Ontario expands COVID-19 booster shot eligibility to high-risk individuals starting on Saturday

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Published November 3, 2021 at 1:44 pm

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The province is expanding eligibility for booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to high-risk individuals ahead of plans to offer boosters to all Ontarians.

Healthcare workers, people over 70 and essential care givers can start booking their COVID-19 booster shots on Nov. 6 at 8:00 a.m. if at least six months have passed since their last dose.

Individuals who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine or one dose of the Janssen vaccine are also eligible for the booster starting on Saturday.

Boosters can be booked online through the province’s COVID-19 vaccination portal.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore urged all eligible Ontarians to start the immunization process if they haven’t already.

“Keeping a low rate of infection in our communities and protecting our most vulnerable is how we can keep our schools, businesses and social settings as safe as possible while avoiding further lockdowns,” Moore said.

Moore said the province will be making boosters available to the general population to “signal that third doses will be part of a provincial strategy.”

“We will have a third dose strategy,” Moore said, adding the interval between second and third doses “will only be put in play when we understand there’s waning or fading immunity at a population level.”

Moore also called on healthcare workers who haven’t been immunized to get the vaccine as part of their “professional duty.”

Based on Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout for first and second doses, expansion of eligibility for booster doses will be based on age and risk, with an interval of six to eight months from receiving a second dose.

The province reported a total of 378 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and five new deaths. Of Ontarians eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, Moore said 88.3% have received one dose, 84.7 have received two doses.

You might be eligible for a booster dose if you fall into one of these categories:

  • Individuals aged 70 and over born in 1951 or earlier
  • Health care workers and designated essential caregivers in congregate settings
  • Long-term care home and retirement home staff, and designated caregivers
  • First Nation, Inuit and Métis adults and their non-Indigenous household membe

Ontario was the first jurisdiction in Canada to begin offering booster doses to select vulnerable populations.

The province said it has administered more than 150,000 booster doses as of Wednesday’s announcement.

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