Do Albertans need a third COVID-19 Vaccine shot?
We have had many inquiries from our patients about the potential third Covid-19 vaccine shot. Here is some information for you.
Common questions and answers:
Do MS patients need a third Covid vaccine shot?
Of the MS medications regularly used in our office, only the anti-CD20 injections are on the AHS list, which are Kesimipta and Ocrevus. However, both the UK and US sites list Mayzent and Gilenya as also requiring boosters. It is possible that our patients may be able to persuade a pharmacist with the scientific information; unfortunately, it’s been our experience that AHS is very difficult to convince.
Will Dr. Makus be able to write letters of recommendation advocating for his patients to get the third Covid vaccine shots?
No, we will be unable to do this for our patients. Alberta Health Services (AHS) has a set policy and will not deviate from this policy. When Dr. Makus spoke with his own pharmacist about this, he was told that they do not have the option to deviate from AHS criteria. I would encourage those who are on Gilenya or Mayzent to email the health minister's office to advocate that these latter two medications be added to the list. (There is a list of medications that, for those who take them, require a third shot.)
Is there more information for MS patients?
Dr. Makus recommends all of his patients get the COVID-19 vaccine (at least two shots) and has no brand preference.
Please stay tuned for more details and information from Alberta Health Services (AHS). Upon reviewing the scientific information, Dr. Makus does think boosters (third shot) will be needed, however, right now he is not aware of further details or guidelines in Alberta for the general public.
Wishing you all health during this trying time.