The COVID-19 vaccine booster is not a priority for some British Columbians. Why?
It’s been nearly four months since British Columbia began administering booster doses of COVID-19, but some British Columbians are in no rush to get one.
Invitations for booster doses are sent about six months after a person has received their second dose.
As of Feb. 14, the province says 58% of British Columbians who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have received a booster. This represents 69% of those who were asked to obtain one, resulting in a total of 2.5 million reminders administered in the province.
But according to an online poll conducted by research firm Ipsos on behalf of the BC Pharmacy Association, 56% of survey respondents – who received two doses of the vaccine but no booster – say they do not plan to. get a good booster dose. a way.
About half of those survey respondents say they will eventually get vaccinated, but it’s not currently a priority.
“It’s concerning that some people choose to wait or not get it at all,” said BC Pharmacy Association President Jamie Wigston.
“After six months, their existing immunization does not provide as much protection as before, as their second dose immunity wanes.”
Some say the messages from leaders about the importance of the booster dose have not been loud or clear enough.
North Vancouver-based Ada Slivinski says she doesn’t think she absolutely needs another dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and she’s comfortable with the level of protection provided by the first two doses.
“There’s no benefit I see for my own life at this point,” she said.
She’s not staunchly against a booster dose, she says, adding that she would consider it if needs change.
“If boosters were needed for travel then that would be something I would consider.”
Booster doses are not required to continue using the BC Vaccine Card, which will be in place until June 30, or for domestic or international travel.
The Ipsos poll found Slivinksi isn’t alone: 41% of respondents said they felt two doses were enough.
About 33% of respondents say they are concerned about the potential long-term effects of the vaccine, and 27% say they just want to get back to normal life.
The British Columbia Ministry of Health says it is aware that some people think two shots are enough, that having had COVID-19 provides additional protection, or that the current wave of the pandemic is showing more symptoms. lightweight and is therefore of less concern.
However, the ministry says booster doses will reduce the risk of infection, even with the Omicron variant.
“Like the first two doses, receiving a booster shot makes a difference in terms of community transmission and helps to mitigate transmission and severe consequences in our communities,” the ministry said in a statement emailed to CBC News.
“The booster also helps us individually by increasing protection after two doses by about 50-60% against Omicron infection.”
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization says studies suggest a booster dose is safe, boosts immunity, and provides good short-term protection against infection.
The pharmacists’ association says about 1,000 pharmacies across the province are administering COVID-19 vaccines and is urging those who haven’t done so to get a booster shot.
“Make your COVID reminder appointment,” Wigston said. “Talk to your pharmacist.
The Ipsos survey was conducted online from January 28 to February 3, 2022. For online surveys, a margin of error cannot be calculated. For comparison purposes, the margin of error for a random sample of the same size would be +/- 4.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.