Health Canada has approved another COVID vaccine, called Spikevax XBB.1.5, and urged all Canadians over 6 months of age to get one unless they’ve been infected or gotten vaccinated in the past six months.
The latest booster targets the XBB.1.5 variant.
“Based on the totality of the information, the benefit-risk profile for a dose of Spikevax XBB.1.5 is considered favourable in individuals 6 months of age and older,” their update reads.
For some Canadians, this COVID booster would be their seventh shot in about 28 months.
Health Canada made the recommendation with the authorization from Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).
NACI stressed that boosters are especially valuable for older Canadians, pregnant “people,” and those living in long-term care homes.
Less than 6% of Canadians have received a booster in the past 6 months, according to the most updated data from Health Canada.
Dr. Tam acknowledged this statistic and conceded many Canadians aren’t interested in getting vaccines anymore, but said “we are absolutely encouraging people to get protected both with COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot prior to the period ahead.”
Dr. Tam further said there is no evidence to suggest the new variants cause increased severity of disease.
“Now is the time to get your mask ready,” Tam later said.
Before concluding, the moderator of the event asked if the vaccine has killed anyone in Canada.
“With the evaluations that we’ve been doing, making that link between a death and a vaccine is very difficult to do. If someone takes the vaccine, and passes away, we are unable to establish a link of causation so there is no serious risk of association in terms of risk of death so it’s much more likely that death occurs because of COVID-19 and not the vaccine,” said one authority.
In the US, the FDA also gave the green light for additional COVID vaccine shots on Monday under the guise of “emergency use authorization.”