Canada’s vaccine advisory board is recommending booster shots this fall for Canadians in preparation for possible future waves of COVID-19 across the country.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) offered new guidance on Wednesday, saying provinces should offer booster shots to people who are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, regardless of the number of doses previously received.
“NACI recommends that all other individuals 12 to 64 years of age may be offered a fall COVID-19 booster dose,” says the board, regardless of the number of previous shots.
NACI is an external advisory body that provides the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) with “independent, ongoing, and timely medical, scientific, and public health advice.”
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The board continues to recommend boosters to adults in Indigenous, racialized, and marginalized communities across Canada, specifically where infection can have “disproportionate consequences.”
NACI says that while cases, deaths, and hospitalizations are declining in Canada, the “likelihood, timing, and severity of a future wave of COVID-19 is uncertain.”
The board says it will provide specific recommendations on the type of COVID-19 vaccine booster shot as more evidence becomes available.
NACI says it is possible that “consistent with other respiratory viruses, incidence of COVID-19 will increase in the later fall and winter seasons thus posing a risk for individuals/communities and increasing pressure on health systems.”