Don’t cancel vaccination appointments after COVID infection: experts

Health experts are advising people not to cancel vaccination appointments just because they have had a recent COVID-19 infection.

A booster dose of vaccine “can be received as soon as you have cleared your isolation and all of your symptoms have resolved,” Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore advised this week. Under current Ontario rules, people who have had two doses of vaccine can end isolation after five days if their symptoms have resolved.

Dr. Gerald Evans, chair of the division of infectious diseases and a professor in the department of medicine at Queen’s University in Kingston, says experts are recommending people get boosters as soon as they can for additional protection against severe disease.

“I know a lot of people who have had two doses, and then Omicron, wonder why they should bother,” Evans said.

He says it is likely that a breakthrough infection on top of two doses of vaccine offers high protection against Omicron, but there are still some cases of Delta around and, if another variant comes along, a booster would offer better protection than a previous infection.

“It is still important” to get a third dose, he said.

CHEO is also advising parents that their children should get second doses once symptoms of recent infection have subsided.

When vaccines were first widely available, health officials were advising people to wait 28 days after an infection before getting vaccinated. That advice has been revised as more is understood about the safety of vaccines and amid the fast-moving Omicron variant, Evans said.

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