Campaign start date
The Ministry of Health has provided details on plans for the respiratory virus season.
- Start date for the COVID-19 and influenza vaccination campaign: October 10, 2023.
- Pharmacies can begin administering publicly funded COVID-19/influenza vaccinations on October 10 and onwards.
- COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations in Long Term Care facilities and Assisted living facilities may begin before October 10.
- Pharmacies can now begin selling their private influenza vaccine.
- As part of the informed consent process, if offering a privately funded vaccine a pharmacist should first provide information regarding the client’s eligibility for equivalent publicly funded vaccine options. This ensures that patients have sufficient information to make an informed choice and will avoid complaints that patients were not aware of their options prior to purchasing a private pay vaccine. For information see Pharmacists and Publicly Funded Vaccines in B.C. – General Information.
- Pharmacies can now post appointments in ImmsBC for October 10 and onwards.
- Appointments for immunizations should not be posted between September 29 and October 9.
- Pharmacies may honour existing appointments booked between September 29 and October 9 for COVID-19 vaccinations using the COVID-19 vaccine on hand (please see details on COVID-19 vaccine disposal below).
- Pharmacies can post appointments for 2-3 weeks, loading more for week of October 10 based on supply on hand.
- Do not post more appointments than vaccines on hand.
- Ensure your pharmacy is searchable by updating the Vaccine Information options on ImmsBC.
- Select all COVID-19 and influenza vaccine options based on your vaccine supply.
- Remove the option COVID-19 mRNA bivalent vaccine — 12+ as this will no longer apply.
- Note: Pharmacies may also want to post MACS appointments in the MACS Scheduler if not accepting walk-in for MACS during the peak immunization weeks.
- Click here for instructions on setting up your appointment scheduler.
- Pharmacies should not accept any walk-ins during the period of Sept 29 to Oct 9
- Pharmacies are permitted to offer walk-ins October 10 onwards for both influenza and COVID-19 (be sure to confirm patient eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination based on forecast)
ImmsBC invitations (invites) and open booking link
- Invitations to the public will be staggered by priority group and then age to allow for advanced appointment booking (old/previous invites will no longer work).
- Invitations will start on October 4 so it is important to post appointments in ImmsBC for October 10 and onwards as soon as possible. Invites will be sent in this order:
- Healthcare Workers (starting Oct 4)
- CEV 1, 2, 3
- Age 65+ (starting Oct 6)
- Age 6 mo. to 4yrs (starting Oct 13)
- Age 5-17
- Age 18-64 (est. starting Oct 16)
- Walk-in appointments will continue to be permitted for both influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations from October 10 onwards.
- A public booking URL will be published later in the campaign after priority group invites are sent. Timing and details to be confirmed (likely will not be posted until age 18-64 invites start).