Thursday, July 7, 2022

Ontario provides fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine to long-term care residents, mandates third dose for employees

Ontario will offer a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, mandating a third dose for long-term care and retirement home residents and staff.

The province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, made the announcement on Thursday afternoon.

Effective immediately, residents of long-term care, retirement homes, elder care lodges and other collective settings who are three months out from their third dose are eligible to receive their fourth shot of the mRNA vaccine.

“Many of these individuals are now becoming more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection due to reduced immunity from their previous doses,” Moore said.

The province also announced that eligible staff, students, volunteers and support staff in those settings would be required to receive a third dose by January 28, 2022.

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According to the province, 47 percent of eligible employees and 86 percent of residents in those settings have received their third booster.

Long-term care visitors must also show proof of having a booster dose once the temporary break on visits is lifted.

Rod Phillips, the long-term care minister, said in a statement: “Mandatory a third vaccine dose for long-term care workers and caregivers and offering a fourth dose to residents is an important step our government is taking to protect long-term care workers and residents.” picking up.” ,

Earlier this week, Ontario announced that it was halting normal visits to long-term care homes in response to rising cases in the province. Only two designated caregivers will be allowed to visit.

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Meanwhile, all residents and workers in collective care will continue to be eligible for free PCR COVID-19 testing after December 31, when the province’s testing guidance narrows to exclude most symptomatic adults.

There are currently 136 long-term care and retirement homes with active COVID-19 outbreaks.

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