Ontario Independent

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Starting Monday, Ontario will begin offering booster shots to people aged 18 and up

The province of Ontario will start providing booster shots

Key takeaways:

  • Due to concerns about the Omicron variant, Ontario announced on Wednesday that it is speeding up the rollout of the COVID-19 booster shot.
  • On the same day that the booster expansion was announced, Ontario reported 1,808 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily total since late May.

On Wednesday, Ontario announced that it is speeding up the rollout of the COVID-19 booster shot due to concerns about the Omicron variant, with anyone 18 or older able to book their third dose beginning Monday.

The province also reduces the time between booster injections from six to three months. It is launching a holiday testing blitz with free rapid antigen tests available as of Wednesday at pop-up locations such as malls and libraries, and some LCBO stores.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Ford stated, “Nothing matters more than getting these third shots into arms.”

Also read: Canada advises against international travel, while Ontario restricts events

Anyone 50 or older who has already scheduled their third dose at the six-month interval can now reschedule their appointment three months after their second dose, starting Wednesday.

According to the province, large corporations will assist in the operation of workplace and community clinics, and some locations, such as pharmacies, may begin offering walk-in boosters to anyone 18 and older as early as this Friday.

Theatres and museums have capacity limits.

Indoor venues around the capacity of 1,000 people or more are also being limited to 50% of their normal capacity.

These are some of the locations:

  • Entertainment facilities.
  • Spaces for meetings and events.
  • Venues for sporting events.
  • Theatres. 
  • Museums. 
  • Galleries.
  • Casinos.
  • Bingo halls.

The restrictions go into effect at 12:01 a.m. ET on Saturday.

When asked if new restrictions for restaurants and bars are on the way, Ford said “everything is on the table,” but that “locking ourselves in to get out of this isn’t the solution.”

He said restaurants are doing an “amazing job.”

“There’s a big difference between a restaurant and a stadium with 20,000 people.”

No new restrictions were announced on Wednesday for private gatherings or retail establishments like malls.

The province of Ontario will start providing booster shots
The province of Ontario will start providing booster shots. Image from CBC

On Wednesday, 1,808 cases were reported.

On the same day that the booster expansion was announced, Ontario reported 1,808 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily total since late May.

Meanwhile, preparations for an accelerated COVID-19 booster shoot rollout in some parts of Ontario are already underway.

Mayor Jim Watson said the city’s Emergency Operations Centre was stepping up its efforts to focus on booster vaccinations in the face of the variant’s widespread spread.

Watson wrote on Twitter, “We are working hand in hand to rapidly increase capacity for first, second, and third doses for all eligible residents in Ottawa.”

According to Watson’s post, public health workers in the city were asked to “pause” routine work to assist with immunizations because of the infectious variant threat. Several other public health departments are following suit.

Source: CBC News

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