Also on Monday, the province announced it is extending the time between first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine to four months. The change, as well as Health Canada’s approval of a third vaccine, means every eligible person in B.C. will receive the first dose of their vaccine by mid- to late July.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control — and countries around the world such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand — shows “miraculous” protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of a Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
She said the National Advisory Committee on Immunization is expected to issue a statement to align with B.C.’s decision, which frees up 70,000 doses for younger age groups.
“This is amazing news,” said Henry. “These vaccines work, they give a very high level of protection and that protection lasts for many months.”
As I wrote earlier:
… first doses first will save lives in the US but delaying the second dose and other dose-stretching policies are even more vital in countries [such as Canada] where vaccines supplies are more limited than in the United States.
Meanwhile in the United States we are vaccinating relatively quickly but in the last week we have given out more second doses than first doses. Overall, we have given out 25 million second doses–under first doses first we would have vaccinated 25 million more people benefiting them and the unvaccinated by lowering transmission rates.