We appreciate your comments surrounding COVID-19. We are listening to members and are doing our best to address your concerns.



COVID-19 presents an unprecedented time for our work. We have shifted efforts to address members’ needs, personal and professional. Our goal was, and remains to be, to keep members able to practice safely.

Click here for an overview of the Vancouver Division’s COVID-19 Response (March – September 2020)

COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Overview and Updates

B.C. COVID-19 Dashbaord (and vaccine)

COVID-19 Vaccination – Government of Canada – Data and resources

COVID-19 Vaccine – BCCDC online resource

COVID-19 Featured Updates and News – Vancouver Division – Access the most recent information, updated regularly

B.C. COVID-19 Vaccines – Vancouver Division – Resources including updated vaccine campaign, immunization plan, technical information

COVID-19 Practice Resources – Vancouver Division – Updated clinical guidance, resources and tools for patient communication

COVID-19 Patient Resources – Vancouver Division – Public resources to share with your patients

COVID-19 Research, Therapies and Treatment – BCCDC – B.C.’s COVID-19 Therapeutics Committee’s guidance on research on the use of therapies in the management of COVID-19.

Recent Vaccine Updates

Adverse Event Following Immunization with COVID-19 Vaccine Case Report Form – Complete this report on a person who has received COVID-19 vaccine and experiences an event that required medical attention, was unusual or unexpected, was serious, and was suspected to be related to the vaccine. – BCCDC

Guidance Document on the Management of Inadvertent Vaccine Errors – BCCDC

Registration for vaccinations is now through the Provincial Booking System. Patients should be reminded to ensure they are registered. This includes seniors, Indigenous people and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable who booked dose 1 through their health authority before April 6. The public can ensure they are registered on the Get Vaccinated page.

Doctors to Register through Provincial System for Vaccine Second Dose – [login required] – VCH reminds physicians to register through the provincial online booking system, GetVaccinated, to receive your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Your first dose was recorded in the system, and now you must be attached to your registration profile. If you have registered already, there is no need to do so again. Doctors of BC provides a registration reminder here.

Interchangeability of Authorized COVID-19 Vaccines – guidelines have changed to allow for mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines- National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

B.C.’s COVID-19 Vaccine Registration and Schedule – Everyone in B.C. who is 12+ years (born 2009) should register to get vaccinated through the Get Vaccinated provincial registration system once. This includes seniors, Indigenous people, and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable who booked dose 1 through their health authority before April 6, and people who received dose 1 of AstraZeneca at a local pharmacy.

Appointment booking invitations for first dose vaccinations are currently being sent to people born 2003 or earlier (18+), and people 16+ who are pregnant or clinically extremely vulnerable. Everyone will get dose 2within 16 weeks of their first vaccination appointment.

Priority Vaccination for Pregnant People – All pregnant people who are age 16+ are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as a priority population through B.C.’s Immunization Plan. Read the announcement here.

Health Canada Authorizes Pfizer Vaccine for Children 12 to 15 Year of Age – Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized in Canada for use in children. The vaccine was initially authorized for people 16+ years on December 9, 2020.

Variants of Concern (VoC)

All viruses mutate over time and it is expected that the COVID-19 virus will evolve and change. Some changes result in variants of concern, which cause the virus to act differently in ways that are significant to public health.

Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer (May 16) – Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on variants of concern (VOCs) in Canada.

B.1617 WHO Designates B.1617 as a Variant of Concern – WHO’s weekly epidemiological update includes a special focus on COVID-19 variants (Page 4).

