New COVID shot provides ‘boost in protection’ against new variants: doctors – GLOBAL

September 22, 2023

Public health officials say the number of COVID-19 infections is climbing again — just in time for respiratory virus season in the fall and winter, when respiratory syncytial virus and influenza also come on the scene.

Health Canada recently authorized an updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by Moderna, that targets the XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant circulating now. The federal government is sending the new vaccine out to the provinces and territories, which are in charge of rolling it out to the public.

“I think the timing is going to be good,” said Dr. Jeffrey Pernica, head of the division of infectious disease at McMaster University in Hamilton.

“The incidence of COVID-19 has started to creep back up.”

But it’s clear that many Canadians are tired of getting COVID-19 vaccines — according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, only 22 per cent of people five years and older got the bivalent booster dose, which offered protection against the Omicron variant in addition to the original coronavirus strain.

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