Booster shots, 3rd doses and who needs them – CBC

As the months go by, many are wondering how their COVID-19 vaccinations are holding up

Oct 29, 2021

As we approach the 11-month mark from when the first COVID-19 vaccinations were given in Canada, many people are wondering about whether — and when — they might need an additional dose to remain protected against the virus. That raises lots of questions. Here’s what we know — and what we don’t.

What’s the difference between a booster shot and a third dose?
The three approved COVID-19 vaccines in Canada (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca) are all two-dose regimens. A third dose is for people who may not have mounted a strong enough immune response to fight off COVID-19 after two doses.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has identified two populations that require third doses: elderly people living in long-term care and those who have specific health conditions that make them immunocompromised (including organ transplant recipients). For these people, a third dose is an extension of their primary series of vaccinations.

A booster shot is for people who likely had a fulsome immune response to the regular two-dose vaccine regimen, but “with time, the immunity and clinical protection has fallen below a rate deemed sufficient in that population,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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