Update on COVID-19 Booster Doses for 50+
Starting next week, adults 50 to 69 years of age in Nova Scotia will be eligible to book a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine, though public health is recommending that people wait until fall.
Public health recommends getting the second booster in the fall because the ideal timing for a booster dose is closer to an increase in virus activity – that best protects people from infection. As well, new vaccines that may offer broader protection against the Omicron variant may become available. However, people age 50 to 69 can make the choice to get a second booster sooner.
“While the choice is ultimately up to the individual, we recommend people hold off from getting a second booster dose until the fall,” said Dr. Shelley Deeks, Nova Scotia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health. “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. 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.”
People aged 50 to 69 can receive their second booster 168 days following their first booster dose. Either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines can be booked for the second booster dose. People who cannot receive those mRNA vaccines for medical reasons may opt to receive Novavax.
Starting Friday, July 8, people aged 50 to 69 can book a vaccine appointment online at: https://novascotia.ca/vaccination or by calling 1-833-797-7772. Vaccine scheduling by phone is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Vaccines administered at pharmacies must be booked online or by phone. Vaccines are also available at drop-in clinics, where appointments are not required.
- the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended a second booster be administered to adults 70 and older to increase protection during the spring Omicron wave
- people with a recent COVID-19 infection are advised to wait 90 days from the onset of symptoms or a positive test before booking a booster dose
- people who are unvaccinated or have only one dose of vaccine are advised to wait 56 days from the onset of symptoms or a positive test before booking a first or second dose
- as of June 20, 65.8 per cent of Nova Scotians 18 and older have received a booster dose
National guidance on second booster doses: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/phac-aspc/documents/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/naci-summary-april-5-2022.pdf
More information on booster doses for immunocompromised people is available at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/immunocompromised/
More information on COVID-19 in Nova Scotia is available at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/