COVID-19 vaccine update: Recommendations on expanded booster dose eligibility to protect against Omicron variant
December 17, 2021
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To: Local Health System Partners
FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
Expanded eligibility for booster of COVID-19 vaccine
This Advisory Alert outlines new recommendations from the Ontario Ministry of Health regarding the expansion of booster dose eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccines in follow-up to the Advisory Alert issued December 6, 2021.
With Omicron rapidly becoming the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Ontario, it is highly recommended that all eligible individuals get a booster dose as soon as possible in alignment with the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Third Dose Recommendations and the Government of Ontario announcement on expanded eligibility for booster doses. It remains important for everyone else to get their first or second dose if they have not already.
Support for vaccination of eligible individuals
To support Public Health’s endeavour to quickly increase vaccination capacity we ask that participating pharmacies and primary care offices support COVID-19 vaccination and answer the call to increase booster capacity and execute clinics plans over the next two weeks.
We are sensitive to the fact that the workforce is strained, and that holiday season vacations are planned. We also recognize that surging staffing to support vaccination efforts may require reduction or elimination of some activities to support staffing of vaccination clinics.
As per the Chief Medical Officer of Health memo, we are asking all health system partners to contribute to this booster effort in the coming weeks. Specific requests are as follows:
- Pharmacies work to deliver the throughput as per their commitment,
- Hospitals reactivate their previously provided vaccine clinics,
- Public health units double their planned booster capacity (no change to 5-11 year old plans),
- Primary care to join with public health units to deliver vaccines within their practice setting and in support of mass vaccination clinics and mobile teams,
- Paramedics and other health professionals continue and increase their contributions to vaccination efforts.
Participating pharmacies and primary care offices can also request vaccines to offer opportunities in their practices.
Process to request vaccines
Health care providers who would like to be onboarded to the vaccination program please contact us at PCC_Vaccine_Questions@phsd.ca. To request additional COVID-19 vaccines please contact us at email@example.com. Primary care has multiple roles to play in the vaccine program including onboarding practices to administer the vaccine in their offices, supporting vaccination clinics, and ongoing patient education on vaccine safety and efficacy.
Boosters (fourth doses) for moderately to severely immunocompromised
Effective immediately, moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals who have received three doses of their primary series may receive a booster dose (fourth dose) approximately 3 months (84 days) [updated] after the third dose in their extended series.
Expanded eligibility for booster doses to include 18 years of age and older
Starting December 20, 2021, individuals 18 years of age and older will be eligible to receive a booster dose at least 3 months (84 days) after their second dose.
Ongoing eligibility for a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
The Government of Ontario is accelerating the booster dose interval to 3 months (84 days) after receiving their second dose, for the following individuals:
- Individuals 50 year of age and older
- First Nations, Inuit, and Métis adults 16 years of age and older including non-Indigenous household members
- Health care workers 16 years of age and older. For definitions of eligible health care workers, read the Government of Ontario COVID-19 Vaccine Third Dose Recommendations (PDF)
- Individuals who received 2 doses of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccine
- Individuals who received 1 dose of the Janssen/ Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
- Vulnerable older adults in congregate settings
For a complete list of these eligible individuals, please visit: www.phsd.ca/COVID-19/vaccine-clinics.
For more information on the rationale and options for vaccine type and dose offered for COVID-19 vaccine booster doses in certain populations see Table 2 of the Government of Ontario’s Third Dose Recommendation (PDF).
Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty preferred for those ages 18 to 29.
Per Ministry of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Guidance, individuals aged 18 to 29 are now preferentially recommended to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine. Based on second dose data the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine has lower reported rates of myocarditis and pericarditis compared to Moderna Spikevax. This is in alignment with direction from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
Local Vaccination Opportunities
Please visit our Vaccination clinics for COVID-19 webpage for information on clinic dates, times, and locations. Clients can also book an appointment online at covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine or by calling 705.674.2299 (toll-free: 1.800.708.2505), between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. A small number of clinics will continue to offer walk-in opportunities; however, those clinics will be clearly labeled on our vaccine clinic webpage, so unless walk-in opportunities are specified, clinics will be by appointment only. Clients can also contact a local participating pharmacy.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccines, as well as for specific answers to your frequently asked questions visit our FAQ web page or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).
Original Signed By
Stacey Gilbeau, Registered Nurse, BScN
Program Director, School Health, Vaccine Preventable Diseases and COVID Prevention
Please note that email addresses of some recipients were provided to Public Health Sudbury & Districts by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) for the purpose of communications related to COVID-19. If you prefer to no longer receive Advisory Alerts from Public Health, please reply to this email requesting to be removed from our distribution list.
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This item was last modified on December 17, 2021