Health Canada has authorized the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine (also known as Spikevax) as a booster injection.
Earlier in the week, the department approved the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) for use as a booster.
Both are mRNA vaccines.
Moderna’s booster will be a half-dose, Health Canada said in a press release on Friday.
This differs from the Pfizer booster, which is a full dose.
“A COVID-19 booster is an additional dose of vaccine given after the end of the primary vaccine series,” the press release said.
“The recall is designed to help people maintain their protection against COVID-19 over time. “
Moderna and Pfizer booster injections are allowed for adults 18 years of age and older to be given at least six months after the second regular dose.
Boosters recommended only for certain populations
Different provinces have used different deployment strategies for booster doses. The mRNA vaccines approved in Canada (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) have already been used as a third dose to provide more lasting protection for those at high risk, including residents of long-term care homes and those with immunosuppression, in several regions of the country.
At the end of October, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended boosters for other high-risk groups, including people 70 and older.
He also recommended boosters for frontline health workers who had a short period between their first two injections, as evidence grew over the year showing that the widening of the interval between the first and the second dose offers better protection.
NACI has also recommended boosters for people who have received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, as mRNA vaccines appear to offer better protection.
The NACI says, however, that most people outside of these higher risk groups do not need a booster at this point because there is no evidence of waning protection over time against severe COVID-19 in the general population.
“The evidence continues to show that being fully immunized offers strong protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, including delta variants,” Health Canada said in its release. hurry.
“Canadians should consult their local public health boards, informed by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, to find out which individuals or groups of people are recommended for a booster dose at this time. “