Alberta says its own advisory committee will review Canada’s national immunization panel’s recommendation that people in authorized age groups get a dose of the new COVID-19 vaccine.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) said on Tuesday it was recommending Canadians get another COVID-19 booster for the fall if it has been at least six months since their last vaccine shot or since they were last infected with the virus.
“Alberta Health is aware of the recent recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization for COVID-19,” said Scott Johnston, spokesperson for the ministry of health.
“We will work with the Alberta Advisory Committee on Immunization to determine the best approach for implementing the recommendations for Albertans.”
In its updated recommendations on July 11, NACI said: “Vaccine manufacturers are developing updated formulations of COVID-19 vaccines to provide better protection against currently circulating variants.
“These vaccines are expected to be available in the coming months.”
NACI said additional doses are particularly important for people older than 65 years of age, residents of long-term care homes, pregnant people and people who are high risk due to an underlying medical condition. It also strongly recommended boosters for First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, members of racialized communities and essential workers.
Once new vaccine formulations are available, NACI is recommending “that jurisdictions plan to offer a dose of the new vaccine if it has been at least six months since a previous dose of vaccine or a SARS-CoV-2 infection,” NACI chair Dr. Shelley Deeks said.
“While we have seen that COVID-19 can peak at any time of year, we typically have a very strained health system during the respiratory virus season, which typically occurs during the fall and winter months,” she added.
“Offering another dose of COVID-19 vaccine starting this fall is expected to increase protection and will be particularly important for those at increased risk of COVID-19 infection or severe disease. This will benefit individuals and also may help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the health system.”