Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is set to make an announcement Wednesday regarding the expansion of eligibility for fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr. Kieran Moore will provide the update, which will also cover the province’s rapid antigen test distribution, at 11 a.m.
The announcement comes amid a seventh wave of the virus in Ontario, which has seen a recent increase in case numbers, positivity rates and hospitalizations.
Currently, the booster is only available to people aged 60 and older, immunocompromised individuals and Indigenous populations.
Moore said Thursday that he anticipated a decision on the expansion would come sometime this week.
At that time, the province’s top doctor expressed concern over the relatively large number of people in Ontario who have yet to receive a third dose of vaccine.
“Of those five million that haven’t had even their first booster…one million of them are over 50 years of age and we know age is a really significant risk factor for COVID, severe outcomes and hospitalization,” Moore said.
“So we’re asking first before we open up any further that one million…please consider getting vaccinated in the month of July.”
While Ontario has seen a 20 per cent week-over-week increase in COVID-19 cases, a rise in the positivity rate from 8.4 per cent to 11.2 per cent, and indications that hospitalizations and deaths are rising, Moore said he expects that the province could see the current wave peak this week.
With files from The Canadian Press