British Columbia’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the new Covid-19 mRNA vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech should be treated as an “updated seasonal vaccine” and not a booster. 

Henry made the comments in a recent interview as the new vaccine is pending approval by Health Canada.

According to Henry, British Columbians can expect the vaccine to be available in September or October. 

“I’m really thinking of this as an updated seasonal vaccine, as opposed to a booster, because the protection that we have from the previous vaccines that we’ve received still provides good strong cell-mediated immunity,” claimed Henry. 

Henry claimed that getting the new seasonal vaccine is necessary “regardless of how many vaccines” somebody has received. 

“Getting this updated one will be important for everybody … to protect you going into this fall,” said Henry. 

She also noted that the new vaccine will be very similar to the flu shot, which gets a new formula every year. 

“It may be that this updated vaccine will last longer than a year — those things we are still learning as we go,” said Henry.

Despite her call for British Columbians to protect themselves with a Covid-19 shot, she admitted that the virus poses a very low risk. 

“Omicron has stayed relatively stable for almost a year and a half now, so we’ll see what happens through this next respiratory season,” said Henry. 

Unlike other provinces, the BC government has stuck by its vaccine mandates for healthcare workers. 

The province recently revealed that regulators no longer had to ask for vaccination status but the requirement would still be enforced.