COVID-19

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

 

STAY INFORMED ON COVID-19

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

Recent Vaccine Updates

B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan – Vacccine Registration Schedule – Starting April 14, 2021 people aged 50+, Indigenous peoples 18+, and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and have received a patient invitation letter are eligible to register for their COVID-19 vaccination appointment, visit gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated.  People aged 55 to 65 can get the AstraZeneca vaccine at pharmacies in all health regions, visit gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/pharmacy

COVID-19 Vaccines – Campaign Rollout – VCH online resource to share with patients to communicate how and when to register for an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination, including upcoming eligible registrant dates, vaccination locations, preparation and questions. Translated materials is included in the Resources section.

‘Get Vaccinated’ Registration System – The province encourages all people ages 18+ to register today to be notified when they become eligible to book a vaccine based on age and B.C.’s Immunization Plan phases.

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 (e.g. spreads more easily, causes more severe disease, requires different treatments or changes the effectiveness of current vaccines).

VoC Testing and Severity by VoC and Age – Ministry of Health Presentation
Variant of Concern Dashboard – PHAC provides daily count of cases across Canada
COVID-19 Variants Information – BCCDC online resource
COVID-19 Variants of Concern – IPAC provides overview and shares Canadian and International guidelines, policies and standards

AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

On March 24, 2021 the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended an immediate pause in the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in all individuals less than 55 years of age in Canada based on evidence of rare instances of vaccine-induced pro-thrombotic immune thrombocytopenia following AstraZeneca vaccination reported in Europe, with associated high case fatality and related serious outcomes.

* Q&A: Change to use of AstraZeneca Vaccines – BCCDC patient resource

* Q&A AstraZeneca Vaccine – ImmunizeBC patient online resource

Updated Recommendations for AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD Vaccines – BCCDC Letter to Physicians

Monitoring Vaccine Uptake Safety and Effectiveness – BCCDC online resource for patients under 55 who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine

Statement from PHAC: Use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine in Younger Adults

Health Canada Issues Label Change and Guidance on the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

* Canadian-specific Labelling Information of the AstraZeneca Vaccine

Important Safety Information – Risk of Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia – Guidance for healthcare professionals and vaccine recipients

Vaccine Distribution

REMINDER COVID-19 Vaccinations: Online Booking – Eligible family physicians and staff who work in a primary care facility who have not yet received their Dose 1 COVID-19 vaccine may book through the VHC online booking system.

Expression of Interest – COVID-19 Immunization Clinics – To register, please add your name and availability on VCH’s Immunizer Database in order to be scheduled and receive compensation for the immunization clinics.

Defining the Role of Primary Care in COVID-19 Vaccination Roll-out – The GPSC and Dr. Penny Ballem address the question: How can primary care assist, support, and contribute to the success of the vaccination campaign?; and provide discussion on the role of family physicians and what doctors need in order to support their patients and the success of the vaccination campaign.

Technical Vaccine Information

COVID-19 Vaccines for Canada – What you need to know

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

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

We are working with community partners and will continue to update this page with answers to your questions, and share new resources.

Have a question on COVID-19 Vaccinations?  Please ask us here.

Vancouver Division Q&A – Member Questions

Updated March 31, 2021

Q: With respect to the second dose of my Pfizer vaccine, I don’t feel comfortable waiting 4 months. There appears to be more evidence developing that 4 months between doses is not as effective. I am seeing patients daily in my office and I would just feel better to follow closer to the manufacturer’s guidelines. I have spoked to several colleagues who have received both doses as per the guidelines. Is there any way for me to request getting my 2nd shot earlier? The studies indicate a maximum interval of 42 days for the Pfizer vaccine which is what I received.

A: The change to the BC vaccine dosing regime was made on March 1st, 2021 at a Provincial level.  This applies to everyone in BC from that date forward (long term care, healthcare workers, marginalized populations, etc.).  Any change, or exception to the regime will need to be determined at a Provincial level. To date, there have been no outbreaks in VCH LTC sites as a result of single shots, and the number of cases in the DTES are the lowest they have been since late summer as a result of single shots.

Partner Resources

COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A for Physicians

COVID-19 Vaccine – Answers for Doctors – Doctors of BC

VCH Vaccine Communication Toolkit (April 12)– [login required] – Key messages, timeline and FAQ for family physicians to support the roll-out of immunizations, including vaccine registration and booking information for eligible patients.

Q&A- Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Patients and Vaccinations – [login required] Doctors of BC

COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A Resources for Patients

COVID-19 Vaccine – Answers for Patients – Doctors of BC

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions – Immunize BC online resource

Vaccine Information for People who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable – Doctors of BC – Q&A and links to share with your patients

Change to use of AstraZeneca Vaccine – BCCDC patient resource

AstraZeneca Vaccine Q&A – ImmunizeBC patient resource

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 health.ppe@gov.bc.ca.

Personal Protective Equipment

PPE Current Guidance and Supply – BCCDC online resource

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

Ministry of Health Policy – Medical Mask Use in Health Care Facilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic

* President’s Letter: Update on PPE and Ministry’s Mask Policy (Nov 13) – DoBC

* Physician Q&A- Mask Use in Health-Care Facilities – Doctors of BC

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