VICTORIA (May 10, 2021) – As a growing number of Canadian jurisdictions prioritize second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for cancer patients, the BC Liberals are raising questions about why the NDP government is not yet considering this option in B.C.
“I have heard from dozens of British Columbians over the past few weeks asking why patients in B.C. who are currently receiving treatment for cancer are not being prioritized for early second doses, as they are in places like Alberta and Ontario,” said Opposition Health Critic Renee Merrifield. “With a large and more stable supply of vaccines around the corner, B.C. can begin vaccinating our population in even greater numbers — and now that the distribution of first doses is well underway, it’s natural that many people are beginning to consider the best options for giving second doses.”
Over the last few weeks, both Alberta and Ontario have revised their second dose timelines for certain cancer patients and other high-risk individuals to just 3-4 weeks between doses, in line with the manufacturers’ guidelines. Last month, a coalition of cancer organizations including Lymphoma Canada, Myeloma Canada, and Lung Cancer Canada wrote to Health Minister Adrian Dix, also recommending a shortened dose timeline for cancer patients.
“There is a growing number of advisory groups, experts, advocacy organizations, and concerned British Columbians calling for a change in dose timeline for vulnerable patients, and the NDP government should be listening to their concerns and considering their recommendations,” added Merrifield. “With more vaccines than ever arriving in B.C., government should be exploring all the options available to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable and be ready to adapt our practices as new information comes to light during this vaccine rollout.”