New Brunswick Tribune

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

COVID-19 booster shot eligibility will be expanded in New Brunswick

Key takeaways:

  • New Brunswick aims to follow the lead of Ontario, Alberta, and the United States in lowering the age for COVID-19 booster dosages.
  • On Wednesday, the province of Ontario unveiled plans for boosters for people aged 50 and up. 

As Ontario, Alberta, and the United States reduce the age for COVID-19 booster doses, New Brunswick intends to do the same. According to the province, the age will be reduced based on supplies.

“We’ll be good to go as soon as we hear from the federal government that our other shipment is on its way,” said Dorothy Shephard, minister of health.

On Wednesday, the province of Ontario unveiled plans for boosters for people aged 50 and up. Every adult in Alberta will soon be eligible, beginning with the oldest.

Also read: N.B. The health minister advises against making vacation plans just yet

According to New Brunswick’s existing standards, those 65 and above and high-risk groups such as those in long-term care, health-care workers, and First Nations communities are eligible for a raise. Individuals who have gotten one or two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, as well as school workers, are also eligible.

Nova Scotia’s booster criteria are similar to NACI’s guidelines. They include boosters for high-risk populations such as seniors 70 and up, health-care workers, and individuals 30 and up who are members of First Nations and African Nova Scotia communities.

In all situations, patients must wait six months after their second dose before receiving a booster.

New Brunswick intends to broaden the eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots.

When asked if NACI will broaden its criteria, Health Canada stated that NACI is actively analyzing existing information from Canada and other countries and will provide updated booster dose advice.

“NACI examines variants of concern throughout their deliberations, and this will be taken into account for their booster program advice,” a Health Canada representative said on Thursday.

“Should everyone get a booster shot just because we’re about to enter a Delta-dominant respiratory season, and it’s been six months?” “I don’t believe that data exists,” stated infectious disease specialist Dr. Lisa Barrett.

The emergence of the Omicron variety has raised questions, but few explanations have been so far.

“This is completely independent of wanting something to defend us against Omicron because we don’t have that data yet,” Barrett explained.

Arthur Schafer is an ethics professor at the University of Manitoba. He argues that provinces should provide boosts if healthcare systems are to be protected.

“However, we should insist on changing the intellectual property regulations so that South Africa and other nations can manufacture the vaccines without having to pay exorbitant fees,” Schafer said.

Source: CTV News

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