COVID-19 vaccine news for BC food processors and manufacturersLisa Thibault
Last updated: January 4, 2021
Booster Dose Timeline for Priority Employer/Worker Immunization Program Participants
Last spring’s priority essential worker vaccine clinic participants are automatically prioritized for booster doses as well. Plan now for your employees who participated in the April and May clinics to receive their booster invitations this week.
Do you have staff who still need a first or second dose? Visit Vax for BC for drop-in clinic locations in your area.
Discuss the importance of immunization with your staff. You can work together to build community immunity. By choosing to be immunized, your workers can protect themselves and each other—and by extension, those around them. The response to the immunization program so far has been overwhelmingly positive. We are looking forward, along with you, to life on the other side of the pandemic restrictions for all of us and a strong recovery for BC businesses.
Make It Safe 2021 Vaccine Policy Case Studies
Vaccination policy and claims
- Register for Make It Safe and tune into two key vaccine policy sessions: Oct. 29 keynote panel with EllisDon VP HSE Stephen Chaplin and Medical Health Officer Dr. Michael Schwandt, and a second session the same day with Fraser Health Executive Director Workplace Health Dave Keen, Inside the Design of an Effective Vaccine Policy.
- Watch our September 7 town hall on The Vaccine Policy Debate with KSW Lawyers’ Chris Drinovz, HR West Managing Director Kevin Woolliams, and Great Little Box Company VP HR Christine Tindall
- Review the current WorkSafeBC policy.
- Watch our April webinar with Fasken’s Norm Keith: Employment Law Q&A: Vaccines, People, and Policy.
- Watch our February webinar with WorkSafeBC, BCCDC, and Overholt Law’s Preston Parsons: COVID-19 Vaccine: Prevention, Enforcement, and Labour Law
- Watch our April 21 public health and vaccination town hall with VCH Medical Health Officer Dr. Michael Schwandt and our May 27 government and industry town hall on the road ahead for BC business in the recovery.
New B.C. Vaccine Card announced
September 7 Town Hall | The vaccine policy debate
Priority workplace vaccine clinics
In March, more than 20,000 essential workers at Alliance member companies have received their first immunizations. We were pleased to partner with several health regions to support priority immunization for high-risk food processors and manufacturers with the supply designated for distribution in March.
When the first doses of the AstraZeneca/SII (COVISHIELD) vaccines arrived in March, the health authorities identified began their outreach with farms, food processors (prioritizing larger processors and particularly meat, seafood, and poultry), and some manufacturing and hospitality or retail worksites with outbreaks or clusters. The makeup of the priority lists was based on the number, type, and size of high-risk locations in each health region.
That initial priority worker campaign ended at the end of March.
A second campaign in April offered priority access to all manufacturers and food processors in the province. Thousands more employers were able to take advantage of that early access to the first dose.
- Jan 25: Vaccine Card extended until June 30, 2022. By order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), proof of full vaccination is required to access some events, services and businesses in B.C. The requirement is in place until June 30, 2022.
- Jan 1: Essential workers who participated in last spring’s priority clinics are automatically prioritized for booster doses
- Dec 31: Province speeding up deployment of booster doses
- Dec 21: Province postponing elective surgeries and taking other steps to speed up deployment of booster doses in January
- Dec 17: Province reducing the interval between dose two and three to six months for most British Columbians
- Dec 14: BC booster program expanded through partnerships with community pharmacies
- Dec 4: No changes to BC booster schedule at this time; according to Minister Dix, currently ahead of schedule
- Dec 3: NACI releases new guidance on boosters
- Nov 1: Those who received two doses of AstraZeneca to receive priority access to a booster
- Oct. 29: Informing employers/employees of COVID-19 booster dose timeline for 2022
- Oct 15: Canadians with mixed-dose vaccines eligible to enter the U.S.
