Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, have released the following joint statement on the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent COVID-19 vaccine:
“Today, Health Canada has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, which is the second bivalent vaccine to be approved in Canada. The updated vaccine targets the Omicron variant, as well as the original strain of the virus.
“The Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine will be available to people 12 and older. The Moderna bivalent vaccine, which was approved on Sept. 1, 2022, is available to people 18 and older.
“Both bivalent vaccines induce a stronger, more robust immune response and provide better protection against the Omicron variant and subvariants.
“The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends people get either bivalent vaccine as their fall booster dose. We are aligning with this recommendation and will offer a bivalent vaccine to British Columbians receiving a booster dose in the fall.
“Pfizer-BioNTech is providing 12.6 million doses to Canada, and B.C. is expected to receive more than 1.7 million doses gradually, starting next week. There are already 10.5 million doses of the Moderna bivalent vaccine in the country and B.C.’s allotment is more than 1.4 million. We are continuing to work with the federal government to ensure a stable supply of the bivalent vaccines for British Columbians.
“The Pfizer bivalent vaccine will arrive in B.C. next week and, over the following 10 days, will be available in both health authority clinics and pharmacies all over the province, along with the currently available Moderna bivalent vaccine. As of Oct. 11, influenza vaccines will also be available so people can receive both in one visit.
“As we are in respiratory illness season, we urge everyone to make sure they are up to date on their vaccines for COVID-19 and for influenza. Our COVID-19 immunization strategy has been effective in protecting people from the virus, and we must stay diligent in continuing to do so.”
For more information about COVID-19 booster shots, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/booster
To register with the provincial Get Vaccinated system: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/children