Community immunity

Vaccines do more than protect you from COVID-19, they also protect everyone around you. The more people in a community who are immunized against COVID-19, the harder it is for the virus to spread.
Community (herd) immunity could be reached when a large majority of people in B.C. are immunized against COVID-19. When you choose to be vaccinated against COVID-19, you are helping save lives by protecting your household and your entire community from the virus.

Lifting restrictions

Lifting current restrictions will be based on many factors, including:

  • Number of people immunized and level of community immunity
  • Number of COVID-19 cases in the province
  • Health care system capacity


Layers of protection

Going back to normal life will take time. Even if you have received the vaccine, you must follow provincial health orders and protect others by:

  • Washing your hands
  • Staying home when sick and getting tested
  • Keeping a safe distance from others
  • Wearing a mask in public indoor spaces

Together, we can keep each other safe. 

Source – British Columbia COVID-19 Immunization Plan

How Canada chooses groups for early vaccination

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is an independent committee of experts that provides advice to the Public Health Agency of Canada. This advice is then distributed and published to inform decision making by provinces and territories, which are responsible for administering vaccines and deciding which populations will receive them first.

NACI’s recommendations aim to achieve the goal of Canada’s pandemic response, which is to reduce serious illness and death while reducing disruptions in society

The committee chooses groups for early vaccination by looking at risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease and outcomes, such as:

  • biological factors like:
    • advanced age
    • pre-existing medical conditions
  • social factors like:
    • low socioeconomic status
    • belonging to a racialized population

The decision-making process also includes a review of:

  • ethics
  • equity
  • feasibility
  • acceptability

These recommendations aim to reduce disruptions in society due to the pandemic by prioritizing those who:

  • provide essential services
  • take additional risks to protect the public

Recommendations are based on:

  • population-based analysis of the risks and benefits that considers:
    • risk of exposure to COVID-19, including:
      • ability to physically distance
      • access to other measures to prevent infection
    • risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19
    • how safe and effective authorized vaccines are in key populations
  • results of clinical trials
  • vaccine supply, which is the timing of available doses and the number of:
    • available vaccine types
    • doses each group needs
  • the current pandemic situation when vaccines become available

Provinces and territories may have to adjust their strategy at each stage depending on local trends and transmission rates.

Source – Canada Government Website