The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is expanding eligibility for fourth doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals aged 60 and over as well as First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and over starting on April 7, 2022. Expanding booster eligibility will provide an extra layer of protection against the Omicron and BA.2 variants and, in addition to antivirals, are another tool the province is using to live with and manage COVID-19.
“As we continue to live with COVID-19, we are using every tool available to manage this virus and reduce its impact on our hospitals and health system, including by expanding the use of booster doses,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Vaccines are our best defence against COVID-19 and its variants. Because of our exceptionally high vaccination rates and Ontario’s cautious approach, we currently have one of the lowest hospitalization rates in the country and have performed well throughout this pandemic when compared to other similar sized provinces and states. I encourage everyone who’s eligible to get boosted as soon as you’re able.”
Starting on Thursday, April 7 at 8:00 a.m., eligible individuals will be able to book their fourth dose appointment through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, directly through public health units that use their own booking systems, through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating pharmacies, and participating primary care settings. Booster doses are being offered to these individuals at a recommended interval of five months after receiving their last booster.
Locations and timing for additional boosters may vary by public health unit based on local planning and considerations.
Ontario has been offering fourth doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since December 30, 2021 to vulnerable populations including residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges and older adults in other congregate care settings that provide assisted-living and health services. Providing additional boosters to these groups has helped to prevent serious outcomes in the population during the Omicron wave.
All eligible Ontarians are encouraged to get their fourth dose as soon as possible. As with vaccines for other diseases, you are protected best when you stay up to date.
- As of April 5, 2022, Ontario has administered more than 32 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 92 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 and over having received at least one dose, more than 91 per cent having received a second dose and more than 55 per cent having received a booster.
- If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired: 1-866-797-0007), which is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and capable of providing assistance in more than 300 languages.
- As of April 5, over 72 per cent of long-term care residents have received their fourth dose.