COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expanded to include children as young as 12

An aerial view of an industry compound containing the factory of the BioNTech biotechnology company in Marburg Germany

The province says it expects to reach all youth aged 12 and over with a first dose before the end of June, and with a second dose by the end of August. They will have to do the same to get their second dose.

The idea of the second vaccine dose is to top up your body's immunity to the coronavirus, by preventing serious illness, preventing hospitalization and preventing death.

"So it will really depend on, out of those 90,000 people, how many are actually going to want to get the AstraZeneca second dose early at the ten-week interval", said Bates.

"Offering the protection of the vaccine to youth aged 12 and over is a significant milestone in Ontario's fight against COVID-19", the release said.

"Most cases appear to be mild, and follow-up of cases is ongoing", the CDC said, adding that reports were more often from males who had gotten their second dose.

"Eligible individuals are encouraged to contact the pharmacy or primary care provider where they received their first dose and can book an appointment beginning the week of May 24".

The public health lead for First Nations said Indigenous people have made up 40 to 60 per cent of intensive care admissions during the second and third waves of the pandemic. These included areas such as Guelph, Peterborough, Simcoe-Muskoka, Wellington-Dufferin and Peel. "So right now the first focus is on those 55,000", said Huyer.

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Walensky said immunocompromised individuals who are vaccinated should consult their doctors before they give up their masks. Test positivity rates are also at the lowest point since the pandemic began last March.

Over 50s have been able to get an AstraZeneca jab over the past couple of weeks, although there are concerns some may wait until later in the year for the Pfizer vaccine when 20 million doses arrive over the fourth quarter. During a media question period Friday, there was a question about how the province would proceed with the AZ vaccine due to its links to blood clotting.

"We already know that giving second dose Pfizer can cause more local side effects, more systemic side effects", he said.

"Still very, very low", said Williams.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority reported that as of Monday, anyone 80 and over can book a second dose, along with cancer and organ transplant patients and those who were vaccinated on or before March 1.

In addition to the expiring doses, however, the province has also been receiving some 254,500 new doses of AstraZeneca this month.

Southwestern Public Health, which serves Elgin and Oxford Counties, said 12-year-olds and teens can book their shots by calling 1-888-333-2175 or online at www.covidvaccinelm.ca starting May 23 at 8 a.m.

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