BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie is encouraging our elderly population to get their booster shot as soon as possible.

According to the Ministry of Health, those 70 and older in the province can receive the additional dose as soon as four months after their second dose.

Mackenzie told Vista Radio it’s crucial for seniors to be immunized so we don’t see a resurgence in breakouts and deaths in long-term care and assisted living facilities.

“Particularly those over the age of 80 and 70 are at an accelerated risk of waning protection from this vaccine so it is quite important to go out and get that third shot.”

Simply put, those living in long-term care or assisted living who received their first two doses at the beginning of this year are starting to see their protection wear off.

“Around August we started to see people in long-term care who were fully immunized become infected and in some developed a serious illness and sadly some died and so that is telling us that the protection is waning.”

“For the younger people, the protection doesn’t wane and we certainly saw that in the lower ratio of staff infections to resident infections in wave four relative to what we saw in waves one and two.”

For seniors to receive their booking invitation for the booster or third dose, they must be registered with the Get Vaccinated provincial system.

With cases starting to drop province-wide, the majority of those in long-term care or assisted living who received their booster dose is already seeing the benefits.

“We are certainly seeing the impact now with fewer cases in long-term care. We had a three-month period where we saw a bit of a spike in the cases and then we got in did the boosters and they’ve had their time to take effect,” mentioned Mackenzie.

Mackenzie adds if a senior is homebound and unable to get to a vaccine centre, they can receive it through a home visit from their local health authority.