Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that booster shots “may be offered” to adults aged 18 to 49 six months after their first two doses.
NACI announced the new recommendations on Friday, December 3, after the federal government issued an urgent request to the advisory committee for new guidelines on booster eligibility.
The committee says the new guidelines are important as the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to circulate.
“In the context of the circulating Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, evidence is emerging that vaccine efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 decreases with time after the primary series,” said NACI.
“Decreasing protection against infection could contribute to increased transmission since infected individuals may be a source of infection for others. Therefore, a booster dose may provide more durable protection to reduce infection, transmission, and in some populations, severe disease.”
The updated guidance strongly recommends booster shots for adults over the age of 50, adults living in long-term care homes, those who are fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson, adults from First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, and frontline healthcare workers.
This also comes after Omicron, first discovered in South Africa, was declared a new variant of concern by the World Health Organization, prompting countries to implement stronger public health measures.
More to come.