Spring COVID-19 Vaccine Update
Starting today, March 17, adults at highest risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 can get another dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Nova Scotia has accepted a discretionary recommendation by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) for a spring COVID-19 booster dose for people at highest risk due to ongoing circulation of COVID-19.
The following people should get a spring dose if their last dose was more than six months (168 days) ago:
- adults 80 years of age or older
- adults living in long-term care, nursing homes, senior congregate living settings or residential care facilities
- adults who meet criteria for being moderately to severely immunocompromised.
These groups, especially those who haven’t yet had COVID-19, can consider receiving a spring dose:
- adults 65 to 79 years old
- people of African descent aged 50 to 79 years old
- First Nations people aged 50 to 79 years old.
“Those who aren’t eligible for a spring dose and have had the recommended vaccinations, you are well protected,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Many Nova Scotians have developed immunity to COVID-19 from vaccination and infection, and there is good evidence they have strong, long-lasting protection.”
The spring dose will only be available until June 30. Public Health anticipates there will be a fall vaccination program to address expected surges of respiratory infections in late fall and winter.
Nova Scotia has updated the interval between COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to six months for all people, based on NACI recommendations. People who have been infected with COVID-19 should wait six months from their infection before receiving their next dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Appointments can be booked 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. Appointments may be limited at first, but more will be added to the booking system over the next few weeks.
- both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 bivalent vaccines are safe and effective; Nova Scotians should choose the first available appointment rather than waiting for a specific brand of vaccine
- people who are not eligible for a spring dose, but who have received a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine since September 19, 2022, are considered to be up to date
- hybrid immunity is protection from COVID-19 through a combination of infection and vaccination
- older adults in Nova Scotia who have not had a COVID-19 infection do not have the benefits of hybrid immunity
- Nova Scotia has resumed appointments for Moderna infant COVID-19 vaccines for children aged six months to four years and appointments are being added to the booking system over the next few weeks
NACI guidance on an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose for individuals at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/phac-aspc/documents/services/publications/vaccines-immunization/national-advisory-committee-immunization-summary-guidance-additional-covid-19-booster-dose-spring-2023-individuals-high-risk-severe-illness-due-covid-19-march-3-2023/summary.pdf
More information on who is considered moderately to severely immunocompromised is available at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/immunocompromised/