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Opinion: ‘I’ve been jabbed enough’. We’ve hit the booster-hesitant phase of the pandemic

Hundreds of thousands of booster bookings going unfilled
COVID-19 vaccine
A senior male is about to receive a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine. - Photograph via Getty Images

Good grief, now we are having to deal with booster-hesitant people who are refusing to get their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine just as the Omicron variant is spreading like wildfire.

According to a recent Glacier Media story, about half-a-million British Columbians are either still awaiting or have not yet booked their COVID-19 booster shots after receiving invites from the province.

So, sure, some people are obviously just trying to get their booster shot and will make an appointment, but there are a lot of other people who apparently not going to get their third dose at all.

“I’ve been jabbed enough,” one person wrote on my Facebook feed. “It’s starting to feel like a cash grab by the pharma companies.”

Um, what?

Yes, I am also cynical about pharmaceutical companies, but our public health officials have reviewed the data and study results and are sure that a third dose is vital to protecting people if they get COVID-19.

“I’m going to wait a few months to see if I can avoid a booster shot,” is another post I read from an old friend of mine.

I got my booster notification on Saturday morning and booked right away. I am not waiting at all. Why wait? Why would someone take a risk after already getting two doses of the vaccine? Anti-vaxxers who refuse to get any shots, I understand, but these folks? This hesitancy just doesn’t make any sense. It's also dangerous as Omicron starts to overwhelm our health-care system. A third dose protects you from serious illness due to COVID-19.

Get on with it!

Provincial officials revealed recently they were shifting to an “interval-based” priority system for determining its vaccination schedule.

Rather than scheduling shots based on age groups or higher-risk populations, the province is opening up bookings based on when someone is approaching the six-month mark since their second COVID-19 vaccine dose.

The shift in vaccination policy comes after the province said it completed notification efforts on the high-risk groups within B.C. That includes front-line health workers, those in remote and Indigenous communities, those who were vaccinated using two AstraZeneca plc doses and those who are age 60 and older.

The province originally planned to have intervals of six to eight months between a person’s second vaccine shot and their boosters.

But Penny Ballem, executive lead for B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, said the quick spread of the new Omicron variant means the province will now shorten that period to a target of six months.

With files from Chuck Chiang and Tyler Orton, Business in Vancouver

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shineboxx44.