COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Doses Aren't A Focus For Canada Right Now, Says Dr. Tam

The country's top doctor wants people to be patient and cautious about third doses.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Doses Aren't A Focus For Canada Right Now Says Dr. Tam

Canada's chief public health officer has revealed that COVID-19 vaccine booster doses for everyone aren't a key focus in the country at the moment and there are other ways to make a difference in a Delta-driven fourth wave.

Dr. Theresa Tam said during a modelling update on September 3 that the National Advisory Committee on Immunization is currently examining the data and the regulator is looking at submissions from manufacturers about an additional dose for people who are immunocompromised. After that, the next group that would be looked at for a third dose would be seniors living in congregate settings like long-term care.

"I would just ask caution and patience for a booster dose for the rest of the population because we haven't seen enough data and based on the information we have at hand in Canada, we're not seeing a lot of breakthrough infections," Tam said, referring to COVID-19 cases in people who are fully vaccinated.

The country's top doctor doesn't believe third doses for fully vaccinated people will have a significant impact on a fourth wave driven by the Delta variant.

"I think our key focus must be getting the first and second doses into people who have not been vaccinated," she said. "That will make more of a difference to a Delta-driven wave."

A few provinces have already started giving out third doses to residents. In Ontario, some vulnerable populations can get an additional dose and in Quebec, people who got a mix of doses that aren't recognized by other countries can get a booster.

Near the end of August, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared that Canada has secured access to booster doses for the months and years to come.

Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.

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