New Brunswick to Offer a Second COVID-19 Booster Vaccine to People Age 50 and Older – New Brunswick | The Canadian News

New Brunswick is preparing to implement a second round of booster doses for residents age 50 and older.

Earlier this week, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) said Canada should prepare for the “rapid deployment” of a second COVID-19 booster schedule over the next several weeks, prioritizing adults age 80 and older and residents of long-term care or other congregate settings.

The advisory body also advised that the goal be to provide a second booster dose six months after the previous booster dose.

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In a Friday news release, New Brunswick Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell said expanding eligibility for booster doses “will provide an additional layer of protection against the Omicron and BA.2 variants.”

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The province now “strongly recommends” a second booster dose for people age 70 and older, as well as long-term care residents.

The second booster doses will be available from April 19.

Those over 50 years of age are also eligible as long as five months have passed since the last dose of the vaccine.

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The province said First Nations, Inuit and Métis people and their non-Indigenous household members who are 18 or older are also eligible.

However, “anyone recently infected with COVID-19 should wait three months before receiving a booster dose,” the province said.

Russell in the statement that vaccination is “the key element in a layered approach to protect against COVID-19.

“It is important to continue to stay home when you are sick, get tested when you experience symptoms, keep the number of close contacts low, and practice good hand hygiene.”

New Brunswick Public Health said it will continue to evaluate second booster doses for those under 50.

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Additionally, the province is making Paxlovid more accessible to COVID-19 patients.

Starting next Monday, COVID-19 patients who are at high risk for severe illness from the virus can request to be tested for a Paxlovid prescription.

“We now have a way to reduce the severity of infection in high-risk patients,” Russel said in the statement.

Antiviral treatment will be available at no cost.

— With files from Nicole Gibillini.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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