Are Booster Shots Available in Canada?

Though some countries have committed to offering COVID-19 booster shots, there are no specific rules for Canada. Quebec is offering booster shots for people who are traveling whose mixed dosage isn't recognized or people who are immunocompromised. Even Ontario and Alberta are offering booster shots for eligible immunocompromised populations.

All these changes have made people think are booster shots available in Canada and whether a person should take them. Sadly, there is no one answer.

Expert Opinions

Some experts believe that it's too early to tell whether a booster is necessary for the general population. Other experts say that older and at-risk people usually have a worse response to vaccines. A few experts also think that the third shot might be needed for people with a weak immune response.

Lack of Evidence

There is also a lack of evidence on booster shot success to know for sure who will need them and when they will need them. So, there is no clarity on what effect a third dose might have on a healthy and young person.

WHO's Take

The World Health Organization has warned against rolling out boosters until most of the world population gets their first shot. Data from WHO says that over 4 million doses have been administered globally, and 80 percent of them went to middle or high-income countries.

Variants and Antibodies

Experts also say that what level of antibodies a person needs is not clear yet. It is also a fact that the level of antibodies detectable usually differs from person to person. People who have received cancer treatment or have auto-immune disorders will have different results too.

T and B cells play a key role in making antibodies and fighting the virus infection. Even the variants of COVID-19 that had antibody-evading mutations haven't taken off the way they were expected to. They have been outdone by the Delta variant, which doesn't have the antibody-evading mutation.

Preventing Infections

According to scientific data, vaccines can protect 60 to 70 percent from infection and offer up to 90 percent protection against illness and hospitalization.

Evidence Matters

As per the evidence collected so far, the COVID-19 vaccines and two shots of them effectively prevent hospitalizations.

Some evidence says that older adults who live in long-term care might benefit from a third dose. Such people are at a higher risk as compared to the older adults who aren't living in a congregate setting.

Need for a Different Approach

When it comes to administering the third dose, many experts believe that there is a need to have a different approach towards vaccinating similar immunocompromised populations compared to the general population.

Thinking Globally

Before administering the third dose, the governments, like the Canadian government, also need to remember that many people across the globe haven't even got one dose. If this inequality continues, new variants will continue to emerge from these parts of the world.

Read more about WHO's take on COVID-19 in Canada here.

Also, know the current border measures and requirements here.

-by Shruti , CNS Canadian News Source






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