Variant of Concern Dashboard – PHAC provides daily count of cases across Canada

COVID-19 Variants Information – BCCDC online resource

VoC Testing and Severity by VoC and Age – Ministry of Health Presentation

COVID-19 Variants of Concern – IPAC provides overview and shares Canadian and International guidelines, policies and standards

COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

“Health care providers play a crucial role in communicating facts about vaccine safety to their clients. Like all other medical interventions, vaccines have risks. These risks must be carefully weighed against the risk of disease. The following resources can assist health care providers in addressing client’s concerns regarding vaccine safety.” – BCCDC, Vaccine Safety

Projects to Encourage Vaccine Uptake in Canada – Five new projects receiving funding through the Immunization Partnership Fund (IPF) to support vaccination efforts across Canada. – Public Health Agency of Canada

Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge to Help Promote Vaccine Confidence –  20 finalists announced under the Challenge, who will receive a $25,000 grant to develop and launch their projects to increase people’s confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and reinforce public health measures in their communities. – Public Health Agency of Canada

* Vaccine Confidence Info Sheets and Q&A – Vancouver Coastal Health

* DocTalks Podcast: Vaccine Hesitancy – Talking to patients about the COVID-19 vaccine – Doctors of BC

* Engage Vaccine Hesitant Patients – UBC Immunization Toolkit

* Vaccine Hesitancy Resources – Immunize Canada

* Guide to Responding to Vaccine Hesitancy – Doctors Manitoba

The ASK Approach for effective immunization communication (Quick Reference Card) – BCCDC Resource for Health Professionals

COVID-19 Vaccination Toolkit – BCCDC guidance for health professionals

* Vaccine Office Toolkit – Doctors of BC

* Multi-Lingual COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ – Resource available in 13 languages – HealthLinkBC

Monitoring Vaccine Uptake, Safety and Effectiveness – BCCDC patient resource, with specific information on the AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD vaccines.

* Clinical Care Guidance on Vaccine-induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia – BC COVID-19 Therapeutics

* Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine and the Risk of Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia – Health Canada

* Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine Use Guidelines and Internal Redistribution Best Practices identified by health authorities and new information provided by vaccine manufacturers – PHSA

* How the COVID-19 Vaccines Work and What they Protect Against – Doctors of BC patient resource

AstraZeneca – Information and Q&A

2nd Dose Choice for Patients who Received AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD – Considerations for patients when choosing which vaccine to get for a 2nd dose. – BCCDC

AstraZeneca / COVISHIELD First Dose COVID-19 Immunization Q&A – NACI recommends that people who received AstraZeneca vaccine as a first dose may be offered either AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine as a second dose. This Q&A is intended for health care professionals.

Expiry Date for AstraZeneca Lots Extended by One Month – Health Canada

B.C. Approves AstraZeneca for People 30+ – As of April 27, B.C. will expand the use of AstraZeneca vaccine to people 30+ in specific high-transmission communities and through pharmacies with supply.

Summary Safety Review – AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine – Health Canada concluded that a link between AstraZeneca and the risk of blood clots is possible but very rare, and the overall benefits of the vaccine in protecting from COVID-19 continue to outweigh its risks.

Statement on the use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine – Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization has updated its Recommendations on the Use of COVID-19 Vaccines to expand the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine to people over the age of 30, as outlined on page 34.

Changes to the use of AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD Vaccines – BCCDC patient FAQ

Q&A: Concerns about AstraZeneca Vaccines  |  COVID-19 Vaccines – ImmunizeBC

Technical Vaccine Information

Updates to Immunization Manual – Information was revised on May 7, 2021 to reflect updates including: the authorized age for Pfizer to 12 years+, pregnant or breastfeeding patient vaccination and use of ibuprofen, rare cases of serious blood clots, and notification of 2nd dose.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine – What you need to know

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine – What you need to know

AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine – What you need to know

Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine – What you need to know

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines – HealthLinkBC COVID-19 vaccination webpage

Vaccines for COVID-19 – Health Canada provides information about each authorized vaccine, how it works, how it is given, ingredients, allergies, possible side effects and safety monitoring.
* Authorized vaccines – Pfizer | Moderna | AstraZeneca | Janssen
* Types of vaccines – mRNA vaccines | Viral vector-based vaccines

Long Term Care Visitation

Overview of Visitors in Long-Term Care and Seniors’ Assisted Living – July 29, 2021 – This guidance supports safe, meaningful visits in long-term care (LTC) and seniors’ assisted living (AL) settings while adhering to infection prevention & control requirements. The restrictions on visitation are grounded in regional/Provincial Health Officer orders under section 32(2)(b)(ii) of the Public Health Act.

