Dose 4 plan in the works to combat COVID

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By Pam Wright

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A provincial plan to roll out dose number four of the COVID-19 vaccine for those that are eligible is in the works.

Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health Dr. David Colby said Thursday that officials are currently working on a new policy.

“One will be forthcoming,” Dr. David Colby noted. “There’s no question…we’ve got to get our minds around that.”

Colby’s comments come a day after U.S. president Joe Biden received his second booster.

The Americans are now preparing a plan to inoculate citizens 50 years of age and over, while Quebec is getting ready to vaccinate residents at-risk groups and those aged 80 and up.

Scientists say a sixth wave of the virus is now underway with the BA.2 variant forming the bulk of cases.

Colby wants to stress that while receiving two doses of the vaccine is considered to be full vaccination against the initial strain of COVID-19, that’s not true with the newer, more transmissible variants.

“There are lots of people who need the fourth dose,” Colby explained, adding it was true only two shots were needed until the arrival of Omicron.

“We are still trying to get people to get third shots,” he said.

However, he said vaccination rates and protection from a previous infection will help keep numbers down.

“More than half of people over 12 have received that third dose, so we’ve got a lot of immunity,” he said.

Another game changer in the fight against COVID-19, said Colby, is the availability of new antiviral drugs, which can be administered to patients before they become too ill.

Both of the area’s biggest school boards are reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases, however, neither the Lambton Kent public board, nor the St. Clair Catholic board have had to close schools or classrooms.

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