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Ontario announces vaccine appointments available to “pregnant individuals”


The Ontario government announced on Friday that COVID-19 vaccination appointments are now available to all “pregnant individuals.” 

“As of April 23, all pregnant individuals can register for #COVID19 vaccination appointments under the “highest risk” health conditions in Phase Two of the province’s vaccine rollout,” tweeted Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott on Friday.

The decision comes as the Ontario government changes the way it classified pregnant women in its vaccine priority list.

Prior to the announcement, pregnant women were considered to be “at risk,” however, under the new changes pregnant women are now considered to be in the “highest risk” category. 

This is not the first instance where public health rulings referred to pregnant women as “people” or “individuals.”

In January, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam published a tweet advising “pregnant people” to get their flu shots. 

“Pregnant people and children under 5 are at higher risk of complications from the #flu. Keep everyone safe. Get the #flushot. Check for vaccine availability near you,” Dr. Tam tweeted.

In another instance, British Columbia’s Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC) published a guide on “inclusive” language-use surrounding the COVID-19 virus which advised against using terms like “men and women” because they are not gender inclusive enough. 

“The phrase ‘men and women’ excludes non-binary people, and it is unclear whether it includes trans men and women. And ‘guys” is not gender inclusive – people, everyone, folks, or folx are gender-neutral and thereby inclusive,” wrote the BC CDC.

The guide also advises Canadians to avoid referring to people’s penises and vaginas and instead use the terms “internal genital” and “external genitals.” 

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