Questions and Answers – Long-Term Care and Seniors’ Assisted Living Facilities – B.C.’s Restart Plan – July 14, 2021

Policy Changes Letter for Operators – July 15, 2021

Visitation Letter – July 14, 2021

Infection, Prevention and Control

Infection, Prevention and Control Guidance on COVID-19 Variants of Concern – Recommendations remain unchanged, however, due to the increased potential of transmission and adverse outcomes, diligence with IPC practices for all patients at all times, regardless of their COVID-19 and VOC status, remain essential and are of increasing importance in preventing transmission.

Provincial PPE Ordering Process

A reminder to physicians to place orders for PPE through the Provincial Portal. If you have questions about the Provincial PPE portal, please email

Personal Protective Equipment

PPE Current Guidance and Supply – BCCDC online resource

COVID-19 Health-Care Worker Self-Check and Safety Checklist

Point of Care Risk Assessment – A routine practice before every patient to assess the likelihood of exposure and to inform the appropriate actions and PPE.

Mask Use in Health-Care Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

PPE Recommendations  (December 16) – VCH Infection Prevention and Control provides recommendations for Acute, Community and Long-Term Care.

Prevention & Treatment for PPE-related Skin Injuries – BCCDC

Exposures and Symptoms

The Physician Occupational Safety and Health (POSH) service – Intended to be a single point of contact for all COVID-19 exposures or related concerns for physicians, POSH works closely with Infection Prevention and Control, Employee Safety and Public Health. Open 8am-8pm Mon-Sat.

Guidance around Exposures and Return to Work for Health Care Workers – BCCDC
* Health Care Worker COVID-19 Exposures Risk Assessment Tool
* Health Care Worker Return to Work Decision Tree

Guidance for Safe In-person Care

Guide to Help Protect Physician Offices – DoBC Violence Prevention Guide

Doctors of BC Summary DocumentTemplate to Create Your Office Safety Plan

Provincial Health Officer Orders: Workplace COVID-19 Safety Plans

Tools and Strategies for Safer Operations during COVID-19 – BCCDC – Key principles for reducing risk of COVID-19 transmission

Cleaning and Disinfection

Recommended Cleaning and Disinfection for COVID-19 – BCCDC

Cleaning and Disinfection Instructions for Eye/Facial Protection – BCCDC

COVID-19 Testing

Testing for COVID-19 – BCCDC Online Resource
COVID-19 Adult & Pediatric Viral Testing Guidelines

Locations for Testing/ Assessment

Patients who require covid testing only (ie. no medical assessment) should be directed to a drive-through/walk-up collection centre rather than a UPCC. The UPCC referral form will still contain the option of testing only; however, in anticipation of increasing need for medical assessments, we ask that patients not needing medical assessment be directed to another site, unless barriers exist.

COVID-19 Test Wait Times – for walk-in and drive-through assesment sites.

Testing Centre Location Tracker

COVID-19 Testing for Health Care Workers – Rapid access to COVID-19 testing is available, and lab results will be prioritized. Access via drive-through or walk-in (HCWs must identify themselves with their staff ID).

UPCC Patient Referral Form

Patient Resources for COVID-19 Testing Collection

Mouth Rinse and Gargle Test – BCCDC webpage with information on testing locations, how to prepare, what to expect, and what to do after a test. Resources for children and adults, including patient handouts and videos.

Additional Resources

Self-Assessment Tool and COVID-19 Support App

Virtual Consultations – A Quick Guide to Assessing Patients by Video or Voice Call – MoH