The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) has started offering Moderna’s bivalent COVID-19 booster as of September 12. Bivalent vaccines protect against the original strain as well as the BA.1 Omicron variant, and preliminary studies suggest it may also protect against the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants.
For now, the bivalent vaccine will be restricted to people 70 and over, healthcare workers, assisted living workers, immunocompromised individuals 12 and over, pregnant people 18 and over, and First Nations/Indigenous people aged 18 and up, as well as their families and partners.
Pregnant individuals and healthcare workers must book over the phone through the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, or through a participating pharmacy, until September 25. After that, the vaccine will be made available to everyone 18 and over. Individuals must have completed their initial two-dose COVID vaccine, and at least three months must have passed since their last vaccine dose, to receive the booster.
“As fall begins and we enter yet another cold and flu season combined with COVID-19, I’m glad we now have access to this new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine, » said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, EOHU chief medical officer. « I encourage everyone to get the new booster dose as I believe it will have a much better ability to prevent Omicron infections and prevent severe disease. As COVID-19 becomes one of the normally circulating viruses in the community, this booster will help us continue on our path out of the pandemic phase and into more normalcy. »
The bivalent booster is only available by appointment. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit www.EOHU.ca/vaccines. To book an appointment, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/ or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.