Third / booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expanded
Tim Brody - Editor
The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) is offering large immunization clinics across the region to ensure that everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine can get one.
Those eligible for a first, second, or third / booster dose can book an appointment by visiting Northwestern Health Unit’s booking website (https://www2.nwhu.on.ca/covid-19/booking-a-covid-19-vaccine-appointment/) or by calling 1-866-468-2240.
NWHU shared in a Nov. 4 media release that the following populations are currently eligible to get a COVID-19 booster shot if their second dose was given at least six months (24 weeks) ago:
- Anyone aged 70 and over (born in 1951 or earlier)
- First Nation, Inuit and Métis adults and their family/household members
- Individuals who received a complete series of a viral vector vaccine (e.g. 2 doses of AstraZeneca or 1 dose of Janssen)
- Health care workers
- Designated essential caregivers in congregate settings
NWHU informed, “A booster dose for these higher-risk populations will provide increased protection against COVID-19 and its variants. When providing these doses, individuals can expect to receive the same mRNA vaccine brand as their second dose if it is readily available.”
“According to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), studies suggest that a booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine produces a very good immune response that is higher than the immune response after the primary series. The booster dose has a favourable safety profile and provides good short-term protection against infection.”
The health unit shared that proof of immunization will continue to require two doses to be considered ‘fully vaccinated’.