Home Health COVID-19 Get your booster, Pfizer & Moderna working on bivalent doses

Get your booster, Pfizer & Moderna working on bivalent doses

Preparing for the Fall 2022 respiratory season.

covid, booster shots
COVID booster shots (3rd or 4th shots) are encouraged ahead of the Fall 2022 respiratory season.

Thursday June 30, 2022 | NATIONAL

by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. | Island Social Trends

Two doses of COVID-19 vaccine are still called ‘full immunization’ but the Public Health Agency of Canada today recommends getting any booster (3rd or 4th) that you’re now eligible for.

Both Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam today emphasized paying attention to what may come this fall respiratory season. That means getting immunized to your most current level.

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Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos urges Canadians to get their COVID booster shots, June 30, 2022. [CPAC/Twitter]

There was yet another push to encourage people who aren’t yet immunization at all against COVID-19 to please proceed with that, now ahead of the fall season.

Immunity can wane over time, said Minister Duclos, even if you’ve had a COVID infection and have had the first two COVID vaccine doses.

Booster eligibility:

Everyone age 5+ in BC is eligible for the COVID vaccine shots.

The BC Centre for Disease Control says that a booster dose helps maintain your level of protection as immunity may decrease over time. Everyone 12 years and older will be invited to get a booster dose.

You will get an invitation to book a booster dose appointment about 6 months after the date of your initial series.  If you got the Janssen vaccine, you can get a booster 2 months after your vaccine. Read about the timing of booster doses.

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Immunity can wane over time, [BC Centre for Disease Control]

If you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, you should wait until you feel better to get your booster dose. 

Pregnant women can get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Find out more about 3rd & 4th booster shots (BC Centre for Disease Control).

Updated vaccine products:

Pfizer and Moderna are working on bivalent (Omicron protection) doses, says Tam. She said that details have not yet been provided to Health Canada, but it sounds like she’s looking forward to receiving the information from the manufacturers.

Tam said she wasn’t sure that the manufacturers could include targeted protection against the BA.1 Omicron variant or even BA.4 or BA.5 in their upcoming products. But that is certainly her hope, she indicated today in a press conference livestreamed from Ottawa.

dr theresa tam, phac
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr Teresa Tam says Pfizer & Moderna are working on COVID vaccines that include protection against Omicron, June 30, 2022. [CPAC/Twitter]

Why get vaccinated:

COVID-19 vaccines help protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death.

So far, across Canada, over 40,000 people have died from COVID-19 infection and many thousands of people are now suffering from long-COVID.

Fall 2022 immunization:

A fall season 2022 immunization campaign is being planned for. Depending on what vaccine supply is available, the program will offer COVID-19 vaccines to high-risk populations first (i.e. elderly persons, those who are immunocompromised, etc).

Today Dr Tam said that the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends people having their COVID immunization up to date (including 3rd or 4th booster, as eligible).

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This will be the third fall-winter season that sees the world’s population dealing with the presence of the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, which has spread globally. The pandemic was officially declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020.

Politicians getting COVID:

Health Minister Duclos himself had a COVID-19 infection, announced on June 4. Duclos isolated for 10 days as per public health guidelines.

premier, john horgan, june 28, 2022
Premier John Horgan announced his plan to step down, at a press conference June 28, 2022.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has had COVID twice (he recovered at home both times). He seems to be in full robust health. In the past two weeks he has been in Europe to meet with world leaders for the G7 and NATO.

BC Premier John Horgan came down with a COVID infection (in April this year), on the heels of extensive radiation treatments for throat cancer after he started back to the job and mixing in public. He attended the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities convention on April 1 (without wearing a mask). Horgan says he is now cancer-free but says he gets tired at the end of the day. Based on that, this week Premier John Horgan declared his intention to step down as Premier and BC NDP Party Leader; a new leader will be chosen in Fall 2022.

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