covid vaccine ontario

Here's how to book your 4th dose of the COVID vaccine in Ontario

Ontario has just announced that it is expanding its eligibility criteria for fourth doses of the COVID vaccine, with all adults now able to get a second booster if they so choose as of Thursday, July 14 — a big change from the 60 and over (with some exceptions) demographic fourth doses have been reserved for until now.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore made the announcement on Wednesday, saying that Ontarians 18 and over can book their appointments by phone, through the province's central online portal or directly through local public health units and clinics starting at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

To get an additional shot, a person must have received their third jab at least five months ago, and their last positive COVID test at least three months ago if they've been recently infected.

The province notes that "while most individuals will continue to have strong protection more than six months after their first booster dose, expanding eligibility will ensure that Ontarians can make an informed decision based on their personal circumstances."

Those who are considered high-risk for medical or other reasons— including anyone aged 60+, Indigenous residents, anyone living in a long-term care or congregate living situation for older adults, and anyone who is immunocompromised — are encouraged to get theirs ASAP as COVID trends rise provincewide once more.

"While we've entered a new wave, Ontario is experiencing a slower trajectory in this wave as compared to previous waves and we expect to see the peak of this activity in the next two weeks," Moore said at a press conference on Monday morning, adding that this new wave is far less severe as we learn to live with the virus.

He also noted that people should speak with their healthcare providers to see if another booster is advisable for them.

"While we're making this option available, it is important to note that healthy, currently-vaccinated individuals continue to have significant persistent protection against severe disease... however, there may be individuals with personal or medical circumstances in these age groups who may benefit from the additional protection of a second booster."

Rapid tests will continue to be offered for free at select retailers, schools and other settings through to the end of this year, while free PCR tests and antiviral treatments are still reserved only for select high-risk groups. 

Those looking to get another dose can, as mentioned, sign up online or via phone through the province, call their local pharmacy or check up on the latest Toronto Public Health vaccine pop-up clinics (or clinics from their public health unit if not in Toronto) available near them.

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