Second doses accelerated in Waterloo Region, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph due to concerns over Delta variant: province

People who received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose before May 9 in Waterloo Region and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph will be able to get a second dose early, according to the Ministry of Health.

At a press conference on Thursday, officials with the province said the schedule change is due to concerns over spread of the Delta variant, the B.1.617 variant first identified in India.

Booking for accelerated second doses will open on Monday, the province said.

Accelerated second doses appointments will also be available in Halton, Peel, Porcupine, Toronto and York.

As of Thursday, there were 14 confirmed cases of the Delta variant in Waterloo Region, but health officials believe there are more based on current trends.

It's unclear if the accelerated second doses will be available right away through the region's vaccine booking system. Public health officials in Waterloo Region said they will have more information about the province's update at their weekly COVID-19 briefing on Friday morning.