NACI urges fall COVID-19 boosters – Economy, Law & Politics

NACI will make further recommendations for the specific types of booster vaccines at a later date as new COVID-19 vaccine formulations become available that are better at fighting common strains | Vancouver Coastal Health

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is urging jurisdictions to deploy the latest batch of booster shots against COVID-19 in time for fall.

NACI “strongly” recommends additional injections for Canadians over 65, long-term care residents, people over 12 with medical conditions that put them at “high risk of severe” COVID-19, as well as people from Indigenous and racialized communities who disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Meanwhile, all other Canadians between the ages of 12 and 64 are given discretionary advice on the latest range of booster doses.

NACI said Wednesday it will receive recommendations for the specific types of booster vaccines at a later date as new COVID-19 vaccine formulations become available that are better at fighting common strains.

“The likelihood, timing and severity of a future wave of COVID-19 is uncertain,” NACI said in a statement Wednesday.

“However, the later fall and winter months are expected to be associated with a resurgence in SARS-CoV-2 community transmission due to indoor and seasonal gatherings… Fall and winter is also a time when the incidence of other respiratory diseases is elevated, leading to increased strain on health systems.”

The province began offering second booster shots to British Columbians most at risk last spring. That includes those 70 and older, residents of long-term care homes, and Indigenous people over 55.

A second booster dose would be the fourth total dose for the vast majority of Canadians who received two shots as part of their primary COVID-19 vaccination series.

Most British Columbians were not eligible for that possible fourth dose.

NACI said counties should aim sooner to have that second booster dose in recipients’ arms six months after their previous injection. BC provided the most booster doses to the general population in January and February, while those considered to be more at risk received their first booster shots in the weeks before.

torton@biv.com

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