Pharmacists applaud COVID booster shot update

On December 8, 2023 / News

The organization that represents Manitoba pharmacists says it is pleased the province has updated and clarified its guidelines on COVID-19 booster eligibility post-viral infection.

“We recognise that there are a number of Manitobans who are making preparations to head to warmer climates for the winter, and were anxious about their ability to receive vaccination before leaving, and so this provides better clarification for health providers on what the expectations are for people who might be asking for their vaccines closer than six months,” said Tim Smith, pharmacy practice adviser with Pharmacists Manitoba.

Chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced last week that Manitoba hoped to increase COVID booster uptake by shortening the eligibility to three months after a COVID-19 infection. Previously, the recommendation was to wait six months after infection before getting the booster.

“It wasn’t something we were actively advocating for, but as health providers, considering the evidence out there, I think most pharmacists recognized that the six-month recommendation wasn’t based on safety concerns about getting vaccinated sooner, it’s more about optimizing the immune response for the individual client,” Smith said.

The presence of such guidance from the province allows pharmacists to have informed-consent conversations with their clients “to make sure that patients get the vaccines that are best for them at the times that they need them,” he said.

Read full article by WFP here!