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Ontario COVID-19 booster dose eligibility expands

Several groups of high-risk Ontarians will be eligible to book COVID-19 booster shots starting Saturday morning at 8 a.m.

An additional 2.75 million people are now eligible for boosters

Several groups of high-risk Ontarians will be eligible to book COVID-19 booster shots starting Saturday morning at 8 a.m. (Emily Elconin/Reuters)

Several groups of high-risk Ontarians will be eligible to book COVID-19 booster shots starting Saturday morning at 8 a.m.

An additional 2.75 million people become eligible for boosters today, following the quarter of a million people already eligible who include certain immunocompromised individuals and residents of long-term care and retirement homes.

Starting today, people can book an appointment for a booster dose if they are aged 70 and older, health-care workers or essential caregivers in congregate settings, people who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine or one dose of Janssen, and First Nations, Inuit and Metis adults and their non-Indigenous household members.

They can make appointments that are at least six months after their second dose.

Ontario's chief medical officer of health says evidence suggests that's when immunity starts to wane.

Dr. Kieran Moore says those groups of people are at an increased risk of waning immunity and greater risk of exposure and serious illness.

Ontario officials say the protection from two doses is still very high for the general population after six months, especially against severe illness and death, so a booster dose would provide additional protection against more mild illness.

The province is planning to eventually offer booster doses to everyone, and is eyeing early 2022 to start the broader rollout.

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