PEI

P.E.I. opens 2nd COVID boosters to those 12 and over

With COVID-19 numbers rising again, P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison is encouraging Islanders aged 12 and over to get their second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

‘We … anticipate an even bigger wave in the fall’

Islanders aged 12 and over should get another booster, says the P.E.I. Chief Public Health Office. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

With COVID-19 numbers rising again, P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison is encouraging Islanders aged 12 and over to get their second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Chief Public Health Office is currently updating the provincial COVID-19 pandemic website to reflect the new advice. Previously, second boosters were available to those over the age of 60 and immunocompromised people.

The new recommendation is based on advice last week from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

"Getting all the vaccines that we're eligible to receive is our best protection," said Morrison.

Vaccines are our best protection against COVID-19, says Dr. Heather Morrison. (Government of P.E.I.)

"P.E.I. and NACI are recommending that anyone 12 years of age and up receive a vaccine booster, as we still manage COVID this summer and anticipate an even bigger wave in the fall."

During the week ending Tuesday, P.E.I. averaged 153 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per day.

The second booster, according to advice from NACI, should be received six months after the last dose. People who have had COVID-19 should wait three months after being infected before getting the second booster.

In some cases, people may want to get the vaccine just three months after receiving their last booster, for example, if they are travelling to an area where case numbers are high.

Pharmacies preparing for appointments

Erin MacKenzie, executive director of the P.E.I. Pharmacists Association, said pharmacies are preparing for an influx of booster appointments this summer. 

"The next couple of weeks are going to be a little bit more tricky for sure to get an appointment, I would expect. And the reason for that is, you know, pharmacies make up their scheduling for their staff and their pharmacists to be there to provide the services that they have booked two weeks in advance, usually," said MacKenzie.

"Sometimes people can be brought in, but it's been a good two and a half years since people often have had a vacation. So some people are already on vacation and so on."

MacKenzie said it's important for those in the 12-18 age group to get the booster before returning to school in the fall.

"During the summer, we do expect to get lots of vaccine and at present I don't foresee any shortage."

You do not need a P.E.I. health card to make your vaccine appointment. You can book your appointment through the online platform or call toll-free 1-844-975-3303.

People who test positive for COVID-19 on P.E.I. are still legally required to self-isolate for seven days after onset of symptoms or a positive test — regardless of their vaccination status. 

People who are immunocompromised are required to isolate for 10 days.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Yarr is the early morning web journalist at CBC P.E.I. Kevin has a specialty in data journalism, and how statistics relate to the changing lives of Islanders. He has a BSc and a BA from Dalhousie University, and studied journalism at Holland College in Charlottetown. You can reach him at kevin.yarr@cbc.ca.

With files from Island Morning and Angela Walker

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