Residents 80 and older can now book an earlier second dose appointment in Waterloo Region, Huron Perth

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Adults 80 and older in Waterloo Region and Huron Perth can now book an earlier second dose COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

The move comes as the province opened eligibility for a shortened interval between first and second doses for everyone 80 and older beginning Monday.

Anyone 80+ in Waterloo Region who wishes to move up their second dose appointment must complete a form online.

Health officials say it could take two to four weeks to be contacted about an earlier second-dose appointment. Those who already have a second dose scheduled in the next few weeks are encouraged to keep the original appointment.

Canada has approved an interval of up to 16 weeks between first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses.

The Waterloo Regional Vaccine Distribution Task Force says it will balance the need to get first doses into arms as quickly as possible with the expedited second-dose schedule.

The region's goal is to achieve a 75 per cent vaccination rate among all age groups.

Meanwhile, nearby Huron Perth Public Health also announced Monday that residents 80 and older can begin booking an earlier second-dose appointment, also in line with the province’s vaccine framework.

The health unit will offer second dose appointments to those 80+ at an interval of four weeks or later, based on vaccine supply. Those eligible can book their second dose appointment online.

Huron Perth Public Health is currently booking second dose appointments for mid to late June.

Anyone who already had a second dose appointment is urged to cancel it should they book an earlier date.

The Huron Perth health unit says those 70 and older will be able to start booking an earlier second dose starting the week of June 14.

Certain groups, including high-risk health care workers, individuals with certain health conditions and First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals have already been able to receive a shortened dosing interval for COVID-19 vaccines.

“There has been excellent uptake of vaccine in Huron Perth and we know that people are eager to receive their second dose,” Dr. Miriam Klassen, medical officer of health for Huron Perth, said in a release. “We ask that people waiting to book vaccination appointments please be patient with our staff during this busy time. We also remind the public that rude or abusive language towards staff will not be tolerated.”