‘Forever moving forward’: MLHU rolls out bivalent COVID-19 booster dose to 18+ – London

As of Monday, adults 18 and older in London, Ont., are now eligible to receive a bivalent booster dose of COVID-19.

Local health officials say this recall is more specific to strains of Omicron circulating throughout the province.

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Ontario residents 18 years and older eligible for a bivalent booster dose of COVID-19

« Since the end of last year, the original vaccine has been extremely effective in keeping people out of hospital, » said Dr Alex Summers, Medical Officer of Health at the Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU). « But with the newer variants, the old vaccine just wasn’t as effective at preventing symptomatic illnesses and infections. »

Summers said the hope for the bivalent booster is that it « will provide additional protection, » which he says is an important factor as the region heads into the colder months.

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The dual-use booster was first rolled out Sept. 12 to seniors aged 70 and older, as well as residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, aged care lodges and other collective establishments.

Summers, along with other health experts, said people interested in receiving the new supplemental dose should wait at least three months before receiving the vaccine, as the province recommends people wait six months before receiving this dose.

“The key thing everyone needs to remember is that COVID is here to stay. It’s not over, which means we need to take some of the lessons we’ve learned throughout the pandemic and apply them forever in the future,” Summers said.

He added that currently, heading into autumn and winter, London is at « a new base of COVID activity ».

« As we head into the fall, we’re going to see COVID rates increase, » he said. « The reason is that people are going to be spending more time indoors in close contact with others. »

According to provincial statistics, the number of people vaccinated appears to be decreasing with each booster made available, as approximately 86% of Ontarians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while approximately 51% have received one. third dose.

Summers said that raises concerns as Ontario is set to head into a « difficult » flu season.

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« Over the last few fall we haven’t seen a lot of flu because of all these public health measures that have kept COVID at bay, » he said.

« The good news is that all the tools you use to protect yourself from COVID are still the tools you can use to protect yourself from the flu. »

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COVID border mandates, mask requirements on trains and planes will end on September 30

News of the booster’s increased availability comes as Canada’s COVID-19 border restrictions are set to end on September 30, alongside mandatory use of the ArriveCAN app, according to the federal government.

As of Monday morning, the MLHU said it had administered 11,561,154 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine since the start of the pandemic.

For more information on the COVID-19 bivalent booster or to schedule a vaccination appointment, visit the MLHU website.

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