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Saturday, August 13, 2022

NACI advises COVID-19 boosters this fall in advance of a potential pandemic wave

COVID-19 boosters advised this fall ahead of a potential pandemic wave: NACI

Key Takeaways:

  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has urged immunization booster doses this fall in anticipation of a probable COVID-19 outbreak in Canada.
  • NACI recommends boosters be administered to everyone between the ages of 12 and 64, regardless of how many boosters doses a person has already had.

This fall, vaccination booster doses are advised by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) in preparation for a potential COVID-19 wave in Canada.

According to the advice released on Wednesday, Canadians at a higher risk of developing a serious disease from COVID-19 should be given a booster dose in the fall “regardless of the number of booster doses previously taken.”

It states that this should apply to adults aged 65 years or older, people residing in long-term care or assisted living facilities, and people aged 12 years or older with a medical condition that puts them at a high risk of developing severe COVID-19.

The advice also applies to adults living in Indigenous, racialized, and marginalized communities, as well as migrant worker housing, shelters, prisons, and group homes, where infection can have disproportionate effects.

Regardless of how many boosters doses a person has already gotten, NACI advises that boosters be given to everyone between the ages of 12 and 64.

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It states that recommendations on the kind of COVID-19 vaccine to administer for this booster dose will be made as soon as data on the most suitable vaccinations become available.

According to NACI, the next wave of the pandemic’s possibility, timing, and intensity are all unknown. Still, as individuals spend more time indoors in the fall and winter, an increase in cases is probable.

COVID-19 cases, hospital admissions, and deaths have significantly decreased from the sixth wave’s early-year peak, but those figures have plateaued in recent weeks.

With a norm of 18 deaths per day still occurring in Canada, there are currently over 3,000 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, including roughly 190 Canadians in intensive care.

Boosters have been advised to combat more transmissible COVID-19 variants and subvariants, such as the BA.2 Omicron subvariant that gave rise to the sixth wave.

COVID-19 boosters advised this fall ahead of a potential pandemic wave: NACI
COVID-19 boosters advised this fall ahead of a potential pandemic wave: NACI. Image from CBC News

According to public health data, less than half of Canadians have had their first booster shot, and only 9% have received all four doses of the needed vaccines, although more than 80% of Canadians have received the two doses.

This spring, the age cutoff for receiving a fourth vaccination dosage has been lowered in many provinces, allowing middle-aged people and younger Indigenous inhabitants to qualify.

The chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, projected that “a big push” to increase vaccination rates later this year in advance of the colder seasons will be launched.

She said “many more people” needed to have booster shots and added Canadians should take all reasonable precautions to protect themselves even if specific steps, such as wearing masks or receiving more doses of a vaccine, aren’t advised by public health officials.

At a news conference on June 17, she told the media, “The virus has not exited the stage.” It keeps going around and will rise and fall.

Source: Global News

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