First boosters open for children 5- to 11-years-old, updated public health guidance going into the fall

September 01, 2022

September 1, 2022

Dear members,

Yesterday, the government announced that first boosters for children 5- to 11-years-old would be available as of today through the provincial COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

Primary care plays a huge role in the delivery of paediatric vaccines, including with counselling and educating parents and family members. If you haven’t yet done so or haven’t heard about the distribution of the paediatric vaccines, please contact your public health unit or the COVID-19 delegated vaccine lead.

COVID-19 Paediatric Vaccination in Primary Care
The ministry has shared the primary care update for vaccine implementation for the week of August 29.

Vaccination uptake for children 0-4 years old is very low with first dose sitting at only 4.4% in Ontario. As of today, children 5- to 11-years-old qualify for their first booster, with a recommended interval of 6 months since the second dose (minimal of 3 months). Though the discretionary NACI recommendation is that this should be available to any child aged 5 to 11, the priority population is those with an underlying medical condition that places them at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19.

A reminder that the following resources are available:

Updated Public Health Guidance
In yesterday’s announcement, CMOH Dr. Moore presented updated public health guidance to manage COVID-19 during the respiratory illness season this fall. Some of the key highlights include:

  • If you are in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, continue to self- monitor for symptoms. There is no longer a need to isolate but you should wear a mask for 10 days when in public.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, or runny nose, stay home from school, work, and social events until your fever is gone and symptoms are improving, get a rapid antigen test or, if eligible, a PCR test. Wear a mask for 10 days after and avoid non-essential visits to high-risk individuals and settings.

A reminder that you can still access PPE and RATs through the provincial stockpile, along with oxygen saturation monitors that are available to order for the COVID@Home program.

Additional resources

  • Memo - Paxlovid prescribing in primary care - Testing and tools – EN and FR- OH, Aug. 30, 2022
  • Addendum: Guidelines for Pandemic Stockpile Use- EN and FR - MOH, Aug. 24, 2022
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Administration (version 7.0) –  EN – MOH, Aug. 31, 2022
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Recommendations (version 9.0) – EN – MOH, Aug. 31, 2022
  • Management of Cases and Contacts of COVID-19 in Ontario –  EN and FR – MOH, Aug. 31, 2022

We know this fall will be challenging with the backlog you are trying to manage and bracing for the release of the influenza and the highly anticipated bivalent vaccines. As always, we’ll provide you with information as it becomes available, but please always feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the last few days of summer and continue to stay healthy and safe.

Yours in good health,

Your AFHTO Team