COVID-19 resources: prevention and vaccine updates

Please Read: As information on prevention, policy, and programs is rapidly evolving, these resources generally direct users to frequently updated sites, rather than single pages that can go quickly out of date. We provide evidence-based resources and encourage members to dig deeper as their mission/work requires. We are grateful to everyone as they do their best through this crisis and wish all well as we work within this extraordinary time.


We recommend people start their search for information on prevention and updates on the BC Centre for Disease Control COVID-19 pages. They provide key learning with ongoing updates about COVID-19 and how things look in BC. Information includes transmission, testing and isolation, and specific information for people who use substances; people who are unsheltered; people with chronic conditions; and answers to common questions.


COVID-19 was declared a public health crisis in BC on March 17, 2020. What should we be doing to help slow its progress? Up to date information from the Ministry of Health and what British Columbians should be doing to slow the spread of COVID-19.

See Province Wide Restrictions


COVID Vaccines

COVID Vaccine information from BC’s Provincial Government: Learn about COVID vaccine development and safety.

This page provides up to-date info on the phases of COVID vaccine distribution plans, including the timeline for people who are “clinically extremely vulnerable”. The good news is that having HIV or hep C does not necessarily mean people are clinically extremely vulnerable. Learn more about what this means. This guidance from the Federal Government shows how groups are prioritized.

COVID Vaccine information from the BC Centre for Disease Control: vaccine safety, schedules, and frequently asked questions

Vaccines alone will not stop COVID spreading – here’s why
The swiss cheese model explains the many layers of protection needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Scientists say jabs alone will not currently be enough and other measures are still needed.

Once I’m vaccinated, do I still have to worry about public health measures like wearing a mask and social distancing?
Information from Immunize BC has FAQ about vaccinations. After you get a vaccine, it will still be extremely important to continue to practice all the preventive measures that have been recommended, including washing your hands, maintaining a safe physical distance, wearing a mask, and staying home when sick. Learn more about why.

BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS CDET Committee Statement on the use of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) in Persons living with HIV
The BC-CfE’s Committee for Drug Evaluation and Therapy has evaluated the use of Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccines for Persons Living With HIV. It is the opinion of the CDET that People living with HIV (PWLH) aged 18 years or older may be vaccinated for Covid-19 if they meet current public health criteria for priority groups and if they have no contraindications. These are not live-virus vaccines and are not expected to be associated with more serious adverse events among immunocompromised individuals. Read complete statement

Most COVID-19 Vaccines Won’t Affect HIV Risk: Here’s What the Science Tells Us
There are four types of COVID-19 vaccines, with multiple candidates of each type in development. All of them attempt to coax the body into generating its own immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, but they do so differently.

First person: I’m living with HIV and have had the COVID vaccine
“I still can’t quite believe that I’ve benefited from a scientific and human achievement that, to my mind at least, ranks alongside the development of the effective HIV treatments which meant that I didn’t die a premature death in mid-1990s in my twenties but am alive and well today.”


Transmission and testing

Testing is recommended for anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms, even mild ones. See the COVID-19 Testing information from BC CDC.

A room, a bar and a classroom: how the coronavirus is spread through the air
The risk of contagion is highest in indoor spaces but can be reduced by applying all available measures to combat infection via aerosols. Here is an overview of the likelihood of infection in three everyday scenarios, based on the safety measures used and the length of exposure.

Public exposure possibilities: Wondering if you have been exposed to COVID while out in the community? This BC Centre for Disease Control  page provides a list of flights, and links to regional exposure events, including links to health authorities.

Questions about Personal Protective Equipment? See the BC CDC information about interim guidance on personal protective equipment. Guidelines for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) u​​se: when and where use is recommended, target personnel, activities, equipment required), developed by First Nations Health Authority

Is heat needed to clean reusable masks?
What is the best way to keep your reusable mask clean? CBC is answering questions about the pandemic.

Fight bias: Language guide helps to destigmatize COVID-19. The BC CDC has developed a language guide that “aims to make COVID-19 content more inclusive and prevent stigmatization of individuals to address who are often inadvertently excluded from health advice because they are not properly identified or defined.” View/ download the guide.



Printable posters

Click on images to enlarge/download.

How Physical Distancing Works. (First Nations Health Authority)

The Do’s and Don’ts of Physical Distancing. (First Nations Health Authority)

Please do not enter our home for the protection of the people who live here. (First Nations Health Authority)

COVID-19: How to Prevent Catching and Spreading it (Interior Health)


Region Specific News from Health Authorities

These links provide general information for each area, and specific follow-up options where available.

Fraser Health General information, including visitor guidelines

Interior Health General information. Groups funded by Interior Health can ask specific questions about working with vulnerable populations via email to the Vulnerable Populations Working Group: [email protected]

Island Health General information, including visitor guidelines. Information for Community Partners page including organizations working with under served and vulnerable populations.

Northern Health General information COVID-19 Resources for NH Staff and Community Partners Working with Populations who Experience Vulnerabilities

Vancouver Coastal Health General information, including visitor guidelines


Canada-wide information: National health tracking and economic plans from the Government of Canada.

Global-perspective: International tracking from the World Health Organization


See all COVID-19 resource pages


PAN updates to members


COVID-19 Prevention and vaccine updates

HIV and Hepatitis C




Harm Reduction: substances and sex



Indigenous Communities and Cultural Safety


Prison Populations


Mental Health



Economic Response Plans


Funding sustainability for non-profits


Workplace Adaptation


COVID-19 Home


Reviewed / updated April 2021