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Third doses of COVID-19 vaccine available for some people

Durham Region Health Department is updating eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to include third doses for at-risk individuals.

Further, eligibility is being expanded to include all youth born in 2009, which allows youth that are turning 12 later in 2021 earlier opportunities to be vaccinated.

The province announced on Aug. 17 that third doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be offered to specific vulnerable populations who are at highest risk of a reduced or waning immune response to the vaccine.

The region says these highest-risk individuals should not attend vaccination clinics at this time, but rather, their health care provider will contact them about how to access their third dose. Third doses can be given at a minimum of eight weeks following the second dose.

Third doses will be offered to transplant recipients, patients with hematological cancers on active treatment for malignant hematologic disorders, and recipients of an anti-CD20 agent.

Residents of long-term care homes, licensed retirement homes identified as higher-risk by the province, and First Nations elder care lodges are also eligible to receive a third dose, which can be given at a minimum of five months following the second dose.

The health department says it is working with these facilities to coordinate vaccination of its residents.

The health department will extend eligibility to youth born in 2009 and turning 12 years in 2021 beginning Aug. 18 at Durham Region mass immunization, mobile and pop-up clinics.

Vaccines can also be access at some pharmacies and through health care providers in the community.

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