Ontario’s most vulnerable residents who are currently facing some of the highest risks of contracting COVID-19 and its Delta variant will soon be able to receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, if they choose to.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, announced earlier this week that Ontario is expanding third dose eligibility to those facing the highest risk of serious illness from the virus, after recommendations from the National Advisory on Immunization.

“The months ahead will be challenging,” said Moore. “COVID-19 is not going away, and the risk [it] poses will continue throughout the fall and winter.”

The province will soon begin offering third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to:

- Those undergoing active treatment for solid tumours,
- Those who are in receipt of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell,
- Those with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency, (DiGeorge, Wiskott-Aldrich syndromes)
- Stage 3 or advanced untreated HIV infection and those with acquired immunodeficiency,
- Those undergoing active treatment of immunosuppressive therapies.

Eligible residents will be contacted by the healthcare provider when they are eligible for the vaccine, and will provide them with a referral to a hospital, pharmacy or primary care provider to administer the shot. Ontario is asking residents to remain patient and to not contact your healthcare provider directly.

In August, Ontario announced they would make COVID-19 vaccination policies mandatory in high-risk settings like post-secondary schools, retirement homes and women’s shelters, which included providing third doses of the vaccine to certain immuno-compromised residents.

Residents in high-risk congregate settings, including long-term care homes, higher-risk licensed retirement homes and First Nations eldercare lodges will receive their third dose within their home or through a mobile vaccination clinic.

As of September 16, Ontario reports that 84.7 per cent of eligible residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 78.5 per cent receiving both doses. In Northwestern Ontario, 84.3 per cent have received one dose, and 76 per cent are fully immunized.

If you have questions about your third dose eligibility, please contact the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week.