COVID booster shots recommended for those 80+, frontline healthcare, First Nation adults

NACI says lower vaccine effectiveness has been noted in residents of long-term care

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has handed down fresh guidance on COVID-19 booster shots, with a focus on those aged 80 and up.

On Friday, NACI announced it is recommending those at the highest risk of waning protection should be offered a booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after getting their second shot. This includes adults living in long-term care or other congregate settings, and those aged 80 and above.

NACI says other groups who could be at increased risk of lower protection may be offered a booster dose. These populations include adults 70 to 79, adults in or from First Nation, Inuit, and M├ętis communities, and adults working as frontline healthcare workers who have in-person contact with patients.

“Evidence to date shows that COVID-19 vaccines provide lasting protection against serious illness and death from COVID-19,” reads Friday’s statement from NACI. “There is currently no evidence of widespread waning of protection against severe disease in the general Canadian population who have been vaccinated.”

“Lower vaccine effectiveness against severe disease has mainly been identified in residents in long-term care homes, with some evidence of decreased effectiveness in elderly adults, particularly those 80 years of age and over,” continues the statement.