4. COVID doses offered to long-term caregivers in Ontario, boosters required for staff, caregivers

The Ontario government says with immediate effect that it is making the fourth COVID-19 shot available to the province’s long-term care residents.

People can get their fourth dose of vaccine at least three months – or 84 days – after their third dose.

Those eligible include residents in long-term care homes, nursing homes, geriatric care homes and other community care environments, the government said Thursday.

The province also mandates that staff, students, volunteers, caregivers or support staff for long-term care residents must have their third COVID-19 vaccine dose by 28 January.

The move comes as the province tightened the rules, which went into effect Thursday and which stopped regular visitors to long-term care homes but allowed important caregivers. Day off for social excursions for residents is also put on pause.

Read more:

Ontario further tightens rules on long-term care home residents as Omicron spreads

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When regular visitors are allowed to visit long-term care homes, they must also have a booster shot, the government added.

“Mandating the third dose of vaccine for long-term care workers and caregivers and offering the fourth dose to residents is an important step our government is taking to protect long-term care staff and residents,” said Ontario’s long-term care minister Rod Phillips.

“I ask all Ontarians to help us protect our most vulnerable by getting your booster as soon as you are eligible.”

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Ontario to provide only publicly funded PCR testing to' vulnerable 'communities'

COVID-19: Ontario to provide only publicly funded PCR testing to ‘vulnerable’ communities

COVID-19: Ontario to provide only publicly funded PCR testing to ‘vulnerable’ communities

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