Provinces, territories can wait 4 months to administer 2nd COVID-19 shot, NACI says

In new guidlines posted on the NACI website on Wednesday, the committee said “current evidence suggests high vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease and hospitalization for several weeks after the first dose, including among older populations.”

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NACI said due to limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines, “jurisdictions should maximize the number of individuals benefiting from the first dose of vaccine by extending the interval for the second dose of vaccine to four months.”

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“Extending the dose interval to four months allows NACI to create opportunities for protection of the entire adult population within a short timeframe,” the committee said. “This will not only achieve protection of the adult population, but will also contribute to health equity.”

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Read more: ‘Risky’ or ‘incredible’? Experts split on delaying 2nd vaccine dose to expand coverage

According to NACI, approximately 80 per cent of the eligible population could be offered a dose of one of the approved mRNA vaccines by the end of June if jurisdictions implement a four-month interval between shots this month.

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While the NACI releases recommendations, it is ultimately up to the provinces to determine how they will administer the COVID-19 vaccines.

A number of provinces including British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Manitoba have already decided they will be extending the interval between COVID-19 vaccine doses.

-More to come…

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