Vaccine eligibility expanded again for Southwestern public health, now includes 'highest risk' sick adults

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More adults and caregivers for people at risk for COVID-19 are now eligible to receive a vaccine, Southwestern public health officials announced Wednesday.

The expanded eligibility for Elgin and Oxford counties now includes young adults who have specific “highest-risk” health conditions. It also includes adults who live in a variety of high-risk communal living environments, such as domestic violence shelters, mental health and addictions facilities, supportive housing and emergency shelters.

A health-care provider in the case of high-risk chronically ill adults or facility leadership in the case of congregate living must pre-register a person for vaccination, Southwestern public health said in a media release. More details are expected on Thursday.

In addition, one caregiver of an adult with a high-risk health condition is also eligible to be vaccinated.

Earlier this week, Southwestern public health expanded eligibility to include adults 70 and older, and also recently included Indigenous adults and select faith leaders as eligible to receive a shot.

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People now eligible to receive their vaccine in the Southwestern public health region include:

  • Adults 16 years of age and older with the following highest-risk health conditions:

    • Organ transplant recipients
    • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
    • Neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g., motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
    • Hematological malignancy diagnosed within one year
    • Kidney disease with an estimated glomerular filtration rate less than 30
  • Residents, primary essential caregivers and staff of high-risk congregate living settings (residential facilities where a high-risk client population live or stay overnight and use shared spaces)
    • Supportive housing
    • Developmental services/intervenor including supported independent living
    • Emergency homeless shelters
    • Other homeless populations not in shelters
    • Mental health and addictions congregate living
    • Homes for special care
    • Employer-provided living accommodations for temporary foreign agricultural workers
    • Adult correctional facilities
    • Violence Against Women shelters
    • Anti-Human Trafficking residences
    • Children’s residential facilities
    • Youth justice facilities
    • Indigenous healing and wellness
    • Bail beds and Indigenous bail beds
    • Provincial and demonstration schools/Consortium Centre Jules-Leger
    • Inpatients on rehabilitation, complex care, geriatrics and mental health units

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