Booster doses for those 50 and older

The Ontario government announced Thursday afternoon, Dec. 2, that everyone aged 50 and older would become eligible for a third, booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine starting on Monday, Dec. 13.

At least six months must have passed between a recipient’s second dose and the new booster, and appointments at mass vaccination clinics would be booked based on that.

Further expansion of eligibility for third doses was expected to come in January, the government said in a statement.

“If you are eligible for a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, please book your appointment as soon as you can to provide yourself with an extra layer of protection,” Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said. “If you have not yet received the vaccine, please do so today. This includes vaccinations for children aged five to 11.

“Achieving the highest vaccination rates possible remains our best tool to protect us, reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and fight the significant surge of new cases and the new Omicron variant.”

The province also announced it would distribute 11-milion rapid antigen screening tests for children to use during the holiday season, and which would be returned to their schools for analysis in early January.

The government will also launch a “holiday testing blitz” this month, with pop-up testing locations at high-traffic areas in higher-risk regions.