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COVID-19 ‘alarm’ in Ontario: Experts urge province to set up fourth doses as BA.5 spreads

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Ontario's NDP and Liberal parties are calling on Doug Ford's Conservative government to expand eligibility for fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

"No one in Ontario wants to live through another rash of COVID-19 cases," a statement from interim Ontario NDP leader Peter Tabuns reads. "No one wants our loved ones at risk of getting sick."

"Experts are sounding the alarm that it’s time to start moving on second boosters. NACI is now recommending a round of booster shots. Our neighbours in Quebec have been rolling up their sleeves again for weeks now. It’s time for Doug Ford to tell Ontarians what the plan is for expanding access to fourth doses of the COVID-19 vaccine."

Last month, Ontario MPP for Ottawa South, John Fraser, wrote a letter to the province's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, about expanding fourth dose eligibility.

"People are concerned and anxious," the letter reads. "A local clinic in Ottawa that was set to provide fourth doses to people at risk, such as front-line healthcare workers, has been cancelled and there are questions being raised over the waste of vaccines that are reaching their expiry date."

"It is also important to note that the Ontario Science Table has just recently reported that a news branch of COVID-19 Omicron variant BA.5 will become the dominant lineage in Ontario within a week."

Last week Canada's Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, urged Canadians to get as many doses of a COVID-19 as they are eligible to receive.

"The immunity conferred by a primary series of vaccines administered in 2021 has now waned," Duclos said. "While you might have gotten infected, risk is high you could get re-infected with all the downfall, including the risk of developing symptoms of long COVID."

The COVID-19 virus is changing and Omicron has cruelly demonstrated that we will never be 'fully vaccinated' against COVID. Like the virus, our immunity also changes and Omicron showed us that two doses are not enough: we need to keep our vaccinations up to date... Being up to date with your vaccinations means that you received your last dose within the last nine months. If you have already received your first booster, find out if and when you will be eligible for another dose.Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada's Minister of Health

As people in the province navigate the summer with COVID-19, specifically with the BA.5 variant at this point, many health expert have taken to social media about where we stand and where they want the provincial government to take more action.