Booster vaccines not recommended currently: health department

Riley Oldford, 16, the first resident in the Northwest Territories to receive the Pfizer vaccine administered by Nurse Practitioner and Covid Immunization Clinic Supervisor, Janie Neudorf. (Supplied by NTHSSA.)
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The GNWT is not recommending people sign up to get booster vaccine shots.

As some residents pass the six month mark since they received their first dose of the vaccine, clinical trials are going on to assess whether vaccinated people will need a booster shot to protect against COVID-19.

“According to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), there is no evidence that booster doses of COVID-19 are needed after the vaccine series is complete,” Umesh Sutendra, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Services said in an email.

“However, given the appearance of COVID-19 variants, which may decrease how effective the vaccine is, additional or booster doses may be needed in the future,” he added. “NACI  continually monitors the evidence and will  provide updated recommendations to provinces/territories in the future.”

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Recently, the U.S. government bought 200 million additional doses of the Moderna vaccine in case booster shots are needed.

Speaking at a media event, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said people may need booster vaccines by September, or between eight and twelve months from when they got their vaccine.

But Sutendra says the territorial government’s current focus is on getting as many people vaccinated with their first and second doses.

The NWT is currently hovering just below the benchmark the GNWT had set to loosen COVID-19 restrictions.

Currently the territory is 63 per cent fully vaccinated and 70 per cent partially vaccinated. That’s below the 66 to 75 per cent fully and 75 per cent partial vaccination rate that had been set out.

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