Stephen: Dr. Fitzgerald provides update on the province’s COVID-19 vaccination plan for this fall
Written by Stephen Lethbridge on September 14, 2022
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, chief medical officer of health, held a media availability this afternoon to discuss the province’s fall COVID-19 vaccination plan. Public Health has announced that with cold and flu season on the horizon and as activities move indoors, it creates a perfect environment for the spread of respiratory illness. This will be the province’s first cold and flu season with COVID-19 and without public health guidelines in place and, as such, influenza and COVID is expected to spread simultaneously.
A new public health recommendation of a fall/winter dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is being made available for all those who are eligible. The start date for these doses is September 21st. For those 5 years of age and older, this fall/winter dose can be received provided it’s at least 20 weeks since their last dose. If an individual receives a dose before September 21st, they are asked to wait the full 20 weeks before getting the fall/winter shot. There is no change in eligibility for individuals 6 months to 4 years old, who are still on the 2 dose schedule.
Also starting on September 21st, the Moderna Spikevax Bivalent COVID vaccine, which specifically targets the omicron variant, will be available in the province, with 63,000 doses arriving. It is recommended for anyone 18 years of age and older, but is also suitable for those aged 12 to 17 who are deemed high risk. The bivalent vaccine will be available through pharmacies and physicians, as well as clinics run by regional health authorities. The bivalent vaccine will first be available to those deemed to be at increased risk:
- Seniors in long-term/congregate care living
- Anyone 12+ with underlying medical conditions that put them at increased risk
- Adults in first nations communities
- Adults in racialized/marginalized communities
- Adults in shelters, group homes, and correctional facilities