Covid: Health authorities urge Canadians to get booster shot

The updated advisory comes amid a resurgence of the virus as a result of the more transmissible Omicron variant and its BA.2 subvariant
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacts after receiving his booster injection of a coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine at a pharmacy in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on January 4. (REUTERS/ FILE)
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacts after receiving his booster injection of a coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine at a pharmacy in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on January 4. (REUTERS/ FILE)
Updated on Apr 13, 2022 01:24 PM IST
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Canadian health authorities on Tuesday urged Canadians to take the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine due to a resurgence of the virus in the country.

While getting booster shots was left to the discretion of adults earlier, on Tuesday, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) released an updated guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) saying all eligible adult “should” get the third dose following the primary series of two jabs.

It also said boosters should be offered to all adolescents aged between 12 and 17. In its earlier recommendation from December last year, it had only recommended the third dose for the immunocompromised in the same age bracket.

The booster is only to be administered at least six months after the primary series of vaccinations is complete.

That announcement came as Canada’s chief public health Officer Dr Theresa Tam told reporters on Tuesday that the country was “experiencing a sixth wave in Canada”.

“Given our immune system is less able to maintain robust protection as we age, I would especially urge all people aged 50 years or older to get a first booster dose if they have not already done so, as well as a second booster dose if recommended,” Tam said, in a statement.

The second booster is, at this time, only targeted at vulnerable demographics like those aged above 70.

According to the latest weekly report from PHAC, the country was logging approximately 6,000 cases each day, an increase over nearly 30% over the previous corresponding period.

The latest increase in cases has been attributed to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and its BA.2 subvariant.

“Evidence continues to grow stronger about the value of a Covid-19 booster dose for all adults, and even for adolescents, especially with variants of concern,” Dr Robyn Harrison, NACI’s vice-chair said in a statement.

Just over 57% of the eligible population has had a booster dose so far.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues, and an author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York spanning print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb.

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