Breakthrough COVID-19 cases among fully vaccinated seniors in a British Columbia, Canada care center is considered a substantial outbreak that has health officials worried unvaccinated people are still passing the virus to the older population, despite being vaccinated.
According to a recent Global News report, older adults may not respond as strongly to vaccines and people should still take precautions around seniors in group settings or where several generations live in the same home. Because of their vulnerability to COVID-19, adults over the age of 70 and people living in long-term care and assisted living have already been offered a booster shot in the province.
In the United States, boosters are now recommended for adults over the age of 65 and people over 18 with an underlying health condition or who live or work in a high-risk setting. Booster shots for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are to be taken six months from the last dose and at least two months following a Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Although vaccines are very effective a preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19, according to AARP Health, rare breakthrough infections do occur and usually cause mild to moderate symptoms. A fourth dose may be recommended for immunocompromised people at least six months from their third shot.
The initial two-dose or single-dose vaccine regimes offer strong protection from serious illness or death, but with the spread of the Delta variant, and waning effectiveness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people get a booster dose when they are eligible but not sooner. While mix and match COVID-19 boosters are permitted in the U.S., it is generally recommended that people stay with their original regime if it was well tolerated.
Discuss any questions or concerns about receiving a booster vaccine with your doctor. Check with your local health unit to learn more about when a third dose is recommended and what safety precautions may be in place where you live. As people spend more time indoors with the cooler weather and mask mandates loosen, it’s not too late to get your flu shot!
Read more and stay informed on the latest COVID-19 vaccine recommendations by following this link to Canadian National Advisory Committee on Immunization website.