Ontario Has Administered Thousands of Doses of Third COVID-19 Vaccine to Immunosuppressed | The Canadian News

TORONTO, Ohio – Ontario has administered thousands of third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to some of the province’s most vulnerable residents and will continue to do so despite the World Health Organization calling for a moratorium on the practice.

The global public health agency says vaccine-rich countries should stop offering third vaccines for the rest of the year so that vaccines can be diverted to countries with insufficient vaccines.

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott says the province had administered more than 14,500 third doses as of Tuesday night, a figure she plans to begin reporting publicly.

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Alexandra Hilkene says that the additional injections offer additional protection against COVID-19 to immunosuppressed patients, such as transplant recipients, people receiving treatment for blood cancers, and those who have received an anti-CD20 agent.

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She says the COVID-19 vaccine is not as effective in those people, and a third dose helps level the playing field for them.

The National Vaccine Advisory Committee on Friday recommended that people with moderate or severe immunosuppression receive a cycle of three shots of the vaccine.

The advice comes as the fourth wave of the pandemic continues to affect Ontario.

The province reported 848 new COVID-19 cases on Friday and five deaths related to the virus.

READ MORE: Ontario administers the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to high-risk people. What about other provinces?

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 659 of those infections occur in people who are not fully vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown.

Elliott says 361 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, and 331 of them were not fully vaccinated.

She says 177 people were in intensive care due to the virus, and only 14 of those cases occurred in fully vaccinated people.

The Health Ministry says 84.1 percent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 77.7 percent have two doses.

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In Ontario, a total of 21,098,125 doses of vaccine have been administered.

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