With a fourth dose of vaccine only available across the province to those deemed at higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes, some infectious disease experts are calling for expanded eligibility due to the population's declining immunity. And as new Omicron subvariants are emerging, it's important the public gain an immunity boost before the next wave, as research shows protection dips about six months after the first booster shot, they said. However, some other experts said the fourth dose is likely most helpful for immunosuppressed and older people, but it may not provide enough benefit for the population at large to offer it to everyone at this point. "We're hitting a period where the bulk of people who have had two shots or more are in a period of waning immunity," said Todd Coleman, an epidemiologist at Wilfrid Laurier University. "It would be prudent to offer and open up the fourth shot to the general population." The protection against COVID-19 that vaccines offer declines after about six months, said Coleman. Currently, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that provinces and territories prioritize those 80 and older, long-term-care residents, and seniors living in other congregate settings for second booster shots,… Read full this story
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