The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has announced that eligible individuals in the region are now able to receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine with proof of eligibility.
Eligible individuals include:
- Organ or stem cell transplant recipients
- Individuals receiving treatment with an anti-CD20 agent (e.g. rituximab, ocrelizumab, ofatumumab), commonly used for conditions such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, leukemias/lymphoma etc.
- Individuals receiving active treatment for blood or bone marrow cancers
These individuals may be able to get a third dose from their treating specialist, family physicians, nurse practitioner or pharmacist, or may be referred to a pharmacy or vaccine clinic to be given the vaccine with a form from their health care provider that proves eligibility.
Residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes and First Nations Elder Care Lodges are also now eligible for third doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and can be immunized at a private clinic held at their facility.
“A three-dose COVID-19 vaccine series may give some added protection to those who are more likely to experience severe illness from COVID-19,” explains Dr. Carol Zimbalatti, Public Health Physician.
“At this time there doesn’t appear to be any need for third doses in the general population, but this is an area of active study.”
A third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine cannot be given sooner than eight weeks (56 days) following the second dose, and specialists may advise an even longer interval if they think the vaccine may interfere with the treatment or vice versa.
Forms that are completed by an appropriate health care professional will be accepted at all Health Unit run vaccine clinics. The Health Unit is unable to grant third doses to individuals who do not provide a valid form to confirm their eligibility.