On Friday, Ontario's Ministry of Health announced that all pregnant people in Ontario are now eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment on the provincial online booking system.

Minister of Health Christine Elliott made the announcement on Twitter, stating that "pregnant individuals can register for COVID-19 vaccination appointments under the 'highest risk' health conditions in Phase Two of the province's vaccine rollout."

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Before today, pregnant people were listed under the "at-risk" category in Phase 2 of Ontario's vaccine rollout plan, which would've meant waiting longer to be eligible for a vaccine dose.

The decision was made due to "emerging data on the increased risk of severe illness" for pregnant individuals who contract COVID-19, the Ministry of Health told CBC.

Dr. Wendy Whittle, the head of labour and delivery at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, told CBC that, this week, pregnant people accounted for six out of the 20 ICU admissions at the hospital, a number "far" greater than in the first or second wave of the pandemic; Ontario's top doctor echoed this in a recent modelling presentation, saying that pregnant people are being impacted more significantly in the third wave.