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Ontario to offer third COVID-19 vaccine doses to vulnerable people, expand eligibility to more kids

Ontario says it will be offering third doses of COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable people while expanding the eligibility for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children born in 2009.
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Ontario says it will be offering third doses of COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable people while expanding the eligibility for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children born in 2009.

Starting Wednesday, children turning 12 years old before the end of the year will be eligible to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

“Ontario has closely monitored data from Alberta and British Columbia where the Pfizer vaccine has been offered to youth born in 2009 for several months with no risks identified,” the province said in a release.

“This will help to ensure even more students have the opportunity to receive the vaccine and ensure strong protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant as they return to school.”

The province will be providing third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the following vulnerable populations, including people living in long-term care:

  • Transplant recipients (including solid organ transplant and hematopoietic stem cell transplants)
  • Patients with hematological cancers (examples include lymphoma, myeloma, leukemia) on active treatment (chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy) for malignant hematologic disorders
  • Recipients of an anti-CD20 agent (e.g. rituximab, ocrelizumab, ofatumumab)
  • Residents of high-risk congregate settings including long-term care homes, higher-risk retirement homes and First Nations elder care lodges

The Ministry of Health says eligible transplant recipients, cancer patients and recipients of an anti-CD20 agent can receive their third dose at a minimum of eight weeks following their second dose.

People living in long-term are included in the new 3rd dose guidance because the province says evidence “shows that beginning four months after receiving two COVID-19 vaccine doses, the immune response in residents who live in long-term care homes wanes significantly compared to the general population.”

Third doses for those in long-term care will be offered in their place of residence and can be administered at a minimum of five months following their second dose.

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