Days after Oakville MP secures 105M COVID-19 vaccines for 2022-23, study in US says booster shots may be needed

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Published August 17, 2021 at 7:32 pm

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Hot on the heels of the news that Oakville MP Anita Anand, the federal Minister of Procurement, had secured Canada another 105 million COVID-19 vaccines for 2022 and 2023, a study was submitted to American health officials that booster vaccine doses may be needed.

Anand announced the country’s deal with the manufacturers of Pfizer and Moderna on August 14 and just two days later, Pfizer and BioNTech submitted initial data to the US Food and Drug Administration to support the use of a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

According to the manufacturers’ findings, a booster dose elicited a significantly higher antibody response against the initial strain of coronavirus and the Delta and Beta variants, compared to what was seen among people who got two doses.

“Given the high levels of immune responses observed, a booster dose given within six to 12 months after the primary vaccination schedule may help maintain a high level of protection against COVID-19,” the company said in a statement.

Even though last week, the FDA and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorized and recommended a third dose of vaccine for some immunocompromised people, so far the notion of a booster shot is getting a lukewarm reception from them.

With only 50.7 per cent of the American population being fully vaccinated as of August 16, clearly the FDA and the CDC are more concerned with getting the initial vaccinations into citizens’ arms.

Niagara Region Director of Infectious Diseases Dr Karim Ali said this morning that it’s far too early for Canada to be looking at booster shots.

“Mandatory (booster) vaccinations as (potentially) seen in the US will further vaccine inequity and shouldn’t be our course,” said Ali. “Canada has always taken a scientific and measured approach and will be more thoughtful.”

However, he did acknowledge that “certain populations like the immunocompromised need it and that’s important. The single most important thing we can do for ourselves and loved ones is to get the (complete series of two) vaccines now.”

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