December 17, 2021
The new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, is rapidly becoming the most common variant in Ontario. It is more easily spread with close contact than the Delta variant. Two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine provide some protection against symptoms and good protection against serious disease. A third dose of the vaccine boosts the immune response to the virus further reducing the risk of symptoms and severe disease.
This week the Health Unit has been working with our health care partners to expand access, in December, to the COVID-19 vaccine third dose booster for the 50 plus age group who are at the highest risk of having severe COVID-19 infection that may require hospitalization, and for our 5 to 11 year olds who don’t have any vaccine protection yet. This includes adding community vaccine clinics and clinics organized by physicians and nurse practitioners. There has been a great response by the 50 plus group and all the community clinics are now full for December. There may be an occasional cancellation that will open up an appointment on the Pomelo booking system at www.healthunit.org for the 50 plus group or children 5 to 11. Pharmacies are also providing vaccine to these population groups.
“Thank you to our health care partners who have answered the call to help us increase capacity to provide vaccine to our 50 plus population. This will really make a difference.” says Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.
The province announced yesterday, that on Monday, December 20, 2021, everyone age 18 plus will be able to receive the third dose COVID-19 vaccine, three months after their second dose. Community clinics have vaccine appointments available in January and more will be opened shortly in February. We have planned to have enough vaccine appointments for anyone interested in this age group to have the vaccine by March 31, 2022.
We encourage you to check a participating pharmacy to see if they have appointments available.
For those having difficulties booking or getting through to our phone lines, we ask for your patience. Our booking system was created to accept a gradual flow of appointments. Our Call Centre is also experiencing a high volume of calls so if you have access to our website, visit the COVID-19 Protection and Vaccines section to find answers to many of your questions. Use the search bar to find specific information.
In the coming weeks, we recommend everyone continue to follow all the layers of protection against the COVID-19 virus, check our website for the most up to date precautions and we will keep that updated as changes occur in the area and throughout the province.
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