Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is expected to make an announcement on Wednesday regarding expanded eligibility for fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr. Kieran Moore will provide the update, which will also cover the province’s rapid distribution of antigen tests, at 11 a.m.
The announcement comes amid a seventh wave of the virus in Ontario, which has seen a recent spike in cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations.
Currently, the booster is only available to people age 60 and older, immunocompromised people, and Indigenous populations.
Moore said Thursday he expects a decision on the expansion to come this week.
At the time, the province’s top doctor expressed concern about the relatively high number of people in Ontario who have yet to receive a third dose of the vaccine.
“Of those five million who haven’t even had their first booster…a million of them are over 50 and we know that age is a really big risk factor for COVID, the severe consequences and the ‘hospitalization,’ Moore said.
“So we’re asking first before we open over a million…please consider getting vaccinated in July.”
While Ontario has seen a 20% week-over-week increase in COVID-19 cases, an increase in the positivity rate from 8.4% to 11.2% and indications that hospitalizations and deaths are rising, Moore said he expects the province could see the peak of the current wave this week.
With files from The Canadian Press