Anyone who received mRNA vaccine before May 9 in Waterloo Region can book accelerated second dose on Monday

KITCHENER —
Starting Monday, anyone who received their first COVID-19 dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before May 9 can rebook for an accelerated second dose.

On Thursday, the province identified Waterloo Region as a Delta variant hot spot, meaning it will be targeted for accelerated second dose distribution.

People can apply to get a second dose sooner by filling out a form on the region’s website.

Currently, accelerated second doses are open for people over the age of 70, along with health-care workers and people with highest-risk health conditions.

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Dept. Chief Shirley Hilton, who is in charge of vaccine rollout in the region, said they’re working to increase capacity at clinics as supply allows.

Speaking at the region’s COVID-19 briefing on Friday, Hilton encouraged people to get their first dose if they haven’t yet and to get their second dose as soon as it is their turn.

“The announcement from the ministry and growing concerns around the Delta variant has shifted our focus on the second dose strategy,” Hilton said.

Hilton added the region is working to change its booking software to allow people to book their own second dose rather than filling out the form. She said they’re working through some bugs with the software and hope to have it available soon.

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Anyone who received a first dose of AstraZeneca will still need to wait for 12 weeks between their first and second doses, regardless of whether or not they’re getting a second dose of AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine.

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The region also offered two pop-up vaccine clinics in high-priority neighbourhoods on Friday to encourage people to get their first vaccine dose.

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