Youths age 12 to 17 can book COVID-19 booster doses in Mississauga, Brampton and Hamilton

Published February 14, 2022 at 5:58 pm

Youths in Mississauga, Brampton and Ontario can begin booking booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccines, with appointments available as early as 8 a.m. on Friday (Feb. 18).

The Ontario government made the announcement on Monday, while also detailing plans for a further reopening of the province that includes an end to vaccine verification at non-essential businesses. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has only recommended booster doses for high-risk teenagers, such as those who are immunocompromised.

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott said Ontario’s decision to expand eligibility to anyone 12 to 17 who had their second shot six months ago is based on the advice of the chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, and the Ontario Immunization Advisory Committee.

Ontario residents can now book through Shoppers Drug Mart’s vaccine portal for Feb. 18 or later. The child’s appointment must be booked at least 84 days after their second dose.

For example, someone booking on March 1 would have had to have had their second shot by Dec. 6.

The Ontario government booking system is also open for youths, but there is a workaround. For the time being, users need to check the box that they are immuno-compromised before being allowed to book. This is allowable as long as the appointment is booked for no earlier than Feb. 18 and it also meets with the 84-day requirement.

Immuno-compromised children have been eligible for their third doses for some time already, and are also receiving vaccinations from the same source. Their peers would not be taking an appointment from someone in a higher-risk sector.

Provincial statistics say that 92 per cent of Ontario residents age 12 and over have had at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccine certificate program that will expire in two weeks required at least two doses to gain entry to numerous indoor non-essential businesses, such as restaurants and gyms.

Businesses have the option to maintain the program.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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