From:                                         Northern Health <eryn.collins@northernhealth.ca>

Sent:                                           October 29, 2021 3:49 PM

To:                                               McBride

Subject:                                     Update from Northern Health: COVID-19 immunization plan - next steps, and more

 

The latest updates and information on COVID-19 from Northern Health

October 28, 2021

Note: Please share any information in this update as appropriate.

COVID-19

 

COVID-19 immunization plan - next steps

On October 26, the Province released details on third doses for eligible individuals, and that booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine will be available for all British Columbians 12+ beginning in January 2022. The Province will continue its COVID-19 immunization plan with first priority going to BC’s elderly and most at-risk through to the December holiday.

Currently, the mRNA vaccines (Moderna Spikevax and Pfizer Comirnaty) are the two options for the third dose and booster shots. People who received the AstraZeneca vaccine initially will be offered an mRNA vaccine for their third dose or booster shots.

What's the difference?
A third dose is not the same as a booster. For people who do not develop the same immune response to the first two doses of the vaccine (some people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised), a third dose is needed to get a similar level of protection as others in the population. For these people, receiving a third dose to complete the initial vaccine series can help individuals create antibodies to protect them from COVID-19.

A booster dose is an additional non-urgent vaccine you may choose to get at a later date if the protection from the initial two-dose vaccine series begins to decrease over time. A booster gets immunity back up to a desirable level of protection for an extended period of time.

Booking a third dose or booster
To book a booster:

·         Be registered in the Get Vaccinated system

·         Book online when notified

·         Call 1-833-838-2323 if there is difficulty accessing online booking

People needing a third dose will be contacted by the provincial Get Vaccinated system about how and when to book a third dose, about four weeks after you receive your second dose.

Booster shots and third doses will be by appointment only, they are not available for walk-ins.

For more detailed information, please see this information about third doses and booster shots

·         Why you need a booster shot (gov.bc.ca)

·         Province-wide booster dose is next step in COVID-19 immunization plan (gov.bc.ca)

·         Third dose vs. booster dose (BCCDC)

For Northern Health clinic locations and times: COVID-19 immunization clinics

 

(Click the image to enlarge and read more.)

 

COVID-19 orders and policy – upcoming and in effect

Acute- and long-term care visitors policies

All visitors to Northern Health’s acute-care and long-term-care settings must show they are fully vaccinated. For more information about provincial and regional public health orders and guidance: Provincial and regional restrictions

Gatherings and events

Northern Health’s public health order restricting gatherings and events for most of the region (some areas of the Northwest are not included) were updated October 21, 2021. The order is in addition to the provincial stage three requirements, and the orders already in place for Northern BC. For more information:

For complaints or concern related to orders, please call 250-565-7322 or email php@northernhealth.ca.

Visit the Northern Health website for a list of all Northern Health COVID-19 immunization clinics and other resources.

To book a vaccine appointment, register online at: www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca/, call 1-833-838-2323, or visit a Service BC office listed here.

Northern BC community immunization coverage

Immunization coverage for every community in Northern Health is available for you on the Northern BC community immunization coverage page. This link includes both first and second dose counts and percentages per community and is updated every week.

 

BC vaccination coverage rates and COVID-19 activity

BCCDC COVID-19 dashboard

Visit the BCCDC COVID-19 surveillance dashboard for information by local health area (LHA) and community health service area (CHSA).

COVID-19 numbers

As of October 28, 15,211 cases have been reported in the NH region since the beginning of the pandemic.

·         Cases currently active: 821

·         New cases: 133

·         Currently in hospital: 81

·         Currently in ICU level care in hospital: 24

·         Deaths in the NH region since the beginning of the pandemic: 210

For the latest provincial numbers, see the Province of BC COVID-19 dashboard, which is updated Monday-Friday. The dashboard may not work in all browsers; Chrome is suggested.

As well, for a visual comparison of COVID-19 cases in BC by HSDA to other Canadian and global jurisdictions, see the COVID-19 Epidemiology app. It’s updated on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

·         BC COVID-19 pandemic update – October 28, 2021

·         BCCDC Situation Report – October 27, 2021

Northern Health COVID-19 vaccination clinics

Visit the Northern Health COVID-19 immunization clinics website for a list of local vaccination clinics.

 

Trusted links and resources for COVID-19

For current information on restrictions on travel, gatherings and other issues, see the Provincial Health Officer’s webpage on current health topics.

OVERDOSE PREVENTION & RESPONSE

 

Overdose response: Naloxone saves lives

Toxic drugs continue to circulate throughout our region causing overdose events and deaths. Given the contamination of the illicit drug supply overdoses can look different and may take more naloxone to respond. It is vital that family, friends and loved ones of people who use drugs are familiar with the signs and symptoms of overdose, have naloxone and know how to respond.

If you are a community based service provider and have not been trained yet on overdose response connect with your local THN provider by using the site finder for overdose response training and naloxone. Naloxone training can also be done online here.

Further Resources:

·   BCCDC Take Home Naloxone Progra

·   Do I keep giving naloxone?

 

YOUR HEALTH, A PRIORITY

 

All health care workers fully vaccinated

In order to best protect patients and residents, all employees, medical staff, and other service providers who work in health care locations and in the health sector are now fully vaccinated. 

Flu season is quickly approaching

Getting the influenza vaccination is more important than ever this year, especially with a health authority already experiencing a COVID-19 surge.

With more people returning to the workplace, children back in school and changes to public health mandates, it is expected to see an increase of influenza cases this year compared to last year.

Peak influenza season is from December to February, and it takes a minimum of two weeks for antibodies against the flu to develop fully following vaccination. Northern Health will start offering influenza vaccine beginning the week of October 18, 2021. For more information about flu vaccination, please see:

·         Northern Health influenza information

·         BCCDC influenza information

·         CDC influenza information

For information about the flu vaccine clinics being offered in the region, please see the Northern Health flu information site, and the ImmunizeBC Find an Influenza (Flu) Clinic site.

Image via Kristine Wook (Unsplash)

 

Community toolkit digital COVID-19 resource for community partners.

 

Wash your hands often with warm running water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

Avoid contact, keep a safe distance of at least 2 meters from others, and limit your movements to reduce contagion.