As Public Health authorities across the country began preparing to launch their fall influenza vaccine campaigns, they received great news: the new bivalent COVID vaccine to target the Omicron variant has been approved sooner than expected. This new booster will represent a 5th dose for most of our residents and staff and we urge everyone to take it.
This is welcome news for our residents and staff. This year’s flu season is expected to be a very severe one. COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and precautions like masking and social distancing have limited the spread of influenza over the last couple years. However, data from Australia and other southern-hemisphere countries, whose flu seasons precede those of us in the north, shows a serious increase in flu-related illness along with the latest variants of COVID.
“Taking the flu shot and new bivalent COVID vaccine will better protect you against infection this winter”
Note that, as a precaution, Revera continues to follow universal masking requirements for staff at our homes and residences, including regions where this requirement has been lifted, and we continue to encourage mask wearing in all enclosed public spaces where social distancing is not possible.
Flu shots are expected to be available across Canada in the near future.
Health Canada has approved Moderna’s bivalent vaccine, which includes the original COVID-19 strain and BA.1 subvariant of the Omicron lineage, to be given as a booster dose to all Canadian adults.
Each province is rolling out the bivalent vaccine in different ways but all are prioritizing vulnerable populations like seniors in our homes and residences and frontline health care providers.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunizations previously recommended waiting 14 days between the COVID vaccine and the influenza vaccine. They have not issued guidance for the bivalent vaccine, but we suggest following the same guidance.
Revera will be working with authorities in all the jurisdictions in which we operate to ensure that our residents and staff get their bivalent vaccines and flu shots as quickly as possible.
Your Revera team will be sharing information with our residents, their families, and our staff about the availability of flu shots and bivalent COVID boosters across the country as soon as the details are available.
Click the links for information from Health Canada on flu shots and COVID boosters.
Please get your shots to protect yourself and your loved ones this fall from influenza and COVID!