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Reporter gets his booster vaccine amid 5th wave and Omicron

With a booster jab today, I now have a smorgasbord of COVID-19 vaccines -- AstraZeneca, Covishield and Pfizer.

I received my first dose on April 13, as part of BC's special program to offer those aged 55-plus a chance to get vaccinated early with AstraZeneca.

When it came time to get my second dose, the pharmacy program was primarily offering Covishield, so that's what I got on June 9.

With BC and Canada moving away from using both AstraZeneca and Covishield, my booster today was an mRNA dose of Pfizer.

</who>NowMedia reporter Steve MacNaull received his COVID-19 booster vaccine today at the Interior Health Vaccination Clinic at the Capri Centre Mall in Kelowna.

At age 57, I'm younger than the 65-pluses who are being offered boosters right now..

But, I was offered the booster early because the Astra/Covishield program was offered early and I'd hit the six-months-since-second-dose mark.

This first round of boosters is also being offered to Indigenous peoples aged 18-plus and health care workers.

I received my booster invitation automatically via email because I was already in the province's vaccination database and got my shot by appointment at the Interior Health Vaccination Clinic at the Capri Centre Mall in Kelowna.

Everything went smoothly and quickly with nurse Emily administering the jab.

I was in and out in 25 minutes, including the 15 minute wait time after the shot to make sure you don't have an adverse reaction.

</who>This is the sandwich board sign outside the Interior Health Vaccination Clinic at the Capri Centre Mall in Kelowna.

Mix-and-match seems to be de rigueur in BC.

Earlier this year, British Columbians were urged to get whatever first dose they were offered whether it be Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Covishield.

As governments pulled back on AstraZeneca and Covishield because of the slight risk of blood clots, many who received either as their first dose ended up with a Pfizer or Moderna second dose.

Even those who managed to get two Astra or Covisheild (which are double-stranded DNA vaccines) have no choice but to get a mRNA (single-stranded RNA) vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna as their booster.

Any combination is safe and effective, according to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

With the proliferation of the fifth wave of the pandemic and the more transmissible, but weaker Omicron variant, the province is advocating for all vaccines -- first and second doses, if you haven't already received them, boosters and new pediatric doses for kids aged 5-11 and 12-17.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says being fully vaccinated (two doses) and getting a booster gives reasonable protection against infection (including the new Omicron variant) and likely offers strong protection against severe illness.

The agency goes on to say, vaccination must be in conjunction with public health measures and individual precautions to offer a maximum of protection.

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