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The Ontario government just released a list of those who can now get a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to "provide sufficient protection."

While the general population that is fully vaccinated with two doses of a vaccine has a "strong protection" against COVID-19, the government reveals that more vulnerable populations may need an additional dose.

"For some populations, a third dose may be required to provide sufficient protection based on a suboptimal or waning immune response to vaccines and increased risk of COVID-19 infection," a Tuesday press release states

The decision to have a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for certain vulnerable populations is "based on the recommendation from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts."

Those eligible for a third dose are transplant recipients, patients with hematological cancers, individuals receiving an anti-CD20 agent, and individuals living in high-risk areas like long-term care homes, certain retirement homes, and First Nations elder care lodges, according to the Ontario government.

Third doses will be offered at these areas through mobile clinics or within these high-risk homes.

According to the Ontario government, a third dose can be administered eight weeks after the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and "will help to provide individuals in these groups with an improved immune response."

"Locations and timing for third doses may vary by public health unit based on local considerations, with some beginning as early as this week where opportunities exist."

Starting August 18, Ontario is also expanding the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to those who are turning 12 years old this year.

"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," a provincial statement says.

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