Omicron-specific bivalent COVID-19 vaccine now available
FREDERICTON (GNB) – Appointments to receive a bivalent booster vaccine, protecting against the original strain and Omicron variant of COVID-19, will be available to eligible New Brunswickers this week.
Until now, only monovalent vaccines – protecting against just one strain of the virus – have been available in the province.
People in the following groups will be able to make appointments this week for a bivalent booster vaccine as long as five months have passed since their last dose or a COVID-19 infection:
· those 50 and older
· those 12-17 who are immunocompromised or have a high-risk medical condition
· those 18 and older who live in a First Nations community
Those living in a long-term care facility will be offered a bivalent booster, along with their influenza vaccine, starting in October.
“Vaccines are our best defence against severe outcomes, so we are pleased to now offer bivalent vaccines to eligible New Brunswickers to give people an extra layer of protection. All New Brunswickers should ensure they are up to date on all their vaccines, including COVID-19 boosters,” said Dr. Arifur Rahman, acting deputy chief medical officer of health. “We plan to expand eligibility criteria as more bivalent vaccines become available, but individuals eligible for a fall booster dose should not delay getting their planned COVID-19 vaccination in anticipation of a bivalent vaccine.”
All COVID-19 booster doses will be available at participating pharmacies and through appointments offered by Public Health in some areas of the province.
More information about COVID-19 vaccines is available online.
The Department of Health is reviewing eligibility requirements for Paxlovid, a therapeutic treatment for COVID-19 that has been approved for people who have mild to moderate symptoms of the virus. The department is examining ways to improve access to the oral antiviral and will have more details to share next week.