Nova Scotians between the ages of 50 and 69 will be able to book a second COVID-19 booster late next week, but public health officials say booking in the fall may better ward off the disease.
There could be a new vaccine that works better against the Omicron variant of the virus by the fall, according to a Monday press release. But people in this age group can book a booster anytime after July 8, provided it has been 168 days or more since their last shot of the vaccine.
“Our advice is to wait because the first booster still offers strong protection against serious illness for most people in this age group. COVID-19 activity is currently relatively stable, but we expect a resurgence later this fall or winter when we typically see outbreaks of respiratory viruses,” Dr. Shelley Deeks, deputy chief medical officer, said in the statement.
Pharmacy reservations open on July 8 and can be done online or by phone during the day at 1-833-797-7772. People don’t need appointments for walk-in clinics offering the boost.
NACI and public health say they are waiting for the second reminder
Deeks, who chairs the National Immunization Advisory Committee, said the organization still recommends most people get the initial two-shot series and a booster, not the second.
“We have heard from some Nova Scotians that they would like the choice of getting their second booster dose sooner, so the government has made the decision to open up eligibility to allow these people to make an informed choice. on their own,” she told reporters. Monday.
“But we want them to know that Public Health is not recommending they get their second booster dose right now, but wait until the fall.”
She said there is evidence of decreased immunity in people aged 70 and over, which is why the second booster was made available to this age group in the spring. She said public health recommends timing the next hit with the next push to maximize protection.
She said new vaccines are being developed but are not yet approved in Canada, so waiting could lead to stronger vaccination. She noted that immunocompromised people are already eligible for four injections and should stick to their recommended schedule.
She said the province is not seeing an uptick in COVID-19 disease among Nova Scotians 50 and older, and evidence indicates that all three vaccines continue to work. But people 70 and older are at more serious risk, she said.
“In each of the age groups, the people most at risk are those who are not vaccinated,” she said.
These people can still receive the two-shot vaccine and the booster.
The second booster doses are expected to open to younger groups in the fall, but Deeks couldn’t say exactly when.