Canadians will be required to get a COVID booster shot every nine months to remain “up to date,” says Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos. The term “fully vaccinated” now makes no sense, Duclos told reporters.
“Nine months is very clear and will help people understand why ‘up to date’ is the right way to think about vaccination now,” said Duclos. “‘Fully vaccinated’ makes no sense now. It’s about ‘up to date.’ So am I up to date in my vaccination? Have I received a vaccination in the last nine months?”
Minister Duclos also replied to whether COVID mandates will be reinstated in the coming months by saying that “we must continue to fight against COVID” and that “we can look forward to continuing the fight in the fall.”
Per Blacklock's Reporter, Duclos stated the following in an exchange with reporters:
“Are you setting the stage for the return of vaccine mandates in the fall?” asked a reporter. “We must continue to fight against COVID,” replied Duclos.
“Do you rule out a return to mandates?” asked a reporter. “We want to be prepared for next fall and that requires an up to date vaccination which is based on the nine months,” replied Duclos.
“Why hasn’t the government changed the definition of fully vaccinated to three doses instead of two?” asked a reporter. “We can look forward to continuing the fight in the fall,” replied Duclos.
“We will never be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Duclos. “Like the virus our immunity also evolves.”
“Two doses are no longer enough,” said Duclos. “We must keep our vaccination up to date.”
“‘Up to date’ means you have received your last dose in the past nine months,” said Duclos. “If you’ve already received a first booster that’s great. Please see if you’re eligible for a second or third booster to remain up to date.”
Rebel News reported last month that doctors and health officials were increasingly calling for the government to redefine what it means to be fully vaccinated, beyond a primary two-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Currently, 86% of Canadians over age five are fully vaccinated with two COVID shots, according to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). The committee said late last month that it would “continue to monitor the evidence” on whether third and fourth booster shots would be recommended for the general public.
Canada's chief public health officer, Theresa Tam, said last week that officials are “bracing for a resurgence” of COVID-19 cases in “late summer and early fall.”