The Covid-19 “booster shot” third doses will become available now in Ontario for vulnerable people as well as 11 year olds are now eligible receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The province will begin offering the ‘booster’ third doses to select populations including transplant recipients, those being actively treated for hematological cancers, and people who take specific medications called anti-CD20 agents. They can receive a third dose at least eight weeks after their second shot.
Long-term care residents, First Nations elder care lodges and “higher-risk” retirement homes will also be offered the third dose, as long as it has been a minimum of five months after their last shot.
The province will also require health and education workers to be fully immunized or submit regular COVID-19 tests, however Ontario is not mandating vaccines for workers in high-risk settings.
“While Ontario remains a leading jurisdiction for first and second doses administered and we have the infrastructure in place to manage outbreaks, the Delta variant is highly transmissible and the experience of other jurisdictions shows we must remain vigilant as we head into the fall,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “By taking additional measures in high-risk settings we will further protect our most vulnerable, safeguard hospital capacity, ensure a safe return to school and keep Ontario running.”
The province also announced today that those who are turning 12 this year (born on or before Dec. 31, 2009) are now also able and eligible receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
In a news release it states that Ontario has closely monitored data from Alberta and British Columbia in making this decision, and these provinces have offered the Pfizer vaccine to youth born in 2009 for several months with no risks identified. Starting on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, all children turning 12 years old before the end of 2021 will be eligible to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and can book their appointment through the provincial booking system, through their public health unit, or pharmacies, or can walk-in to vaccination clinics across the province.
While the province has reached the milestone of more than 81 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 and over having received a first dose, and is expected to reach its target of 75 per cent vaccinated with a second dose later this month, out of an abundance of caution the government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is pausing the exit from the Roadmap to Reopen. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts will continue to monitor the data to determine when it is safe to exit the Roadmap and lift the majority of public health and workplace safety measures currently in place.
For more information, please visit the government website HERE.