Ontario expands vaccine booking eligibility
TORONTO — A stable and reliable increase in vaccine supply to Ontario is enabling the government to further expand eligibility to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment throughout the week of May 10, 2021.
As of Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., individuals with at-risk health conditions such as dementia, diabetes and sickle cell disease, as well as Group Two of people who cannot work from home including grocery store, restaurant and transportation workers will be eligible to book an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition, effective Thursday, May 13, 2021, at 8:00 a.m., individuals turning 40 and over in 2021 in non-hot spot communities will also be eligible to book an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass immunization clinic. Eligible individuals can schedule an appointment through the provincial booking system, or directly through public health units that use their own booking system. This builds upon the eligibility of those aged 18 and over in hot spot areas and is aligned with the rollout announced on May 2, 2021.
“With a stable and predictable supply of vaccines, Ontario’s vaccine rollout continues to pick up speed, and we are on track to administer a first dose to 65 per cent of Ontario adults by the end of May,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As we continue to vaccinate even more Ontarians, we remain focused on protecting those most at risk, and I want to thank all of our frontline health care workers for their tireless work each day to protect the health and safety of Ontarians.”
To make it easier than ever to get vaccinated, the province has expanded use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to pharmacies in hot spot areas. Nearly 80 pharmacy locations are offering the Pfizer vaccine in Toronto and Peel, and up to 60 pharmacies are offering the Moderna vaccine in Durham, Hamilton, Ottawa, Windsor-Essex and York regions to individuals aged 18 and over. Further expansion of pharmacy locations offering COVID-19 vaccines will continue through May.
In addition, due to increased vaccine supply the province is adding high-risk health care workers, dialysis patients, and all First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals to the list of those eligible to book their appointment to receive a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine earlier than the extended four-month interval. These groups face a greater risk of contracting and suffering serious illness from COVID-19. Eligibility for booking will begin by the end of the week of May 10, 2021 and booking details will be provided in the coming days.
Ontario continues to expand eligibility and access at mass immunization clinics, hospital clinics and pharmacies, and continues to conduct employer-based and community-based pop-up clinics. The province is on track to have administered first doses to 65 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over by the end of May.
“Ontario is responding to an increase in vaccine supply by ramping up its rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and expanding eligibility,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “While these latest steps forward are encouraging, we must continue to do all we can to save lives and reduce hospitalization by staying home and following public health measures.”
Ontarians who are now eligible to book their vaccine appointment are asked to be patient, as it could take time to receive their vaccine. Public health units are responsible for managing and overseeing the distribution and administration of vaccines for their entire region, and public health units may have different vaccine administration rates based on local context.
- As of May 9, 2021, at 8:00 p.m., over 6.2 million vaccine doses have been administered across the province, with over 92 per cent of Ontario residents aged 80 and over and 91 per cent of residents aged 75 to 79 having received at least one dose. More than 48 per cent of the population aged 18 and over have received at least one dose and over 393,000 Ontarians are fully immunized, including 95 per cent of long-term care residents.
- Visit Ontario’s website to find out if you are eligible to receive the vaccine at this time.
- Eligible groups can use Ontario’s vaccine booking system to find out how to schedule an appointment, or can call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line number at 1-833-943-3900. For general inquiries, individuals can call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line number at 1-888-999-6488 or TTY service is also available by calling 1-866-797-0007.
- Find out if you live in a hot spot community by visiting Ontario’s website for a list of designated postal codes.
- Visit ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine to find a pharmacy offering a COVID-19 vaccine and to book an appointment.
- The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has recommended extending the vaccination dose interval up to four months for all Health Canada approved two-dose COVID-19 vaccines while maintaining a strong and sustained level of protection from the virus. Ontario has accepted and has followed NACI’s recommendations as of March 10, 2021, with some limited exceptions. The dose interval as indicated in the product monographs for COVID-19 vaccines is 21 days for the Pfizer vaccine, 28 days for the Moderna vaccine, and 12 weeks for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
- Approximately 800,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Ontario per week at the start of May, ramping up to 940,000 doses per week by the end of May.