(Updated April 8, 2022) – In addition to the below information, it is recommended that immunocompromised persons ages 5 and older receive a 3rd booster dose of their vaccine series. Please speak with staff at your vaccination appointment to determine vaccine eligibility.
(Yellowknife, April 1, 2022) – As per recommendations by National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), vaccination access is being further expanded and all residents are encouraged to access their recommended COVID vaccination dose as soon as they become eligible. The full update from NACI can be found here: Recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines.
As it continues to be evident that booster doses increase protection against infection and severe disease, it is now recommended that certain populations receive a fourth dose, as long as it is has been at least 6 months since their third dose. This recommendation includes:
- Immunocompromised individuals aged 12 and older (see appendix for definition)
- Individuals aged 60 years and older who are living in long term care facilities or other congregate settings
- Individuals aged 70 years and older
All residents are reminded that COVID vaccination is still recommended, even if they experience a COVID infection. Any individuals who have experienced a COVID infection before their first or second dose may still receive their next recommended dose 8 weeks after symptoms started, or after testing positive, whether or not they had symptoms.
If the COVID infection occurred after the second dose, they can receive the booster dose 3 months after symptoms started or after testing positive, whether or not symptoms were experienced, as long as it is at least 6 months after getting their second dose.
Novavax is now approved in Canada for individuals aged 18 and older who may have personal or medical reasons for being unable to access an mRNA Covid vaccine. The Novavax series consists of two doses given with an 8 week interval, but can be done a minimum of 21 days apart. 8 weeks is recommended to allow immunity to last longer. The NWT is awaiting supply of Novavax and will announce availability at a future time.
At the Yellowknife Centre Square Mall vaccination clinic space, walk-in appointments are now open to both adult and youth vaccinations. Appointments can be booked at NTHSSAbookings.simplybook.me. In all other communities, residents are able to access COVID vaccinations by contacting their local health centre or public health office to arrange an appointment. For more information on COVID-19, visit www.nthssa.ca/covid.
APPENDIX: Immune Compromised Definition:
An individual would be considered to have moderate to severe immune compromise if they have one of the following conditions or treatments; please note if you believe you have moderate to severe immune compromise and your situation is not represented in this list we encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider about whether your condition would warrant a 3rd or 4th dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
List of treatments or conditions that would indicate moderate to severe immune compromise:
- Active treatment of cancer or other hematologic malignancy
- Recipient of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
- Treatment of leukemia with T cell therapy, or had a stem cell transplant within the last two years
- Moderate to severe primary B or T cell immunodeficiency (e.g.: Di George Syndrome or Wiskott-Alrich Syndrome)
- Stage 3 or advanced untreated HIV infection or diagnosis of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Active treatment of active disease (neurological, autoimmune, neoplastic) with any of the following immune suppressive therapies:
- Corticosteroids at doses equivalent to or greater than prednisone 20mg/day for greater than 14 days
- Anti-B cell therapy (e.g.: rituximab/Rituxan, belimumab/Benlysta, etanercept/Enbrel, tocilizumab/Actemra)
- Alkylating agent therapy (e.g.: carboplatin, chlorambucil, cisplatin, cyclophosphamide)
- Systemic antimetabolite therapy (e.g.: 6-mercaptopurine, 5-fluorouracil, gemcitabine, cytarabine, pemetrexed, methotrexate)
- Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor therapy (e.g.: infliximab/Remicade, etanercept/Enbrel, adalimumab/Humira)
- Other biologic therapy (e.g.: ustekinumab/Stelara)