WECHU not worried about COVID-19 vaccine supply with expanded booster eligibility

Windsor-Essex health officials aren’t worried about COVID-19 vaccine supply as the provincial government accelerates the booster dose eligibility to Ontarians aged 50-plus.

CEO of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Nicole Dupuis said Thursday they expect to be able to accommodate the increased eligibility.

“We don’t have any concern around our vaccine supply,” said Dupuis. “Anytime the province announces a new group that is eligible there’s a lot of preparation that goes into that.”

The province announced that starting on Monday, Dec. 13 at 8 a.m., individuals aged 50 and over will be eligible to schedule their booster dose appointment.

Windsor-Essex residents are encouraged to use the local booking system online or call 226-773-2200. Appointments will be booked for approximately six months (168 days) after a second dose.

“We have a really good system for receiving and ordering our vaccines, so we’ll be ready as we always are,” said Dupuis.

WECHU reports 27,791 residents have received a third dose/booster shot of a vaccine as of Thursday morning.

The Ontario government also said effective immediately individuals receiving dialysis (hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis) are eligible to receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if it has been 56 days since their second dose.

Also effective immediately, the province is recommending re-vaccination with a new COVID-19 vaccine primary series post-transplantation for individuals who receive hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT), hematopoietic cell transplants (HCT) (autologous or allogeneic), and recipients of CAR-T-cell therapy, due to the loss of immunity following therapy or transplant.

Beginning in January, Ontario will further expand eligibility for booster doses based on age and risk, with an interval of six to eight months from the second dose.

“If you are eligible for a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, please book your appointment as soon as you can to provide yourself with an extra layer of protection,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

As of Monday, the province had a supply of 3.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

“If you have not yet received the vaccine, please do so today,” said Moore. “This includes vaccinations for children aged five to 11. Achieving the highest vaccination rates possible remains our best tool to protect us, reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and fight the significant surge of new cases and the new Omicron variant.”