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 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
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.
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
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
* Important Safety Information – Risk of Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia – Guidance for healthcare professionals and vaccine recipients
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
* 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
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.
Guide to Help Protect Physician Offices – DoBC Violence Prevention Guide
Tools and Strategies for Safer Operations during COVID-19 – BCCDC – Key principles for reducing risk of COVID-19 transmission
Testing for COVID-19 – BCCDC Online Resource
COVID-19 Adult & Pediatric Viral Testing Guidelines
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.
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).
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.