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Updates for Niagara Health’s vaccination clinic

Posted Sep 16th, 2021

Niagara Health is now administering third doses for expanded eligibility list.

Vaccination clinic to be closed Sunday, Sept. 19 due to low bookings.

Niagara Health will provide third doses for additional vulnerable populations starting today.

“While receiving a complete two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series provides strong protection for the general population against COVID-19, for some more vulnerable populations, a third dose can provide an extra layer of protection,” says Linda Boich, Executive Vice President, Quality, and Mental Health and Addictions, Executive Lead, Integrated Care and Executive Lead, Niagara COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force. “We encourage anyone in this group to come to our clinic at the St. Catharines Site for their third dose as soon as they are eligible.”

The Province of Ontario recently announced expanded eligibility for third doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to additional vulnerable populations as follows:

  • Those undergoing active treatment for solid tumors;
  • Those who are in receipt of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell;
  • Those with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome);
  • Stage 3 or advanced untreated HIV infection and those with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; and
  • Those undergoing active treatment with the following categories of immunosuppressive therapies: anti-B cell therapies (monoclonal antibodies targeting CD19, CD20 and CD22), high-dose systemic corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, or tumor-necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and other biologic agents that are significantly immunosuppressive.

This expanded eligibility supplements the provincial government’s previous decision to offer third doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to select vulnerable populations including:

  • Transplant recipients (including solid organ transplant and hematopoietic stem cell transplants)
  • Patients with hematological cancers (examples include lymphoma, myeloma, leukemia) on active treatment (chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy) for malignant hematologic disorders
  • Recipients of an anti-CD20 agent (e.g. rituximab, ocrelizumab, ofatumumab)
  • Residents of high-risk congregate settings including long-term care homes, higher-risk licensed retirement homes and First Nations Elder Care Lodges

In addition, Niagara Health’s vaccination clinic at the St. Catharines Site will be closed Sunday, Sept. 19 due to low bookings.

Regular operations, including booked and walk-in appointments, will resume Monday, Sept. 20. Make an appointment online for same-day and future bookings. Walk-ins for first, second (until 3:30 p.m.) and third doses (until 3 p.m.) are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis of the Pfizer vaccine.

As of Sept. 14, Niagara Health has administered a total of 257,889 COVID-19 vaccinations, and in total, 679,425 doses have been administered to Niagara residents (73.8 per cent of Niagara residents have their first dose, and 67.7 per cent have a complete series).

To ensure maximum protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant, individuals should get vaccinated as soon as they can and book their second dose as soon as they are eligible. All vaccines approved by Health Canada are safe and effective in protecting against COVID-19 and its variants. Mixing vaccines is safe, effective and enables more Ontarians to receive their second dose sooner.

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Niagara Health System