COVID-19 vaccine update: Expansion of second booster dose eligibility to include all individuals aged 18 and over
July 14, 2022
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To: Local Health System Partners
FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
This Advisory Alert provides an overview of the updated Ministry of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Recommendations (PDF) following the provincial announcement issued Wednesday, July 13, 2022. Specifically, highlighted within, is information on the expansion of the second booster to all individuals 18 years of age and older, effective July 14, 2022.
The COVID-19 vaccines remain one of our best defences against COVID-19 and its variants. Eligible individuals are strongly encouraged to complete their primary series and receive their booster doses as soon as they are eligible to enhance their immunity and have better protection against severe illness and hospitalisation.
Expanded eligibility for second booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine
The Ontario Government is expanding eligibility for second booster doses for all individuals 18 years of age and older starting Thursday, July 14, 2022. For some individuals, the second booster dose may be considered their fourth or fifth dose depending on if they meet the definition of moderately to severely immunocompromised.
Based on today’s announcement, the following groups are eligible or strongly recommended to receive their second booster:
- All individuals aged 18 years and over at time of vaccination are eligible to receive their second booster (fourth) dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
While everyone 18 and over is eligible for a second booster dose, those at highest risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 are strongly recommended to get their second booster dose as soon as they are eligible. This includes:
- Individuals 18 and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised
- People 60 years of age and over;
- First Nation, Inuit, and Métis individuals, and their non-Indigenous household members (18 years of age and older); and
- Residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, or Elder Care Lodges, and older adults living in other congregate settings that provide assisted living and health services.
Recommended intervals for second booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine
The Government of Ontario (PDF) suggests, for all individuals ages 18 and older, a second booster dose be administered at the intervals listed below:
- Recommended interval: 5 months (140 days) after receiving their first booster dose.
- Minimum interval: 3 months (84 days) after receiving their first booster dose and with informed consent.
We need your help
Primary care remains critical to the success of the vaccine roll out; understanding individual patient circumstances and advising to promote confidence. Please note that while healthy individuals aged 18 to 59 years old are now eligible to receive a second booster 5 months/140 days after their first booster, these individuals continue to have protection against severe disease more than six months after their first booster dose. Health care providers may be approached by patients with questions about whether getting a second booster dose now is right for them. Factors to consider may include individual health or social circumstances that could put them or others at risk. Further, it is expected that a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine will be approved by Health Canada that may provide more targeted protection against the Omicron variants. While it is anticipated to be available this fall, a new bivalent vaccine is likely to be available initially only for high risk individuals. The recommended interval between a booster and a fall bivalent vaccine is not yet determined but may be as short as three months, with five months being the current standard recommendation. Thank you for your ongoing support and we will strive to keep you informed of latest developments to assist you in your clinical practice. Please continue to strongly recommend to your high-risk patients that they get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.
Primary care providers interested in offering the COVID-19 vaccine through their practice are asked to contact us at PCC_Vaccine_Questions@phsd.ca. To request additional COVID-19 vaccines please contact us at email@example.com.
Local vaccination opportunities
Visit our Vaccination clinics for COVID-19 webpage for information on clinic dates, times, and locations. Eligible clients can attend a walk-in vaccination clinic or book an appointment online at covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine or by calling 705.522.9200 (toll-free: 1.866.522.9200) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.., Monday to Friday. Newly eligible walk-ins will be accepted at Public Health clinics beginning July 14, 2022.Clients can also contact a local participating pharmacy, primary care provider or health centre.
Original Signed By
Dr. Penny Sutcliffe
Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer
NOTE: All Advisory Alerts are found on our website.
This item was last modified on July 26, 2022