Summary of NACI rapid response of February 4, 2022: Updated guidance on COVID-19 vaccination timing for individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2

Published: February 4, 2022

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Overview

At this time, NACI suggests that:

For the full update, please see NACI rapid response: Updated guidance on COVID-19 vaccination timing for individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2.

For more information on NACI's recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines, please refer to the COVID-19 vaccine chapter in the Canadian Immunization Guide (CIG), as well as additional statements on the NACI website.

What you need to know

For the full update, please see NACI rapid response: Updated guidance on COVID-19 vaccination timing for individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2.

For more information on NACI's recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines, please refer to the COVID-19 vaccine chapter in the Canadian Immunization Guide (CIG), as well as additional statements on the NACI website.

Quotes

"We have seen the number of COVID-19 cases rise significantly over the past few winter weeks with the spread of the Omicron variant of concern. This means that many people in Canada will be wondering and asking whether they still need to complete their vaccine series and how long they should wait after infection before receiving their first, or next, dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. While infection alone may provide some protection, NACI continues to recommend that individuals who have been infected complete their primary series and receive a booster dose, when eligible, to better protect themselves against re-infection and severe outcomes from current and future variants of the virus. These suggested intervals between an infection and a vaccine dose aim to improve long-term COVID-19 protection and are intended to serve as a guide. It is expected that evidence on the optimal timing between infection and COVID-19 vaccination will continue to emerge. The Committee will continue to assess new data and update guidance, as needed."

Dr. Robyn Harrison, NACI Vice-chair

"This winter, unprecedented numbers of people in Canada have been infected with the highly contagious Omicron variant. Many of these individuals may now be wondering about the importance of COVID-19 vaccination and whether they should wait for a period of time after infection before starting or continuing with a COVID-19 vaccines primary series or booster dose. NACI continues to recommend that COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to all eligible people, including those with a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and no contraindications to the vaccines. Complete and up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination is recommended in order to provide the best possible protection against severe illness due to COVID-19 now and going forward. This update with NACI's suggested intervals between COVID-19 infection and vaccination provides a helpful guide for considering optimal timing for getting a first or next dose of COVID-19 vaccines following infection. As always, I thank NACI for their expert advice on how best to use vaccines to protect Canadians against COVID-19."

Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer

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