Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) says bivalent mRNA vaccines can be used as the two-dose primary series of shots against COVID-19.
That means anyone who has not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19, including infants age six months and over, can receive the bivalent formulations developed to target the Omicron variant.
The bivalent vaccines, manufactured by Moderna and by Pfizer-BioNTech, have previously been used only as booster shots for people five years of age and older.
NACI posted the new interim guidance online on Friday.
The statement says the supply of the original monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines will no longer be available in Canada in the coming months.
NACI says its interim recommendation is considered "off-label" while Health Canada reviews manufacturers' submissions for use of the bivalent vaccines for the primary vaccination series.
Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says NACI's recommendation reflects evidence that the bivalent vaccines are safe and effective.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2023.
Canadian Press health coverage receives support through a partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. CP is solely responsible for this content.
Nicole Ireland, The Canadian Press