pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (RV5, RotaTeq®) in the infant rotavirus immunization program. The main difference with this product change is the immunization schedule, as the schedule for RotaTeq® is 3 doses, rather than 2 doses of Rotarix®. It is recommended that RotaTeq® be administered at 2, 4 and 6 months of age together with the other routine infant vaccines given at these ages.