Ontario Could Soon Expand 3rd Dose Eligibility To Even More People

The news comes amid rising concerns of the Omicron variant.

Toronto Associate Editor
Ontario Could Soon Expand 3rd Dose Eligibility To Even More People

Third doses of a COVID-19 vaccine could reportedly be available to even more people in Ontario amid rising concern of the Omicron variant.

In a statement emailed to Narcity, Ontario's minister of health, Christine Elliott, shared that the Ontario government is thinking of including more age groups to be eligible to get their third COVID-19 vaccine doses, and will have more to say about this potential expansion later on this week.

As of November 6, those who are 70 and older, are immunocompromised, live in long-term care homes or have received a full series of AstraZeneca or Janssen vaccines are able to get their third dose of COVID-19 vaccine. First Nations, Inuit and Métis adults and their non-Indigenous household members are eligible, too.

"We all have always been very vigilant watching for changes, and we are waiting to find more information about this variant. But the measures that we've already been taking are very effective in protecting Ontarians, but we are urging more Ontarians to please come forward and be vaccinated," Elliott said.

"We're also looking at other age groups for the booster, the third dose booster. We'll have more to say about this later on in the week because we want to have that extra layer of protection available for people as well."

The Omicron variant was discovered in Canada recently with the first two cases confirmed in Ottawa, both of whom had recently travelled to Nigeria. Four other possible Omicron variant cases are currently being investigated by Ontario, with two possible cases showing up in Hamilton and the others again showing up in Ottawa.

On November 29, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said in a news conference that Ontario is reaching out to 375 other returning travellers who recently visited one of the seven countries the province is keeping an eye on due to growing concerns of Omicron. The countries on the watch list are South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

The World Health Organization has already dubbed the new variant a "very high risk," which countries across the globe should be wary of. However, they also added that the current evidence for their assessment "contains considerable uncertainty."

Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Alex Arsenych
Toronto Associate Editor
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