Archived 21: Summary of National Advisory Committee on Immunization statement: Interim guidance on booster COVID-19 vaccine doses in Canada 

Notice to the reader:

This is an archived version. Please refer to NACI statements and publications for current COVID-19 vaccine statements.

Published: October 29, 2021

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Overview

At this time, NACI strongly recommends that:

NACI also recommends that:

NACI continues to strongly recommend that:

To see the full interim guidance, including important information on the framing of COVID-19 booster dose recommendations and the evidence and rationale behind these recommendations, please visit NACI interim guidance on booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

What you need to know

For key populations at highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and highest risk of waning protection:

For the following populations, booster doses may be offered considering local epidemiology and any evidence of diminished protection, and with consideration of individual risks and potential benefits.

For key populations at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and increased risk of waning and/or lower protection:

For key populations who may be at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (due to intersecting social and health risk factors) and waning protection and where infection can have disproportionate consequences:

For key populations who are essential for maintaining health system capacity and who may be at increased risk of waning protection and who could pose increased risk of transmission to vulnerable populations:

To see the full update, including the evidence and rationale behind these recommendations, please visit NACI interim guidance on booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Quotes

“NACI has been closely monitoring the national trends in vaccine effectiveness, and we are seeing that two doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines continue to perform very well for the majority of people. Ensuring all eligible Canadians receive the primary vaccine series remains a priority. However, some key populations would benefit from a booster dose of mRNA vaccine at least 6 months after the second dose. At this time, off-label booster doses are being recommended for those who may be at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and increased risk of waning protection. NACI has also identified situations where infection can have disproportionate consequences, and considered populations that maintain health system capacity who may be at both increased risk of transmitting the virus to vulnerable populations and increased risk of waning protection given a longer time since completion of their primary vaccine series with a shorter interval between doses. NACI will continue to monitor the evidence and will issue additional booster advice as data emerge.”

Dr. Shelley Deeks, NACI Chair

“NACI’s latest review of vaccine effectiveness data provides reassurance that there is currently no evidence of widespread waning of protection against severe disease in the general Canadian population vaccinated against COVID-19. While the vaccines in use in Canada continue to be very effective in protecting most people against serious illness due to COVID-19, at this time NACI is recommending that some adult populations at increased risk of severe outcomes and highest risk of waning protection following their primary series should be offered a booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. NACI continues to closely monitor vaccine effectiveness across the population and will update their advice as needed to ensure the best possible protection for all Canadians. With over 5.5 million adults and eligible youth yet to be fully vaccinated in Canada, it is important to emphasize that getting more people to complete their two-dose primary series remains a key focus of the COVID-19 immunization effort in Canada.”

Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer
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