Ontario to Offer Third Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine to Selected Vulnerable Populations – .

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Ontario to Offer Third Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine to Selected Vulnerable Populations – .


TORONTO – Ontario will begin offering a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to those most at risk of serious illness.

On Tuesday, the province released a list of vulnerable populations eligible for the third stroke, including transplant recipients, patients with hematologic cancers, recipients of an anti-CD20 agent, and residents of high-risk settings such as long-term care homes, retirement homes. and First Nations Elder Care Lodges.

“Comprehensive series of two-dose COVID-19 vaccines offer strong protection against COVID-19 infection and serious results, including against the Delta variant, in the general population,” officials said in a published document before the announcement.

“However, for some populations, a third dose may be necessary to provide sufficient protection based on a suboptimal or declining immune response to vaccines and an increased risk of COVID-19 infection. “

In July, CTV News Toronto spoke with a 49-year-old kidney transplant patient who said his body had not developed any antibodies to the virus due to the drugs he was taking.

“My results came back and showed that I had no antibodies at all,” Keith McArthur said at the time. “There have been studies that have shown that a third dose wouldn’t help everyone in my situation, but it at least helps some people. “

One such study was published the following month, showing that a vaccine booster could be “very effective” in transplant patients.

“We know that transplant patients are immunocompromised and do not respond to two doses of the standard COVID vaccine,” Dr. Deepali Kumar, study co-author and director of infectious diseases of transplants, told CTV News. University Health Network. .

“So we decided to do a trial where we looked at a third dose of COVID vaccine to see if we could boost immunity. “

In Tuesday’s announcement, Ontario officials said transplant recipients, patients with hematologic cancer and recipients of an anti-CD20 agent will be contacted by their healthcare provider, specialist or hospital program. if they are eligible for a third dose. These people should wait at least eight weeks after their second dose to receive the last injection.

The third doses will be offered to people in long-term care at least five months after their second dose. According to provincial authorities, the immune response of residents of long-term care facilities who are fully vaccinated “declines significantly compared to the general population” after about four months.

The timing of the third doses will vary between public health units, officials added, with some starting as early as this week.

The announcement came as the government revealed its new vaccination policies for high-risk settings.

As of September 7, all employees, staff, contractors, students, volunteers and ambulance services in hospitals and home and community care services will be required to show proof of vaccination or a medical reason for not not be vaccinated.

Anyone who does not provide proof of full vaccination with both doses will need to have regular COVID-19 antigen testing. They will also be required to attend an educational session.

A similar testing policy is expected to be implemented in Ontario public and private schools, as well as licensed daycares, although no start date has been given.

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