All Ontario adults to be eligible for Omicron-specific COVID-19 booster as of Sept. 26
Published Monday, September 12, 2022 8:40AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 12, 2022 9:44AM EDT
Vulnerable Ontarians aged 18 years and over can now book bivalent COVID-19 booster appointments with eligibility expanding to all on Sept. 26.
The bivalent booster is an adapted version of the original Moderna mRNA vaccine, and targets both the original strain of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. Individuals can receive this booster at least six months after their most recent dose, regardless of how many prior boosters they've had.
“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,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said in a statement.
“As vaccine protection decreases over time, I encourage all Ontarians aged five and over to receive the booster dose they are eligible for.”
At 8 a.m., priority appointment became available for vulnerable populations, which include:
- individuals aged 70 and over;
- 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;
- First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and over;
- moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals aged 12 and over;
- pregnant individuals aged 18 and over;
- health care workers aged 18 and over.
Ontarians who don’t fall into this priority population can also start booking bivalent COVID-19 booster appointments on Monday. However, available appointments will only begin on Sept. 26.
The bivalent vaccine will be offered at previously booked booster appointments between Sept. 12 and 25 if supply is available. The Ministry of Health said supply will rely on shipment schedules and supply from the federal government.
To book an appointment, visit the COVID-19 vaccination portal or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre (PVCC) at 1-833-943-3900.
Appointments will also be available through public health units using their own booking systems, Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating health care providers and participating pharmacies.
Pregnant people and health care workers booking from Sept. 12 to 25 must call the PVCC or book their booster through participating pharmacies.
The bivalent booster will be available for residents at some long-term care, retirement and Elder Care Lodge homes.
“With the start of the respiratory illness season, it is especially important to make sure people stay up to date with their vaccines,” Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones said.
“COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters are the best tool to keep people healthy and out of hospitals, and to ensure Ontario’s economy stays open as kids go back to school and as the weather cools and people spend more time indoors.”