Nova Scotia expands eligibility for 2nd COVID-19 booster doses

Nova Scotia is expanding eligibility for second COVID-19 booster doses to include anyone aged 50 and over, however health officials are suggesting people wait to book appointments until the fall.

Public health says waiting until fall will provide a second booster dose during the time when virus activity tends to pick up.

The province says new vaccines may also become available that offer broader protection against the Omicron variant by that time.

“Our advice is to wait because the first booster still offers strong protection against severe disease for most people in this age group. COVID-19 activity is currently relatively stable, but we expect that we will have a resurgence later this fall or winter when we typically see surges in respiratory viruses,” said Dr. Shelley Deeks, Nova Scotia’s deputy chief medical officer of health, in a news release Monday.

“The ideal timing for a booster dose is in close proximity to the next surge of disease to best protect people from both infection and severe disease.”

Anyone aged 50 and older who chooses to get a second dose can book an appointment starting July 8. Appointments can be made online or by calling 1-833-797-7772.

The province says vaccines administered at pharmacies must be booked online or by phone, however, there are also drop-in clinics available where appointments are not required.

Individuals aged 50 and older can receive a second booster shot 168 days following their first dose. The province says Pfizer or Moderna vaccines can be booked. People who cannot receive mRNA vaccines may opt to receive Novavax.

Currently, second booster doses are available to residents of long-term and residential care facilities, adults 70 and over, and members of First Nations communities who are 55 and older.

As of Thursday, 65.8 per cent of Nova Scotians aged 18 and older had received a booster dose and 74,159 people had received a second booster.

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