Summary of NACI updated guidance of December 3, 2021: Booster COVID-19 vaccine doses in Canada

Published: December 3, 2021

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Overview

After reviewing the recent evidence and the evolving COVID-19 pandemic in the Canadian context, NACI has updated its booster recommendations:

To see the full guidance, including a summary of the evidence and rationale behind these recommendations, please visit NACI Guidance on booster COVID-19 vaccine doses in Canada: Update December 3, 2021.

What you need to know

To see the full guidance, including a summary of the evidence and rationale behind these recommendations, please visit NACI Guidance on booster COVID-19 vaccine doses in Canada: Update December 3, 2021.

Quotes

"NACI has continued to closely monitor the evidence on the benefit and need for booster doses in Canada, and is now providing updated advice on the use of booster COVID-19 vaccine doses. Although protection against severe disease remains high in the general population, we know that protection against infection can decrease over time. We have also seen an increase in the risk of severe disease for select groups who are vaccinated, particularly older adults. Offering booster doses will help ensure that protection against severe disease remains high, and may have an impact on spread in the community as well.

It is important to note that there is no information yet on the impact of the new variant, Omicron, on the effectiveness of the vaccine. NACI will continue to monitor and provide updated and timely advice as necessary."

Dr. Shelley Deeks, NACI Chair

"NACI's review of the latest available evidence from ongoing monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines safety and effectiveness reassures us that there remains no widespread decrease in protection against severe disease in the general population in Canada. However, waning protection trends observed in other countries give us cause for concern. As such, NACI's updated evidence-informed advice on booster doses will assist health authorities in vaccine program planning and delivery to ensure Canadians are provided with the best possible protection as the situation evolves.

Nevertheless, while booster doses provide an opportunity to maintain and enhance protection against infection and severe disease, getting more people to complete their primary series remains a key focus of the COVID-19 immunization effort in Canada. Importantly, regardless of which virus variant is circulating, public health measures and individual precautions continue to be an essential component of the pandemic response in Canada. Using layers of these non-pharmaceutical protections in conjunction with strategic use of approved COVID-19 vaccines remains our best approach to decrease the risk of infection and severe disease."

Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer

NACI forward agenda

NACI continues to actively review emerging evidence on COVID-19 vaccines. Upcoming recommendations may include new advice on:

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