MS Society Advocates for Provinces and Territories to Follow NACI Guidelines for COVID-19 Booster Shots
In early November 2021, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada sent a letter to all provinces and territories regarding the need for clear and consistent implementation of rules for accessing a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised individuals, following the federal government’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) guidelines.
The letters, sent in collaboration with 11 other health charities, urged all provincial and territorial governments to quickly implement the NACI recommendations with clarity and continuity across all jurisdictions. Access to a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine varies across the provinces and territories, leading to confusion and increased risk for vulnerable Canadians.
All Canadians who are immunocompromised have the right to clearly understand whether they are eligible for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to achieve an adequate level of protection from the standard primary vaccine series. The MS Society of Canada calls upon provincial and territorial governments to ensure that happens.
The November letter followed a letter from August 2021 that the MS Society of Canada sent to the NACI and all provinces and territories, calling for additional COVID-19 vaccine dosages (boosters) for people who receive treatments that are associated with moderate to severe immunocompromise. On Sept. 10, 2021, the NACI updated their recommendations to include immunocompromised individuals as eligible to receive a third dose.
The MS Society’s position, which is supported by the Canadian Network of MS Clinics, also aligns with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent authorization of an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose for people with MS who are immunocompromised due to treatment with disease modifying therapies (DMTs).