Adult Albertans that are immunocompromised will soon be able to get their fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said this impacts around 80,000 adults who will benefit from an additional shot to bolster their immunity against the illness.
Starting Jan. 20, appointments for fourth doses can be booked through Alberta Health Services or pharmacies by using the online booking system or by calling 811.
Those appointments can be booked five months after the eligible individual received their third dose.
“We continue to rely on the latest research to guide our decision-making, and with evidence showing immunocompromised individuals benefit from a fourth dose, we are pleased to provide them,” Premier Jason Kenney wrote in a statement.
“With the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, we want to provide these Albertans with additional protection against the virus,” Hinshaw explained.
“Three doses is in fact considered to be a primary vaccine series for someone who is immunocompromised.”
Hinshaw said a fourth dose for someone in this group is similar to a third dose for the average person.
Alberta is not currently extending this fourth dose option to those under the age of 18.
The province has outlined the following Albertans as being eligible for a fourth dose:
- Transplant recipients, including solid organ transplants and hematopoietic stem cell transplants.
- Individuals with malignant hematologic disorders and non-hematologic malignant solid tumors prior to receiving or receiving active treatment (chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy or having received previous COVID-19 vaccines while on active treatment), excluding individuals receiving solely hormonal therapy, radiation therapy or a surgical intervention.
- Individuals being treated with an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody such as Rituximab.
- Individuals with chronic kidney disease on dialysis.
- Recipients of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell therapy.
- Individuals with moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
- Individuals with Stage 3 or advanced HIV infection and those with acquired COVID-19 immunization.
- Individuals undergoing immunosuppressive therapies (e.g., anti-B cell therapies, high-dose systemic corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, or tumornecrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and other biologic agents).
- Individuals on certain medications for autoimmune diseases, including Rituximab, ocrelizumab and ofatumumab.
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