The COVID booster shot will now be offered to individuals aged 50 and over effective Monday December 13. Residents will be eligible to schedule their booster dose appointment through the COVID-19 vaccination portal, by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre, through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, select pharmacies and primary care settings. Appointments will be booked for approximately six months (168 days) after a second dose.
Beginning in January, Ontario will further expand eligibility for booster doses based on age and risk, with an interval of six to eight months from the second dose.
“If you are eligible for a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, please book your appointment as soon as you can to provide yourself with an extra layer of protection,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “If you have not yet received the vaccine, please do so today. This includes vaccinations for children aged five to 11. Achieving the highest vaccination rates possible remains our best tool to protect us, reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and fight the significant surge of new cases and the new Omicron variant.”
Also, a limited supply of the single dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will also be available starting today. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available to individuals aged 18 and over who have an allergy or contraindication to mRNA vaccines or at the request of an individual who has not yet been vaccinated by contacting their public health unit.
In addition to vaccines, the province is going to roll out a treatment for COVID. Clinical trials for molnupiravir, an investigational oral therapy for the treatment of COVID-19 began on October 19, 2020 and is currently in progress at the University Health Network in Toronto and Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton. If approved, molnupiravir will be a five-day oral treatment for high-risk unvaccinated patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 and could be the first such treatment that can be taken outside of a health care facility. Ontario is preparing a strategy for the deployment of approved treatments, ensuring access where it is most needed in the province.