Sask. residents in LTC and personal care homes eligible for Moderna bivalent vaccine on Monday

·2 min read
The updated version of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine gives protection against the original virus and the Omicron variant.  (Rogelio V. Solis/The Associated Press - image credit)
The updated version of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine gives protection against the original virus and the Omicron variant. (Rogelio V. Solis/The Associated Press - image credit)

The Health Canada-approved Moderna bivalent vaccine will be available to those 18 years and older who are in long term-care (LTC)  and personal care homes and other congregate living facilities beginning Monday.

The province says it is expecting to receive 90,000 doses of the vaccine over the next two weeks.

LTC homes and other facilities will be contacted directly during the next few weeks to arrange to get the vaccine.

Beginning Sept. 19 the Moderna bivalent booster dose will be available at Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) vaccination clinics and through participating pharmacies to:

  • All Saskatchewan residents 70 years and older.

  • All Saskatchewan residents 50 years and older in First Nation and Métis communities and those in the Northern Service Administration District (NSAD).

The Moderna bivalent vaccine targets both the original virus and the Omicron variant BA.1 that emerged late last year and drove the largest wave of infection and hospitalization among Canadians in the pandemic.

Health Canada says Moderna's new vaccine shows "significantly higher responses" to the Omicron BA.1 virus in comparison with Moderna's original coronavirus vaccine, officially branded as Spikevax.

In a CBC interview last week, Nazeem Muhajarine, a professor of community health and epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan, said the new booster comes at a good time: With schools back in session and people returning to work from holidays and flu season around the corner now is the time to get the booster.

"And importantly, many people who have vaccine doses previously have had them some time back … Many months have passed since they've had their vaccine dose," Muhajarine said.

It is recommended eligible populations get the Moderna bivalent booster dose at least four months after their last COVID-19 vaccination, regardless of the number of COVID-19 doses received to date.

If you have had COVID-19, you can receive any booster dose once you have recovered.

You don't need to specify which COVID-19 vaccine you wish to receive when booking a booster appointment at an SHA clinic.  The option will be provided to eligible individuals at the time of injection.

The province says it anticipates getting more vaccine doses in early October, and additional age groups will become eligible to get the booster.

Any program expansion will be announced publicly and is anticipated in early October.