OTTAWA - Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization says some groups of people vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19 should be eligible for another dose of vaccine in the spring.

The recommendation issued Friday says people aged 65 and older, residents of long-term care homes and seniors living in other congregate settings may get another shot of the vaccine targeted to the XBB.1.5 variant.

It also says children and adults aged six months and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised due to an underlying condition may also get the booster.

The advisory committee is issuing the spring recommendation now to help public health vaccine program planning.

It says it will be especially important for people to get the XBB shot if they didn't get one in the fall or winter.

As of early December, only 15 per cent of people in Canada had received the XBB-targeted vaccine.

Threesuch vaccines are available in Canada -two mRNA vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna and a non-mRNA vaccine manufactured by Novavax.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 12, 2024.