Ontario’s top doctor says the definition of who is considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may change with booster shots rolling out.
Dr. Kieran Moore made the remarks in response to a reporter question at a press conference Friday where new measures were announced amid concerns about rising case numbers and the spread of the Omicron variant.
“We certainly are encouraging all those that are eligible at present for the third dose to get theirs and we’ll be following the immune protection of a third dose against Omicron to understand what immunologically represents the best protection against Omicron,” Moore said.
“That may change the definition of what is fully immunized.”
His remarks came as Ontario announced several new measures in response to rising COVID-19 cases and the spread of the Omicron variant, which Moore said may become the dominant strain in Ontario within weeks.
Among the new measures, the government announced that eligibility for booster shots is being expanded to all those aged 18+ beginning Jan. 4.
Appointments will be able to be booked around six months after a person receives their second dose.
It was previously announced that as of Monday, all adults aged 50+ will be eligible for a booster shot in Ontario.
The government also announced that use of the province’s proof of vaccination system will be extended beyond Jan. 17 — a previously set target date of when it would start to be lifted.
“This is aligned with Ontario’s reopening plan, which required an absence of concerning trends before gradually lifting further public health measures,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.
The system requires that individuals show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination along with ID in order to access certain settings.