COVID-19 booster shots: NS expands eligibility

Nova Scotians aged 70 and older can now book a second COVID-19 booster dose as long as at least 120 days have passed since their last shot.

The province recommends a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for second booster shots, however, says people who cannot receive mRNA vaccines can also opt for Novavax.

Following recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, the province is also now encouraging children aged 12 to 17 to get a booster dose, as long as 168 days have passed since their second vaccine.

However, children who are moderately to severely immunocompromised can receive their booster dose after 120 days.

“Boosters are more than just a nice-to-do – they are an important part of protecting yourself and others against COVID-19,” said Dr. Shelley Deeks, Nova Scotia’s deputy chief medical officer of health, in a news release Friday.

“The number of doses you need to maximize your protection against COVID-19, particularly against severe outcomes, is different depending on your age and health status. That’s why it’s important to understand how many vaccine doses are right for you and the other members of your family and to book the appointments you need to stay up to date.”

Individuals 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.

As of Thursday, 64.5 per cent of eligible Nova Scotians have received a booster dose.

Individuals aged 18 and older who have not yet received their first booster dose are encouraged to book an appointment.

“Most people must wait 168 days after their second vaccine dose, but those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and people age 70 and older are able to receive their booster dose after 120 days,” wrote the province in a news release.

Vaccine appointments can be booked on the province’s website or by calling 1-833-797-7772.

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