4th COVID-19 vaccine dose eligibility extended to Ontarians 18+

·2 min read

As Ontario battles a seventh COVID-19 wave, the province is offering added protection to all adults in the form of a second vaccine booster shot.

In consultation with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore, the province announced that Ontarians aged 18 and over would be eligible for the second booster as long as it’s been five months since their last booster.

“Expanding eligibility to second booster doses and providing continued access to testing will empower Ontarians to make the best decisions for their circumstances and help keep our communities safe,” said Moore. “Staying up to date on vaccination is the best protection against severe outcomes from COVID-19.”

Moore said healthy adults continue to have strong protection from the virus more than six months after their first booster.

Vaccine appointments can be booked through the province’s COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

As of July 14, more than 33 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have made it into arms across the province, with more than 93 percent of Ontarians 12 and older have had one dose.

More than 91 percent have received a second dose. However, only 57 percent of eligible Ontarians have got their first booster.

In Chatham-Kent, as of July 14, only 58.1 percent of residents 18 and older have received at least three doses.

The province’s top doctor said the province will continue to provide free rapid antigen tests to the general public until December 31, 2022. The free tests can be found at grocery stores, pharmacies, select workplaces, schools, hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and other congregate settings.

COVID-19 transmission has been on an upswing over the past few weeks, driven by the highly infectious BA.5 Omicron subvariant, which is more immune-evasive, meaning people who have recently had COVID can catch it again sooner.

Using key indicators such as wastewater data, hospitalization numbers, and test positivity rates, Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table declared the seventh wave officially underway last week.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News

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