Ontario to expand eligibility of COVID-19 boosters for adults 50 and older amid rising case counts, sources say

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A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination clinic held inside the Scotiabank Arena on Sunday, June 27, 2021 in Toronto.Cole Burston/The Canadian Press

Ontario will announce on Thursday that eligibility for a COVID-19 booster shot is learned for people age 50 and older, amid growing concerns over a growing number of cases and increased immunity.

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The change, confirmed by two medical sources with direct knowledge of the discussion, is expected to take effect in mid-December.

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization is preparing to announce new recommendations for anyone age 50 and older to receive a booster shot, according to two medical sources with direct knowledge. NACI, an expert committee that provides guidance to provinces on the use of vaccines, could make an announcement as early as Friday.

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The changes come as Canada faces increasing pressure to contain new waves of COVID-19 as more people gather indoors and the spread of the transmissible delta variant continues.

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The NACI already recommends booster shots for a range of high-risk groups, such as people age 70 and older, people living in mass settings or people with conditions that could compromise their immune systems. Huh.

Current recommendations and regulations state that people are eligible for booster shots for at least six months after their second dose. It is unclear whether the NACI guidelines will stick to that timeline or if Ontario will allow residents to receive boosters before that six-month mark. Public health and infectious disease experts say immunity begins to wane around that time frame, which is why many are urging Canadians to include boosters to include more people getting their second dose in that time frame. Expand eligibility.

The advent of the Omicron version has placed additional pressure on governments to take immediate action to reduce the potential effects of a virus that could become more transmitted and undermine the effectiveness of vaccines. Scientists are still unclear whether the variant is more transmissible and whether it can evade protection from available vaccines.

While many health experts are on edge in the search for the new Omicron variant, infectious disease experts say Delta is an immediate threat here and Canada needs to prepare now to prevent a serious increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. the wanted.

Some experts predict that Canada may soon see a wave of infections in many European countries. Many Canadians got their vaccines months after people in European countries, so some experts hope that expanding eligibility for a third dose could help the country prevent or reduce the effects of a potential new wave, Especially if Omicron proves to be more permeable than this. Delta version.

more to come.

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