Did you get your fall COVID-19 booster dose? Then you’re done — for now, says NB
New Brunswickers who received a COVID-19 booster dose in the fall may be wondering what to do next, as the recommended interval between doses was five months.
However, the Department of Health says no further doses are recommended at this time.
People who have received a case dose — whether it’s a bivalent product or a traditional monovalent product — are considered current, spokesman Adam Bowie said.
“To be fully vaccinated and up to date, Public Health recommends that you complete all doses in your primary series and receive a fall/winter booster dose of an mRNA vaccine. A bivalent mRNA vaccine is the preferred product for an autumn/winter booster dose,” he said in an emailed statement.
“As the pandemic is in transition, we expect additional COVID-19 vaccine recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) this year,” Bowie said.
Development of the pandemic uncertain
Last month, NACI said it was unclear when additional booster doses are needed or who should be offered booster doses, given the “inherent uncertainties as to how the pandemic is evolving.”
“NACI will continue to monitor the evidence, including SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology and duration of vaccine protection, particularly with regard to serious outcomes, over the coming months to make recommendations on the timing of subsequent booster doses, if necessary,” the 11.20 guide said .
Future booster dose decisions should also consider “ethics, equity and acceptability of future booster dose recommendations in addition to feasibility considerations for conducting booster dose campaigns,” it said.
In the meantime, NACI reiterated its previous recommendations on crash boosters. It has been strongly recommended that all adults 65 years and older and anyone aged five to 64 who are at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19 should have received a booster dose every six months since the beginning of autumn 2022 between the cans.
In addition, people aged five to 64 without risk factors for serious illness from COVID-19 “may be offered” a booster dose if they have not received one since the beginning of fall 2022, the advisory panel said.
The Department of Health will continue to review NACI’s recommendations and will provide COVID-19 vaccine updates as it receives more information, the spokesman said.
As of Tuesday, only 30 percent of eligible New Brunswickers have received a second refresher. It’s unclear how many of these have been administered since the fall, or how many were bivalent doses intended to target the dominant Omicron variants as well as the original coronavirus.
New Brunswick approved second booster shots for persons 18 and older in July and bivalent booster shots for persons 18 and older in October.
In the past week, 892 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered, including 64 first doses, 58 second doses, 156 first booster doses and 614 second booster doses, according to the department’s figures.
Overall, 90.9 percent of eligible New Brunswick residents received their first dose (unchanged), 85.8 percent received their second dose (unchanged), and 54.7 percent received their first booster shot (vs. 54.6 percent).