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Ontario cabinet meeting Wednesday to discuss expanding booster capacity

Ontario’s cabinet is set to meet Wednesday to discuss efforts to expand the province’s COVID-19 vaccine booster shot capacity, a government official says.

The official, speaking on background, also said that Premier Doug Ford will have an announcement regarding booster shots Wednesday.

The news comes after eligibility for booster doses expanded to those aged 50+ in the province this week.

Last week, the government announced that the shots would become available to those aged 18+ starting Jan. 4.

Read more:

‘Recommendations’ being made to Ontario government amid Omicron spread: top doctor

Individuals who are eligible can receive a booster dose around six months (168 days) after their second shot.

What exactly will be discussed at the cabinet meeting isn’t clear.

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On Tuesday, the province’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore stressed the importance of booster shots in the fight against the Omicron variant, which he said will soon become dominant in Ontario.

He said while the vaccines appear to be less effective in preventing the spread of the Omicron variant, they still likely provide strong protection against severe illness, especially with a booster shot.

The Omicron variant is believed to be more transmissible than other strains, though its virulence is continuing to be analyzed, Moore said.

Moore appealed for those who are eligible to come forward and get a third dose.

He also said health officials are working to expand capacity to administer more COVID vaccines.

“We will do our best to rapidly increase capacity across Ontario to make sure that those who are eligible get their appointment and get protected,” he said.

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“If there is any capacity extra and … we’ve built it and people don’t come, we will open it up to other age groups and expand eligibility.”

Moore also said Tuesday that “recommendations” are being brought to the provincial government to have “more of a consistent provincial approach” in battling the Omicron variant.

Moore said he believes a discussion will be had “in the coming days about what additional measures we may need, if any, to best protect Ontarians against Omicron.”

It is not clear exactly what will be recommended to the government or whether those recommendations will also be reviewed at the cabinet meeting.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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