As some Canadians over the age of 18 wonder if they should get a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine when they are eligible, health experts say it’s more important that those with “predisposing factors” risk” must inject now, while healthy individuals may consider stopping injections if they choose.
Last week, Ontario extended eligibility to a fourth COVID-19 vaccine for all adults, as the BA.5 Omicron variant spread in the province. But in anticipation of a dual-value vaccine – including Omicron variants – that will be available in the fall, some Canadians are wondering whether to wait until then for a booster shot.
According to infectious disease specialist Dr. Issac Bogoch, people over 60 or those with underlying medical conditions are advised not to wait for a second booster shot.
“If you haven’t had your fourth dose and you have risk factors for severe infection, then you’re better off getting your fourth dose now,” Bogoch told CTV News Channel on Saturday.
Younger Canadians and those not at higher risk of infection can still benefit from boosters, but Bogoch recommends consulting your GP first.
Provinces and territories have begun rolling out a fourth dose of the vaccine after Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended it to combat a potential fall wave. occurs from the Omicron variant BA.5.
Ontario pharmacist Kristen Watt told CTV News on Saturday that a vaccine has been made specifically to combat such variants. This may leave some Canadians uncertain whether to get a booster shot now or wait for a new vaccine.
“We really hope to see the Omicron-specific vaccine launch in the fall, but having the vaccine now, we don’t expect to cause any problems with being able to vaccinate. Autumn please. So we hope people do both,” she said.
Watt said getting a second COVID booster depends on the individual and the risk factors they face on a daily basis. While there is still uncertainty about when a new vaccine will be introduced, Watt said the booster will still provide protection against severe illness.
“We really need to focus on the individual person and have that conversation, yes, there could be something coming but we don’t know for sure when it will come and being protected right now will.” protect you and those around you right now,” she said.