By The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is recommending booster shots this fall in advance of a possible future wave of COVID-19 in Canada.
In a release Wednesday, NACI says jurisdictions should plan to offer boosters to people who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID regardless of the number of booster doses they previously received.
It says this should include people 65 years of age and older, residents of long-term care or living facilities, and individuals 12 years of age and older with an underlying medical condition that places them at high risk of severe COVID-19.
The recommendation also includes adults in Indigenous, racialized and marginalized communities where infection can have disproportionate consequences, as well as quarters for migrant workers, shelters, correctional facilities and group homes.
NACI also recommends that boosters be offered to all other individuals from 12 to 64 years of age regardless of the number of booster doses they have previously received.
It says it will provide recommendations on the type of COVID-19 vaccine to be offered for this booster dose as evidence on appropriate vaccines becomes available.
“Cases of COVID-19, including associated hospitalizations and deaths, are currently declining in Canada. However, the likelihood, timing, and severity of a future wave of COVID-19 is uncertain,” NACI said in a release.
“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.”