Dec 21, 2021
By Christine Ross
Amid reports that some seniors still can’t book a booster shot as everyone over 18 scrambles to get a third dose, Ontario’s top doctor was asked if he regrets expanding the eligibility. Half of those 70 and older have received a booster shot.
“If we see an ongoing interest from the 50 plus group and if they can’t get appointments, we’re looking at means by which we can increase their accessibility,” said Dr. Kieran Moore. “We’ve heard these issues and our health units and partners are all trying to address them, I’m very, very concerned that we want the right dose to the right person at the right time for the right amount of protection and we’ll do our best to make sure those individuals get access.”
Dr. Moore says the province is asking the federal government for 4 million Pfizer doses but adds Moderna is just as good so take whatever is available.
As contact tracing is shifting across the province to prioritize high-risk cases, Dr. Moore hints it may come down to all of us doing our own because public health units are overwhelmed. He’ll have more to say on that in the coming days.
“We are actively reviewing how we do case and contact management at an individual level as well as to congregate settings and high risk settings and quite frankly, we are going to have to prioritize how we use rapid antigen tests, we’re aggressively trying to purchase more internationally, nationally, locally but if there is a limited supply we really need to use them for high risk contact health care workers.”
In fact, Kingston and Ottawa public health are telling symptomatic residents to call their own friends and family.
He says there are no OMICRON hospital ICU admissions that he knows of. And of the few hospitalizations for this variant, Moore says they’re trying to determine if the admission was for the virus or for something else and happened to test positive.
And as the testing capacity is under strain from this latest surge, some health officials say if you test positive with rapid test, assume you have COVID-19 and isolate until you ‘re able to book a PCR lab test.