Ontario opens appointments for new bivalent COVID-19 booster shots for all adults | TBEN News

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Adults in Ontario can begin booking a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster dose on Monday, the province says.

The spots will be open to everyone from 8 a.m. ET, although appointments for particularly vulnerable people will be prioritized until Sept. 26 before extending to all residents 18 and older.

Those vulnerable populations include:

  • Ontarians aged 70 and older.
  • Residents of long-term care facilities, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges and individuals living in other congregate environments that provide assisted living and health services.
  • First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous family members aged 18 and over.
  • Moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals aged 12 years and older.
  • Pregnant persons 18 years and older.
  • Healthcare workers aged 18 and older.
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The availability of bivalent vaccine doses will be based on federal government shipping schedules and deliveries, the Department of Health said in a press release.

“All previously booked booster appointments for September 12-25 will be honored and, if available, the bivalent vaccine will be offered,” the release added.

It is recommended that individuals wait at least six months from the date of their last booster dose.

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Appointments can be made through the provincial COVID-19 vaccine portal or directly through the public health unit using their own booking system, as well as through participating primary care providers and pharmacies.

The first shipment of bivalent vaccine arrived in Ontario last week.

Health Canada approved Moderna’s updated vaccine earlier this month. It targets both the original virus and the Omicron variant BA.1 that emerged late last year and the largest wave of infection and hospitalization in the pandemic.

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The most recent wave of the disease to hit Ontario — which began on June 19 and already appears to have crowned — is fueled by other Omicron variants, BA. 4 and BA. 5, the province’s chief medical officer has said.

Although the new shot does not directly target dominant Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which US has approved an updated recording for last week, Pfizer recently filed for approval from Health Canada for its BA. 4-5 vaccine and Moderna is expected soon.