Dec 14, 2021
By Jane Brown
Mass COVID-19 vaccination programs in Ontario hospitals are being urgently reactivated, as the Omicron variant quickly moves to become the dominant strain of the virus in the province.
The news comes from the CEO and President of the Ontario Hospital Association who posted the update on Twitter late Monday night.
Anthony Dale goes on to say “this will have a major impact on other clinical services but that there is no other choice,” in what he calls a race against time.
Omicron spreads much more easily than other variants of COVID.
In fact, Doctor Peter Juni, head of Ontario’s science advisory table, says it’s a matter of days before it becomes the dominant variant.
“We just talked about it for the first time just a few days ago, and we need to be aware of the sheer scale of what we’re talking about here. It’s really challenging,” Dr. Juni explained.
Early research shows while Omicron does a better job of getting past two doses of vaccine, a third dose appears to greatly increase protection levels.
Meantime, tens of thousands of Ontario residents between the ages of 50 and 69 tried to register for booster shots yesterday as eligibility widened to include this age group.
There were some reports of technical problems on the Ontario COVID-19 vaccination portal for the first few hours of bookings, but word from Ontario’s Health Minister Christine Elliott, by 3pm Monday, 115,000 people had registered online to receive their third shot booster.