After the booster COVID shots finally rolled out in Ontario, booking a third dose became something like the Hunger Games, with the online appointment portal overwhelmed with demand and queues outside pop-up clinics swarming for blockages.
Although it was difficult to make arrangements when availability only opened to all adults aged 18 and over a week and a half ago, Canada now has enough vaccines to give everyone a third and even a fourth injection – because yes, the fourth dose is one thing now.
While some health experts say a fourth injection is not yet necessary for public health and safety reasons, the provincial government has begun issuing criteria for admitting even more people on Friday.
Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore announced at a media briefing this week that starting Friday, anyone who qualifies as immunocompromised can receive a second booster, as long as it’s been at least 84 days since the last booster.
This group includes people undergoing chemotherapy or similar treatment, people who have recently had an organ transplant, and anyone with an autoimmune disease, immunodeficiency, or who is considered immunosuppressed due to a disease or immunosuppressive medication, the list of which is long.
Until now, the fourth doses were only available to residents of long-term care facilities, retirement homes, and other congregated living situations.
While some people are planning their third or fourth dose, the head of Moderna Canada has also said that as the pandemic continues, there could be annual injections in the future for those who choose to take them.