Fall is here, winter is coming, and you probably need a vaccine top up. Although second booster shots have been available for some time now, a lot of people have been waiting for the bivalent vaccine from Moderna for the enhanced protection against Omicron and all its sub-variants. If this sounds like you, then read on for the details about how and when you can sign up to get your (updated) booster dose.
Per the Government of Ontario, Ontarians that make up the most vulnerable populations are eligible to get a bivalent vaccine dose as of 8 am this morning.
Who are the most vulnerable? Anyone 70 and over; residents in long-term care homes, assisted living and health facilities; anyone 18 and over who are First Nation, Inuit and Métis plus their non-Indigenous family members; moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals aged 12 and over; pregnant people 18 and over; and healthcare workers 10 and over.
Everyone else in Ontario 18 and over will be able to start booking their bivalent vaccine appointments starting on September 26.
“I encourage every resident of the region to get vaccinated and stay up to date – vaccines are still our best protection against the most severe COVID-19 outcomes,” said Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Medical Office of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer in a statement.
“This is an important next step in our COVID-19 vaccination capabilities,” Mercer explained. “This new booster will help protect the most vulnerable members of our community right away, and all of us as we become eligible. We are confident that shipments of vaccine will continue to increase throughout September and beyond, making it very likely that anyone who wants access to the vaccine can get it in the coming weeks.”
Here in Guelph, Wellington County and Dufferin County, any currently eligible residents can contact the WDG Public Health call centre at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006 to book an appointment. Online booking will be open again beginning on the week of September 26 once eligibility opens up to all people 18 and over.
This news comes at a time as local COVID-19 cases are tapering off after hovering around 300 total active cases for the last few weeks. There were only 209 active cases in the region after 119 new cases in the last week, and the long-term trends are also heading down with the 7-day moving rate of confirmed cases now at 46.5 per 100,000 and the test positivity is at 14.1 per cent.
In terms of vaccine distribution region-wide now 87 per cent of people six-months old and older have received at least one shot, 84.3 per cent have had two shots, and 62 per cent have had at least one booster . In Guelph alone, 89.1 per cent have received one shot, 86.2 per cent have had two shots, and 65.1 per cent have had at least one booster.