Omicron vaccine available to most in B.C. by end of October, say Dix and Bonnie Henry

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VICTORIA — British Columbia's top doctor and health minister say most residents should expect to be able to receive a COVID-19 booster targeting the Omicron variant this month or in October.

Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say in a joint statement the province is set to begin distributing doses of Moderna's newly approved vaccine as soon as supply arrives, with more information coming next Tuesday.

Health Canada approved the so-called "bivalent" vaccine that also targets the original strain of the virus earlier today.

Henry and Dix describe the shot as being more effective at protecting people from serious illness caused by Omicron, the most common variant of COVID-19 currently circulating in B.C.

Moderna is providing Canada with 12 million doses of the vaccine, and they say B.C. officials will work with the federal government to ensure the province's supply.

Officials are expected to provide further information about timing and eligibility for the shots on Sept. 6.

Henry and Dix say the vaccine will arrive over several weeks and shots will be available at health-authority clinics and pharmacies.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press