BC Vaccine Program • How to Get Vaccinated • If You Have Had COVID-19 • Self-Isolation • Your Vaccine Appointment • Doses and Boosters • Proof of Vaccination
The main source of information about the Province of BC's COVID-19 vaccination program is its website:
There are two ways to get vaccinated:
Pharmacies may offer COVID-19 vaccines, also booked through the provincial registration system.
A First Nations person who received their first dose in community and wishes to receive any subsequent dose through the provincial program may do so. In addition, any First Nation person who received their first dose through the provincial program may receive any subsequent dose through their First Nations community clinic.
All people in BC age six months or older may register for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment as part of the province's vaccination program. Youth age 12 to 17 do not need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian to receive the vaccine.
To get vaccinated through a provincial clinic, register online through the provincial vaccine registration webpage.
In order to register online, you must provide your first and last name, date of birth, postal code, your Personal Health Number (PHN isn't mandatory if you don't have one) and an email address or a phone number that can receive text messages.
After registering, confirmation via email or text should come within 15 to 30 minutes, but could take up to 24 hours.
You can also register by phone at 1-833-838-2323 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., every day, with reduced hours on statutory holidays. Dial 711 if you are hearing-impaired.
If you have had a positive COVID-19 test result or are experiencing any symptoms (even mild), you must wait until you feel better and are no longer required to self-isolate to get a vaccine, including your booster dose.
Even if you have recently had COVID-19, it is important to get a booster dose to extend your protection.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you should get your booster dose as soon as possible after your symptoms subside, and as long as it is four weeks after your second dose.
Others can choose to wait up to three months from when their symptoms have resolved to get their booster dose. However, they may decide to get their booster sooner than this if they feel they or their loved ones are at risk.
It is no longer required to self-isolate, however, it is still important for people with symptoms to stay home as much as possible to reduce any potential spread of illness until your symptoms have improved, and you are able to participate in your usual activities.
Community and provincial clinics offer vaccinations to everyone age five and over. Vaccines for children aged six months to five years old are approved by Health Canada and can be administered by Community Health Nurses.
Clinics are available for primary series doses, and for third or booster doses, including for those people who missed receiving them in the past.
Communities receive confirmation from the FNHA when a vaccine clinic is available for their community in order to notify their members.
FNHA regional teams will then provide wrap-around support to move forward with community vaccination campaigns as needed.
There are some things you can do to be ready for the vaccination clinic when it comes to your communities:
If you get vaccinated in a First Nations community clinic, an Indigenous vaccine clinic or a provincial clinic, you will receive an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna).
In most cases, you will get the same brand of vaccine for your second dose, but you may get the alternate brand, depending on availability. These vaccines are interchangeable, so there is no worry about “mixing and matching" doses.
There are limited supplies of vaccines that do not use mRNA technology. The Janssen vaccine is a viral vector-based single dose vaccine, while the Novavax vaccine is protein-based.
Even after you have been vaccinated, it is important to follow recommended public health measures. These measures help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help protect you and others who are in contact with you from getting it.
Wearing masks in public indoor settings is not currently required by any public health order. Wearing a mask is a personal choice. Masks are encouraged on public transit and BC Ferries, but not required. Individual businesses and event organizers can choose to continue requiring masks on their premises. It’s important that we respect the choices of people, businesses and one another.
For most people a first and second dose of the vaccine make up what's known as one “primary series".
You should not be concerned if you are offered a different brand of vaccine than your first vaccine when you go back for another dose. It has been determined that this method is safe and effective.
If you were immunized through a provincial clinic, approximately 56 days after your first dose, you will get an invitation by text, email or phone call to book your second dose appointment.
If you were immunized in community, contact your health centre to find out where or when you can access a subsequent dose.
Some people with compromised immune systems need more than two doses of the vaccine to complete their primary vaccine series. People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems generally have lower antibody responses from the initial two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series. Another dose can help build antibodies.
This additional dose is not the same as a booster dose. Booster doses bring antibody levels back to a high protective level if they had decreased over time. They also help the protection last for a longer period of time.
The COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective. However, just like some other vaccines, health officials have found that there has been a gradual decline in protective antibodies over time. This has been observed in adults who had their primary series many months ago. It is important to know that the decline is gradual and that your primary series will keep you well protected until you get a booster dose.
A bivalent vaccine may be offered for your booster, depending on your previous COVID-19 immunization history.
If you are not offeed a bivalent vaccine, an mRNA vaccine will be used. If you had the one-dose Janssen vaccine for your primary series, you will be invited to receive an mRNA vaccine eight weeks later for your booster shot.
You may request a Novavax vaccine (non-mRNA vaccine) as your booster shot through the provincial registration system.
If you live in a First Nations community, the FNHA will work to provide community-based booster clinics.
If you live away from home (off-reserve) you will be contacted by the provincial online vaccination system. If you are concerned that you are not registered, please check with the provincial registration system online or call 1-833-838-2323.
Visit the BC's provincial COVID-19 vaccination website to register for a vaccination and get up-to-date information and help.