bivalent covid booster ontario

Ontario residents will be able to get bivalent COVID-19 boosters this month

Ontario's Ministry of Health (OMH) announced Monday that new COVID-19 boosters targeting both the original and Omicron variants will be available to the masses starting Sept. 26, 2022.

The new bivalent COVID-19 boosters will be rolled out to all Ontario residents aged 18 and up, starting with the most vulnerable populations, with the OMH citing guidance from Health Canada and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

"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," said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

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

Though the first bivalent COVID-19 vaccines won't be available for another couple of weeks, booster appointments can now be booked by members of the most vulnerable populations, including:

  • 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; and
  • health care workers aged 18 and over.

Those not considered vulnerable will have to wait until Sept. 26 to get their shot, though as of Monday, individuals 18 years of age and older who do not belong to a priority population can book appointments for a shot in advance.

There is one way to skip the line, though. Appointments booked for Sept 12-25 before Monday's announcement will still be honoured, and individuals with dates booked will be offered the bivalent vaccine if available.

Like the vaccines already in circulation, bivalent COVID-19 vaccines are recommended at intervals of at least six months.

"With the start of the respiratory illness season, it is especially important to make sure people stay up to date with their vaccines," said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

"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."

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