- Sep 24: WorkSafeBC mandates vaccination for all client and employee-facing staff
- Sep 1: Provincial Health Officer notes some British Columbians will be prioritized for coronavirus vaccine booster shots this fall
- Aug 31: New provincial COVID-19 and vaccine modeling released
- Aug 23: New B.C. Vaccine Card announced.
- Jun 30: Second-dose vaccination schedule has been accelerated due to extra supply.
- Jun 11: Additional updates on second-dose clinics from VCH for employees who received AZ in March; contact us if you need the updated June 11 memo
- Jun 10: Fraser Health second-dose details announced (above) for employees who received AstraZeneca in March; updated VCH second-dose AstraZeneca clinic details released today for employees who received AZ in March; contact us if you need the updated memo
- Jun 8: VCH memos now available with details for second-dose clinics; contact us if you need one
- Jun 3: VCH schedules June 7, 2 p.m., sector Zoom meeting for employers whose teams participated in the March priority AstraZeneca vaccine clinics. If you were in this group, watch for an invitation from VCH
- May 27: Time between doses reduced to 8 weeks for most people
- May 21: Second dose information for businesses whose staff received the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine
- May 17: All health regions: the provincial Get Vaccinated website is now sending first-dose booking invitations to people 18+. Encourage employees to register online.
- May 10: Update from Interior Health (see below)
- May 8: Update from VIHA (see below)
- May 5: New eligibility announcement for VCH and FH employers; see top of page
- April 30: Directions regarding registering for the second dose (see above)
- April 27: Fraser Health opens up AstraZeneca drop-in clinics to people aged 30+ in COVID-19 hotspot neighbourhoods
- April 22: News page and workplace resources for companies in Interior Health
- April 22: Update from Fraser Health Medical Health Officer (below)
- April 20: Medical Health Officer’s COVID-19 Update for Island Health (below)
- April 19: AstraZeneca now available to anyone 40+ through participating pharmacies or through the high-transmission neighbourhood program
- April 1: Updated COVID-19 Immunization FAQ for employers in the VCH region
- March 31: Anyone aged 55–65 can make an appointment to get the AstraZeneca vaccine at one of more than 150 participating community pharmacies.
- March 31: New FAQ from BCCDC on the AstraZeneca/SII (COVISHIELD) vaccine
- March 30: Learn more about how B.C. will monitor vaccine uptake, safety and effectiveness (BCCDC)
- Those who have a serious allergy to polyethylene glycol (PEG)
- A previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or to any part of the vaccine
Although the majority of British Columbians are now vaccinated, it is still important to remain vigilant as cases continue to rise.
- Regularly review your Communicable Disease Plan (find a template here if you need one)
- Be prepared if the province adds new restrictions (as with the mandatory masking mandate for public indoor spaces in August). If you need to return to COVID-19 Safety Plan protocols, review your plan with this checklist.
- Check back for more COVID-19 and communicable disease prevention resources
- Request help from one of our safety advisors
Rapid COVID-19 point of care test kits
Your worksite may be eligible to participate in the provincial program for COVID-19 rapid testing through point of care test kits.
Point-of-care (POC) test kits can be used to screen for COVID-19 in people without symptoms. POC tests are rapid and provide results at the point of testing usually within 15 to 20 minutes.
The province is supporting selected businesses to roll out rapid testing programs, including offering the actual testing materials for free, as well as supporting businesses with initial training. These tests may be performed with self-collection under the supervision of a trained individual, so participation would not have to entail hiring health professionals.
This may enable you to detect cases more rapidly and reduce the risk of infection for other staff. Particularly in workplaces where maintaining full physical distance is difficult, this may be able to reduce the likelihood of future outbreaks.
Moving forward, although are optimistic that vaccination will substantially slow ongoing transmission of COVID-19, we anticipate that we may see resurgences over the next year, particularly in high-contact environments.
Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health in particular would like to provide this additional tool for your business, knowing your crucial role in our communities. Access may be available to employers outside those health regions as well.
Interested? Email [email protected] for an intake assessment.