Due to an increasing amount of COVID-19 cases across the province and the emergence of the new Omicron variant, Ontario is rapidly speeding up its third dose roll-out campaign.
Announced by Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Wednesday afternoon, as of Monday, December 20, all residents above the age of 18 years old will be eligible for their third dose of the vaccine, as long as it's been at least 3 months or 84 days since your second dose of the vaccine.
Residents will be able to book their appointment through Ontario’s booking portal, by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre, through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating pharmacies and primary care settings.
“Omicron is the most contagious and transmissible variant of this virus that we’ve seen so far. Omicron is now on the verge of becoming the dominant strain in all of Ontario – in fact, it may already be. But just because this new enemy is on the offence, does not mean that we can sit back and play defence.”
Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says due to the new Omicron variant, cases of COVID-19 in the province are on pace to double every three days
“I’m issuing a call to arms. Everyone has a role to play in our next phase. This will require every member of team Ontario to stand tall and get in the fight,” Ford said, as he urged residents across the province to receive their third dose as soon as they’re eligible.
As well, Ontario is introducing a 50 per cent capacity limit to indoor areas with a usual capacity of 1,000 or more, they include facilities used for sports and recreational fitness, entertainment facilities, meeting and event spaces, and many more locations.
“As we combat the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant, nothing matters more than getting these booster doses into people’s arms,” said Ford. “I am issuing a call to arms. We need every member of Team Ontario to stand tall and do their part as we work to protect our hard-fought progress and keep Ontarians safe.”
Previously, Ontario’s plan called for third doses at least six months after your second dose, and 18-year-old's weren’t expected to be eligible until January 4, 2022.
Individuals aged 50 and over, as well as those currently eligible who have already booked their appointment at an interval of six months can call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre to re-book for an earlier date, or through Ontario’s booking portal, starting on Monday.
"Over the holidays we will be adding additional vaccination clinics. We are working out details and should have appointments available to book into by early next week. The COVID-19 vaccine, including booster doses are also available from pharmacies and health care providers," says the Northwestern Health Unit.
As well, Ontario is also launching a holiday testing blitz to offer rapid antigen screening to individuals free of charge at pop-ups across the province, as well as select LCBO stores across Ontario