The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has recommended that Canadians who got two doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine be offered a booster.
The agency released updated guidance on Friday morning, stating that several “key populations” may be given a third vaccine dose, including those with waning protection.
If it has been more than six months since they completed their vaccine series, those who got two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson should get a booster.
“COVID-19 vaccines in use in Canada continue to be very effective at protecting most people against serious illness due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, at a press conference.
“[But] emerging evidence suggests vaccine effectiveness against infection may decrease over time in some situations.”
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The recommendation also applies to frontline healthcare workers who have direct contact with patients and received their first two shots within 28 days of each other.
Adults aged 70 to 79 and adults living in or from First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities can also be offered a third dose after six months.
The aforementioned groups should be offered an mRNA vaccine, either Pfizer or Moderna.
“There is currently no evidence of widespread waning of protection against severe disease in the general Canadian population who have been vaccinated against COVID-19,” NACI said.