Newsflash for members on 4th dose eligibility
Manitoba today announced the adoption of a second booster shot!
This is a special “newsflash” message about an important vaccine development today. Our regular newsletter will follow later this week, with other updates about COVID testing changes, regulatory consultations and other matters.
Unfortunately, we did not have advance notice of Manitoba Health’s plan to announce 4th dose eligibility criteria today.
Manitoba has approved a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to:
- Residents of personal care homes and elderly persons housing congregate living sites (such as supportive housing and assisted living) with no age limit;
- Individuals aged 70 or older who live in the community; and
- First Nations, Inuit and Métis people aged 50 or older, regardless of where they live.
The second booster should be Pfizer or Moderna administered at least six months after their last dose. Based on the timing of previous vaccine campaigns for these groups, individuals should start to be eligible for a second second booster mid-April.
For most people, the second booster dose will be their fourth dose of vaccine (i.e. a two-dose primary series followed by two booster shots). For immuno-compromised individuals, this will be their fifth dose because their initial series included three vaccine doses to offer stronger protection against COVID-19. Their second booster dose should also be given six months after their first booster.
This follows new guidance from National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), which yesterday strongly recommending the “rapid deployment” of a second booster shot of COVID-19 for specific groups. This includes those age 80+ and those living in long term care or other congregate settings. NACI also recommends provinces consider whether a booster should also be offered to those age 70 – 79, as well as whether boosters should be offered to people younger than 70 who are in or from First Nations, Métis or Inuit communities. NACI recommends a 2nd booster shot six months after the previous dose, though a shorter interval could be considered for some individuals if the pandemic situation rapidly escalates.
Some provinces have already adopted second booster shots, including in Saskatchewan’s long term care homes, in Quebec for anyone age 80+, and soon in Ontario they will be available to those age 60+.