Archived 31: Summary of the NACI rapid response of January 28, 2022: Guidance on the use of booster COVID-19 vaccine doses in adolescents 12 to 17 years of age 

Notice to reader

Published: January 28, 2022

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Overview

NACI continues to strongly recommend that:

NACI now recommends a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines in adolescents 12 to 17 years of age who may be at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection, as follows:

  1. A booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be offered at least 6 months after the completion of a primary COVID-19 vaccine series to adolescents 12 to 17 years of age who:
    1. Have an underlying medical condition that may put them at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19, including those who are immunocompromised and who have already received a 3-dose primary series (for adolescents who are immunocompromised, a booster dose would be their fourth dose);
    2. Are residents of congregate living settings, including shelters, group homes, quarters for migrant workers, correctional facilities;
    3. Belong to racialized or marginalized communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

To see the full update, please visit NACI rapid response: Guidance on the use of booster COVID-19 doses in adolescents 12 to 17 years of age.

What you need to know

To see the full update, please visit NACI rapid response: Guidance on the use of booster COVID-19 doses in adolescents 12 to 17 years of age.

For more information on risk factors in adolescents 12 to 17 years of age, please refer to Recommendation on the use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in adolescents 12 to 17 years of age.

Quotes

"With the Omicron variant circulating rapidly through Canada, it's good news that adolescents continue to be at low risk of experiencing severe illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19. After reviewing the evidence that shows adolescents continue to be well protected against severe illness from a primary COVID-19 vaccines series, and considering the unclear magnitude of effect a booster would have in preventing transmission in this age group, NACI is making an off-label recommendation for booster doses in adolescents who are at high risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes due to underlying health conditions or their living situations. This recommendation will help protect vulnerable adolescents across Canada. As always, the Committee continues to monitor the evolving and emerging evidence related to the use of COVID-19 vaccines in all populations, including adolescents, and we will update our guidance if needed."

Dr. Shelley Deeks, NACI Chair

"Even though adolescents remain at lower risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19 compared to older age groups, the number of hospitalizations is increasing as more adolescents become infected with the Omicron variant. We know that people with underlying health conditions are at increased risk of experiencing severe outcomes from COVID-19 and that the pandemic has had disproportionate impacts on racialized and marginalized communities. I welcome NACI's advice on the use of booster doses in adolescents 12 to 17 years of age who may be at high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 due to both biological and social risk factors."

Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer

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