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TORONTO – While booster shots and third doses of COVID-19 vaccines are not currently recommended for most Canadians, additional doses are being made available to certain populations or those who have to travel to work in based on their province or territory of residence.

Health experts and federal agencies are debating the need for booster vaccines in the general population, saying a primary vaccination course still offers good protection against COVID-19.

CTVNews.ca has contacted Health Canada for an update on its position on booster injections. This story will be updated with their response.

In early September, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended that the third dose of vaccine be given to some immunocompromised people at least 28 days after their previous dose. Each province and territory has adopted such a policy.

A few weeks later, NACI recommended booster shots for all residents of long-term care facilities and elderly people living in other collective facilities at least six months after the primary vaccination.

The third doses are considered part of a primary vaccination cycle, while the booster shots are meant to be given when the effectiveness of the vaccine wanes and often contain a lower dose.

Public opinion on the matter appears to be in favor of booster injections. According to a survey commissioned by CTV News, the vast majority of Canadians have expressed interest in one of them, with 69 percent of respondents saying they are interested and 15 percent saying they are somewhat interested.

Meanwhile, the United States has started giving boosters of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to anyone aged 65 and over.

Moderna has asked Health Canada to authorize its half-dose booster of the COVID-19 vaccine. A US Food and Drug Administration panel approved the same shot last week.

ELIGIBILITY FOR ADDITIONAL DOSES BY PROVINCE AND TERRITORY

British Columbia: People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised may receive a third dose four weeks after the second. Eligible individuals will be contacted by the province’s immunization system. Residents of long-term care and assisted living centers are also offered an additional dose six months after their second dose.

Alberta: Those who are eligible for an additional dose include Albertans 75 years of age and older at least six months after receiving their second dose. First Nations, Inuit and Métis people aged 65 and over may also receive a third injection six months after their second dose. Immunocompromised people 12 years of age and older with specific conditions may be eligible for a third dose eight weeks after their second. Residents of assisted living facilities for the elderly can receive a third injection five months after their second. Finally, travelers going to places where the AstraZeneca vaccine or mixed doses are not recognized may receive a third injection four weeks after their second dose.

Saskatchewan: Residents 80 years of age and older may receive an additional dose six months after their second dose. Some immunocompromised and clinically extremely vulnerable people may receive a third dose 28 days after their second. Residents of long-term and personal care homes are also eligible. Those who are medically eligible will receive a letter from the Department of Health or their physician. A third or even a fourth dose is also available for those who might need it for international travel.

Manitoba: Additional doses of mRNA vaccine are recommended for those who have only received a COVID-19 viral vector vaccine, as well as for health workers who are in direct contact with patients, residents of nursing homes personal or clients, six months after their previous dose. Third doses are also permitted for people who may be moderately to severely immunocompromised, as well as people who have received one or two doses of a vaccine not approved by Health Canada, at least four weeks after their last injection. Residents of personal care homes and residents and staff of First Nations personal care homes may also receive a third injection six months after the previous one.

Ontario: A third dose is currently recommended for people who may be moderately to severely immunocompromised, eight weeks after their previous dose. Residents of long-term care homes, high-risk retirement homes, First Nations nursing homes, and seniors living in other collective settings may also receive an additional dose five months after their second. dose. In a similar category, people with proof of immunization who have undergone treatment with one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not approved by Health Canada may receive an additional dose of mRNA vaccine at least 28 days after treatment. former.

Quebec: An additional dose of mRNA vaccine is recommended for people on dialysis, certain people with weakened immune systems, residents of residential and long-term care centers and intermediate and family-type resources and people living in private residence for seniors. These doses can be given four weeks after the second dose.

New Brunswick: People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised may be eligible for an additional dose of mRNA vaccine four weeks after their second dose.

New Scotland: Beginning October 19, people with moderate to severely immunosuppressed conditions may be eligible for an additional dose of mRNA vaccine at least 28 days after their initial treatment. People who need an additional dose to meet the vaccine requirements necessary to travel for work can request approval for a third dose by email.

Prince Edward IslandIslanders who are moderately to severely immunocompromised may receive a third dose 28 days after their second.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals may be eligible for an additional dose of mRNA vaccine four weeks after the second. Those who have taken a mixed vaccination course and need to travel for work or a medical procedure outside of Canada or attend a school outside the country are also eligible for a third dose.

Yukon: Third doses are only available for immunocompromised people 28 days after their second dose of vaccine.

Northwest Territories: As of October 15, residents of Yellowknife aged 60 and over can receive a booster injection if their previous dose was given at least six months previously. The following week, residents of N’Dilo, Dettah, Hay River, Inuvik and Fort Smith aged 60 and over will be able to receive a booster injection, as well as residents of all other communities aged 50 and over, six months after their previous dose. Severely immunocompromised people, as well as frontline healthcare workers in Yellowknife and Behchoko, are eligible for an additional dose of mRNA vaccine.

Nunavut: An additional dose of mRNA vaccine may be given to immunocompromised persons 12 years of age and older at least four weeks after their second dose.

With files from CTVNewsVancouver.ca reporter Alyse Kotyk

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