Canada advised to rapidly deploy second Covid-19 booster doses

by IANS |

Ottawa, April 6 (IANS) The National Advisory Committee on Immunisation (NACI) of Canada has recommended that the provinces and territories prepare for rapid deployment of second Covid-19 booster doses in the coming weeks.

In an initial guidance on the use of second Covid-19 booster doses in Canada, the NACI on Tuesday strongly advised that residents of long-term care homes or other congregate living settings for seniors citizens, as well as adults aged 80 years and above living in the community, be prioritised for second booster doses, adding that this guidance is based on current evidence and the NACI's expert opinion.

The NACI said while the greatest benefit is expected in adults aged 80 years and older, jurisdictions may consider offering second booster doses to adults aged 70-79 years living in the community, Xinhua news agency reported.

A second booster dose program may also include adults younger than 70 years of age in or from First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities, the NACI recommended.

Ontario has planned to start offering fourth doses of Covid-19 vaccines, or the second booster shots, to residents aged 60 years and older, local media reported.

Fourth doses in the province, which has the largest population in Canada, are already available to long-term care and retirement home residents as well as those who are immunocompromised.

According to Public Health Agency of Canada, the country has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world with more than 85 per cent of eligible people having at least two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. In addition, as of March 27, more than 84 per cent of senior citizens aged 70 years or older and 68 per cent of those aged 50-69 years had received a third dose, or the first booster shot.

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