Nova Scotia has lowered the age of eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots.
A recent recommendation by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) says that people aged 12 to 17 who have a high risk for severe illness, live in congregate living settings such as a group home, or belong to a racialized community that is disproportionately affected by the pandemic, should get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, noted that most teens in Nova Scotia do not need a booster dose and are at low risk of developing severe symptoms from COVID-19 if they are double vaccinated.
“However, for some, the benefit of receiving a booster dose ahead of further approvals outweighs the risk of getting COVID-19,” said Dr. Strang via a press release.
Health Canada has not yet approved booster doses for this age group, but NACI has found that adolescents in other parts of the world show no different safety concerns than those from the primary series of vaccines. NACI says the Pfizer booster is preferred for people aged 12 to 17.
The recommendation comes after NACI released a similar statement for children aged 5 to 11 who have a high risk for severe illness.
Currently, people cannot receive a booster dose until 168 days after their second dose of the primary vaccine. Roughly 98 per cent of people from the adolescent age group have received their first two doses of the vaccine, or have their second dose scheduled.