Health Canada has approved a new Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for all Canadians over the age of six months based on preliminary clinical data.Health Canada posted authorization of the new shot on Sept. 12,…
Shots recommended are as follows: One dose for ages five years and older, and as a booster for ages six years and older. For children between six months and four years old, the government suggests they have two doses if they have not previously been given a COVID shot.
“After assessing all the data, we’ve concluded that there is strong evidence showing that the benefits of this vaccine outweigh the potential risks,” she said, adding that the shot was “anticipated to provide a robust immune response.”
In its safety information, Moderna said the vaccine should not be given to individuals with a known history of severe allergic reaction to any component in its vaccine.
The company said “information is not yet available about potential long-term” after effects. It also states, “The vaccines may not protect all vaccine recipients.”
Adverse reactions to the vaccine listed by Moderna for six to 36 months of age include: “injection site erythema, pain and swelling; axillary (or groin) swelling/tenderness, fever, irritability/crying, loss of appetite and sleepiness.”
In ages 37 months and older, adverse reactions include all of the above plus,” arthralgia, chills, fatigue, headache, myalgia, nausea/vomiting, and rash.”
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) updated its guidance on the use of COVID vaccines in the fall of 2023, saying it continues to recommend that those who have already received a COVID vaccine obtain one dose of XBB.1.5 formulation if it has been six months since a previous shot or known infection.
NACI continues to recommend COVID vaccines for adults 65 and older, long-term care home residents, individuals with underlying medical conditions, pregnant women, members of indigenous communities and “racialized and other equity-deserving communities,” plus those who provide “essential community services.”
The organization says there are still COVID variants circulating in Canada, with the most prevalent being one called XBB.1.9.2.
“Individuals vaccinated with the updated XBB.1.5-containing COVID-19 vaccine are expected to benefit from a better immune response against currently circulating strains, compared to earlier formulations. Preliminary clinical data demonstrated that a booster dose of a monovalent XBB.1.5-containing COVID-19 vaccine generated similar immune responses against XBB* sub-lineages XBB.1.5, XBB.1.16 and XBB.2.3.2,” wrote NACI.
It said that it had yet not determined if there should be an “annual COVID-19 vaccination program” similar to the annual flu drives.