With word from Ottawa that Canada and Ontario are on the verge of getting rapidly increasing shipments of vaccine, the vaccination priority is now extended to pregnant women, effective immediately, The move came in response to emerging data on the increased risk of severe illness for pregnant women, all pregnant individuals will be eligible to register for vaccination appointments under the highest risk health conditions in the Phase 2 prioritization guidance starting today.
Pregnant individuals are eligible to receive their vaccine through Public Health Unit (PHU) immunization clinics by booking an appointment through the provincial call centre at 1-888-999-6488. Pregnant individuals who are in a PHU not using the provincial booking system will be directed to their local PHU to book an appointment.
• A letter from a health care provider is not required for vaccination.
• The extended dose interval of 16 weeks remains appropriate for this population.
• The Province’s Prioritization Guidance and website will be updated in the coming days to reflect this change in prioritization for pregnant individuals, but implementation can begin immediately.
The move followed an urgent call by physicians and national and provincial organizations representing obstetricians and gynecologists to prioritize pregnant women for vaccines. Without vaccination, pregnant women are vulnerable to what is a higher risk of critical illness from COVID-19 than the general population, according to doctors. Pregnant women with respiratory illness associated with COVID-19 are three times as likely to end up in intensive care and two times more likely to die than people who are not pregnant, said physicians.