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COVID-19 Vaccine Updates
 

Bivalent Moderna

The Ontario government’s news release from September 25 is reminding individuals that starting on September 26, all adults aged 18 and over are eligible to receive the bivalent booster dose. The bivalent booster targets both the original COVID-19 virus and the original Omicron variant. It offers more targeted protection against the Omicron variants and helps restore protection that has decreased since previous vaccination.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has advised that the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine may be offered off-label to youth aged 12 to 17 who are moderately to severely immunocompromised.

Please see the updated COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance document page 9 ‘Booster Dose Recommendations’ for additional information.
It is recommended that all vaccine providers begin immediately offering bivalent Moderna as a booster dose to eligible individuals, regardless of the number of booster doses previously received.
 

Monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech Paediatric

As of September 26, 2022, the new paediatric Pfizer vaccine will be another vaccine available for children aged between six months to under five years old. Parents and caregivers can continue to book appointments through the provincial COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired: 1-866-797-0007), health care provider offices or participating pharmacies.  

There is no preferred product for individuals 6 months to 4 years of age. Please see the updated COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance document for additional information and guidance on the use of paediatric Pfizer.

The vaccine order form and clinic metric form have been updated; please visit the TBDHU webpage for information on ordering and reporting COVID-19 vaccines.

Updated Ministry Documents:
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Recommended Intervals for COVID-19 Boosters

All Ontarians aged 18 and over are strongly recommended to stay up to date with their vaccinations and receive a bivalent booster at the recommended interval since their last dose
 
Individuals may get the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine at a recommended interval of six months, or at a minimum interval of three months, after receiving their last dose. A longer interval between doses may provide better immune responses (see National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) guidance), however vulnerable populations are recommended to receive their booster as soon as they are eligible after the minimum three-month interval, to ensure they are adequately protected in advance of the next wave of COVID-19. This includes;
  • Individuals aged 65 and older;
  • Residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges and individuals living in other congregate settings that provide assisted-living and health services
  • First Nation, Inuit & Metis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and older
  • Individuals aged 12 and over with an underlying medical condition that places them at high risk of severe COVID-19;
    • For adolescents 12-17 years of age with moderately to severely immunocompromising conditions and/or who have biological or social risk factors that place them at high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, a booster dose of the bivalent Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may be offered off label based on clinical discretion.
  • Pregnant individuals aged 18 and older; and
  • Health care workers aged 18 and over.
Individuals who have had COVID-19 should wait a minimum of three months after symptom onset or positive test to receive their booster dose; however, a six-month interval may provide a better immune response. While a previous COVID-19 infection provides some immunity, it is unclear how long that immunity lasts, and individuals may be re-infected. Evidence shows that vaccination combined with infection provides stronger and longer-lasting protection from COVID-19 than infection alone.


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Extension of COVID-19 Sessional Fee Codes (H409/H410)


Please see the OHIP – Bulletins – Health Care Professionals – MOH (gov.on.ca) issued September 16, 2022 regarding the extension of COVID-19 sessional fee codes until March 31, 2023.


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2022-23 Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP)


The Ministry’s Universal Influenza Immunization Program webpage has been updated for 2022-23. The 2022-23 Influenza Vaccine Products and Product Eligibility Chart are now available.

The Ministry of Health of Ontario has also released the following Q&A documents about the upcoming influenza season and the vaccine products that are available: In addition to these resources, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has released the Canadian Immunization Guide Chapter on Influenza and Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2022-2023.
A summary of NACI’s 2022-2023 Statement is also available.

TBDHU expects to receive flu vaccine supply end of this week. Distribution will be prioritized to long-term care homes and hospitals this week. Primary care providers can begin placing orders now for flu vaccine and begin picking up orders October 3, 2022. The flu vaccine order form, Health Care Provider wastage form, and Pharmacy wastage form have been updated. Please visit the TBDHU Health Care Provider Flu Information Page for details on ordering flu vaccine supply.



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Update: Severe Acute Hepatitis of Unknown Origin in Children


As of September 23, 2022, the CMOH Order (dated May 20, 2022) under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, requiring all public hospitals to report cases of severe acute hepatitis of unknown origin in children to Public Health Ontario (PHO), has been rescinded. Please see the memo from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.


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WEBINAR: Tecovirimat – An Antiviral Drug to Treat Monkeypox


Presented by: Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE)

Doctors in Canada are hard at work trying to further understand how monkeypox spreads, how it causes illness and ways to prevent and treat it. In this webinar, Dr. Sharon Walmsley, MD, Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto will be discussing tecovirimat and why a clinical trial is needed. She will provide a brief overview of the monkeypox outbreak in Canada, and will talk about a clinical trial at McGill University. This webinar will be presented in English with simultaneous interpretation in French. Presentation slide will be translated into French and shared after the webinar.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EDT
Register Here
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Thunder Bay District Health Unit · 999 Balmoral Street · Thunder Bay, On P7B 6E7 · Canada