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Media Release: Eligible residents encouraged to get fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine at local pharmacies, select clinics at HPEPH sites

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/April 7, 2022

As recently announced by the province, eligibility for a fourth dose (booster) of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines has expanded to include the following individuals (recommended 140 days/five months after their third dose) as of April 7:

  • Individuals 60 and older who have had three doses of Health Canada authorized COVID-19 vaccine;
  • First Nations Inuit and Metis (FNIM) residents, and their non-Indigenous household members 18 and older who have had three doses of Health Canada authorized COVID-19 vaccine.

Local and provincial case rates indicate that COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community. Even though many provincial restrictions have been lifted, residents are reminded to maintain precautions and take steps to prevent transmission of illness. Vaccination is the best and most effective way to reduce the risk of severe illness related to COVID-19 – and this includes staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines as currently recommended. Residents are asked to remain patient as HPEPH and community partners adjust operations to incorporate administration of fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

“As we learn to live with COVID-19, a fourth dose can help boost longer term immunity against the virus – especially for vulnerable groups,” says Dr. Ethan Toumishey, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at HPEPH. “Evidence suggests that protection against severe disease decreases five to six months after a first booster dose, and with the ongoing presence of COVID-19 in the community, eligible individuals are encouraged to get a fourth dose to reduce their risk of severe illness.”

Where can you book a fourth dose?

  • At a pharmacy. Eligible residents are encouraged to book an appointment at a local pharmacy. Pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccines are listed at covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations. Contact the pharmacy directly to inquire about how to book an appointment.

  • At community clinics. Eligible residents can also book a booster/fourth dose appointment at select clinics in:
     
    • Belleville and Picton using the provincial booking site, or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week.
    • As demand for these clinics is high, residents are reminded to please be patient if dates are not immediately available when attempting to book.
    • New clinics will be added regularly. Visit hpePublicHealth.ca and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information about vaccine appointments.
  • Through select health care providers. Contact your primary care provider to inquire if they are offering COVID-19 vaccines.

When can you get a fourth dose?

Even if you are part of an eligible group, the recommended time frame is:

  • 140 after your third dose for those 60 plus and FNIM; or
  •  84 days for those who are immunocompromised.

In addition, individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to wait a minimum of three months after they tested positive, to receive their fourth dose. This recommendation intends to maximize the benefits of the fourth dose vaccine.

Other important information

A green Ontario photo health card is required to book an appointment through the provincial booking site.

Individuals with a red and white Ontario health card may book an appointment through the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre by phone at 1-833-943-3900.

Individuals who do not have an Ontario health card must contact HPEPH at 613-966-5500. HPEPH staff will assign a COVID ID (a unique number to be used in place of an Ontario health card number). Individuals with a COVID ID may book an appointment through the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre by phone at 1-833-943-3900.

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccination eligibility and booking, visit hpepublichealth.ca/vaccine-booking/.

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Media Contacts:

Maureen Hyland, Communications Specialist
mhyland@hpeph.ca

Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist
etubbs@hpeph.ca  

About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. HPEPH is situated and provides services on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee people. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

We invite community partners and residents to share this Media Release with their respective networks.

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Appointments for individuals 5+ can be booked through the provincial vaccine booking site, or by calling 1-833-943-3900 from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.  

Due to limited supply, HPEPH will initially be prioritizing available bivalent vaccine for residents and workers at identified highest-risk facilities.  Some HPEPH vaccination clinics MAY offer the bivalent vaccine, as availability allows. Vaccine clinics in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties will continue to offer monovalent vaccines (the same mRNA vaccines given as the primary series) for all eligible individuals until a steady supply of the bivalent vaccine is available.

Visit the HPEPH vaccine booking web page for details.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Symptoms or exposure? Visit www.ontario.ca/exposed for the most up to date information about what to do.

For the most up to date information on current provincial restrictions, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.

The Ministry of Health has launched a new toll-free line as an additional resource to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. The line can be reached at 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.