York Region expanding COVID-19 booster doses

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The Regional Municipality of York is continuing to deliver COVID-19 vaccines and is expanding eligibility for booster doses to individuals 18 years and older if at least three months (84 days) have passed since their last dose.

“To date, York Region Public Health’s COVID-19 booster strategy has emphasized providing added protection to those who were most at risk of severe illness and hospitalization, and together with our partners, we have successfully vaccinated over half of this 50+ population,” said Dr. Barry Pakes, York Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “As we continue to increase our capacity through expanded hours and new mass vaccination sites, we are pleased to announce the expanded eligibility for booster doses to those age 18+. Today, we are also announcing prioritized appointments for the education sector as part of support for a return to in-person learning.”

On Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 at 8:30 a.m., approximately 30,000 booster dose appointments will be available across all York Region COVID-19 vaccination clinics for the following groups:

  • Individuals age 18+ (must be at least 18 years old on the date of immunization) – NEW
  • Health care workers and designated essential caregivers in congregate settings (including long-term care home and retirement home staff and designated caregivers) as identified by the Ontario Ministry of Health
  • Individuals who received a complete series of a viral vector vaccine (two doses of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine or one dose of the Janssen/Johnson and Johnson vaccine)
  • Individuals who received two doses of a vaccine not approved by Health Canada
  • First Nation, Inuit and Métis adults and their non-Indigenous household members (16 years of age and older)

Moderately to severely-immunocompromised individuals, as identified by the Ministry of Health and who are 12 years of age and older, are also eligible for a third dose if it has been 56 days since their second dose. Eligible individuals can book an appointment at one of York Region’s COVID-19 vaccine clinics by visiting york.ca/COVID19Vaccine. Residents who wish to book an appointment via telephone can call Access York at 1-877-464-9675; interpretation services are available. Booster doses are offered by appointment only.

Currently Moderna is being provided to all individuals 30 years of age and older. Adult Pfizer will be provided at select clinics for individual ages 18 to 29. Visit york.ca/COVID19Vaccine for details.

Booster dose appointment are also available at select pharmacies and through the provincial booking system. This includes the COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics at Cornell Community Centre, operated by the Eastern York Region and North Durham Ontario Health Teams and Oak Valley Health and the Ray Twinney Recreational Centre, operated by the Southlake Community Ontario Health Team. York Region Public Health and its partners continue to work to expand clinic capacity and new appointments are added regularly. Residents are encouraged to check back often. We thank you for your patience.

The best way for individuals to protect themselves against the Omicron variant is to:

  • Get fully vaccinated and seek a third dose when eligible
  • Screen for symptoms of COVID-19 daily, stay home, isolate and get tested even if symptoms are mild
  • Avoid social gatherings and limit visiting others or having guests over
  • Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with and wear a mask in indoor spaces
  • Consider curbside pick-up, delivery or alternate hours for shopping, especially if you are at a higher risk for illness
  • Clean your hands frequently

Booster Dose Appointments for Education and Licensed Child Care Workers

York Region Public Health is offering prioritized appointments for education staff, including educators, custodial staff, administrative staff, school bus drivers and licensed child care centre staff. Approximately 10,000 appointments will be available at York Region Public Health-led clinics on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022 and Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022 with other clinics actively being planned. York Region is working directly with school boards and licensed child care centre operators to book appointments.

Reserving vaccines for educators and school staff to get their booster dose is one of the many ways York Region Public Health is supporting a return to in-person learning.

First and Second Doses for Individuals Age 5+

York Region COVID-19 vaccination clinics will continue to accept walk-ins for both first and second doses for all eligible individuals age 5+ (must be at least 5 years old on the date of immunization). Individuals visiting vaccination clinics in York Region are reminded to dress appropriately for the weather. To ensure all appointments are available to those who are eligible, we encourage residents to book only one appointment per person and cancel any appointments they do not intend to use. For more information on eligibility, clinic locations, hours or to book an appointment, please visit york.ca/COVID19Vaccine.

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 54,000 businesses with 650,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at york.ca/regionalservices.