Local appointment bookings for Moderna’s Omicron-targeted bivalent COVID-19 vaccine officially got underway Monday, with the Middlesex-London Health Unit announcing extended hours of operation at one of its vaccination clinics to meet demand and get as many shots into arms as possible.
The province announced its rollout of the bivalent doses, with people considered most vulnerable, including those 70 and older, long-term care residents, health-care workers, pregnant people 18 and older, and Indigenous people, eligible first.
Those eligible in London and Middlesex can book appointments to receive the bivalent booster through the health unit’s online booking portal, or by calling 226-289-3560. All Ontarians 18 and older will be eligible as of Sept. 26.
The health unit says the bivalent booster will be available at the Western Fair Agriplex and Caradoc Community Centre mass vaccination clinics, as well as at the health unit’s community vaccination clinics.
The hours of the Caradoc Community Centre vaccination clinic are being extended to allow for expected demand, running Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting Monday, the health unit says.
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“Anyone who has not had a first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine must receive the monovalent Moderna Spikevax or Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine to complete their primary vaccine series before being eligible to receive a booster dose,” a health unit media release reads.
Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 must wait at least three months before receiving a booster dose.
Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s top public health doctor, encouraged people to get the shot in a statement that described it as safe and effective protection against variants that are currently circulating in the province.
“As vaccine protection decreases over time, I encourage all Ontarians aged five and over to receive the booster dose they are eligible for,” Moore said in a written statement.
Health Canada approved Moderna’s bivalent vaccine for use earlier this month.
–– with files from The Canadian Press