'You're on your own': Criticism builds as Ontario announces fourth dose COVID-19 vaccine plans amid sixth wave

·2 min read
'You're on your own': Criticism builds as Ontario announces fourth dose COVID-19 vaccine plans amid sixth wave

Beginning Thursday, April 7, Ontario will expand eligibility for a fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

"As we continue to live with COVID-19, we are using every tool available to manage this virus and reduce its impact on our hospitals and health system, including by expanding the use of booster doses," a statement from Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health reads.

"Vaccines are our best defence against COVID-19 and its variants. Because of our exceptionally high vaccination rates and Ontario’s cautious approach, we currently have one of the lowest hospitalization rates in the country and have performed well throughout this pandemic when compared to other similar sized provinces and states. I encourage everyone who’s eligible to get boosted as soon as you’re able."

Who is eligible for a fourth shot?

Starting April 7, Ontarians 60 and older, First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18, will be able to receive a fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

How do you book a fourth COVID-19 shot?

Beginning at 8:00 a.m. Thursday, April 4, eligible individuals can book their fourth dose appointment through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

Appointments can also be made directly through public health units, through their own booking systems, via Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating pharmacies and primary care settings.

The provincial government dose caution that timing and locations administering fourth COVID-19 vaccine doses may vary in different public health units based on "local planning and considerations."

As of April 5, 2022, Ontario has administered more than 32 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with around 55 per cent of Ontarians 12 and older having received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

While additional vaccine eligibility is opening up, many health experts are still calling for the Ontario government to re-implement mandated masking to curb the sixth wave of the pandemic.

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