UPDATE: Ontarians 70-and-up eligible for new COVID-19 vaccine, 18+ on Sept. 26

By CityNews Staff

Ontario’s government says the new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine is available to vulnerable residents and everyone over the age of 70, with all remaining adults eligible as of Sept. 26.

The Ford government made the announcement on Monday following guidance from Health Canada and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, is strongly encouraging every adult in Ontario to get the new booster shot, which specifically targets the Omicron variant.

“The bivalent COVID-19 booster is a safe and effective way for people to better protect themselves against the most recently circulating COVID-19 variants in Ontario,” Dr. Moore said on Monday.

“As vaccine protection decreases over time, I encourage all Ontarians aged five and over to receive the booster dose they are eligible for.”

Starting today, Dr. Moore says COVID-19 booster appointments can be made for the most vulnerable populations.

This includes adults over the age of 70, residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges and individuals living in other congregate settings that provide assisted-living and health services, moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals aged 12 and up, pregnant adults over 18, and all health care workers.

First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and over are also eligible as of Monday, Sept. 12

The Ford government says to allow for convenient planning and preparation, adults 18-and-up who do not belong to a priority population can start booking their appointments as of Monday, Sept. 12. 

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, the medical officer of health at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, said the bivalent booster is another took towards the path pf normalcy. 

“As fall begins and we enter yet another cold and flu season combined with COVID-19, I'm glad we now have access to this new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine,” he said. “I encourage everyone to get the new booster dose as I believe it will have a much better ability to prevent Omicron infections and prevent severe disease. As COVID-19 becomes one of the normally circulating viruses in the community, this booster will help us continue on our path out of the pandemic phase and into more normalcy.”

Dr. Robert Cushman, the acting medical officer of health for Renfrew and County District Health Unit, told The Sam Laprade Show with guest host Derick Fage on Sept. 12 that once the bivalent vaccine becomes readily available for to everyone, he is recommending people take advantage. 

“It's a better vaccine in terms of the more recent omicron variants but also we know immunity wanes over time,” he said.

Listen to the full interview with Dr. Robert Cushman below:


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