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Hot spots to get extra COVID vaccine as supplies increase, age limit to drop to 18

Hot spots to get extra COVID vaccine as supplies increase, age limit to drop to 18

With more reliable supplies of COVID vaccine in the pipeline for May the province is expanding the age limits for receiving shots. Of the roughly 3 Million Pfizer doses that Ontario expects to receive in May the province will increase the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to hot spot communities by over one million doses through a targeted, time-limited response designed to reduce COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in these areas. A government news release says, “This approach will not take away vaccines from other public health unit regions, whose allocations will remain the same as previously planned and will increase later in May. Public health units can use local knowledge to ramp up capacity and effectively target hot spots, whether provincially identified or otherwise.

In addition, as shipments of vaccine increase in quantity, The government says it can expand eligibility to persons aged 18 and older who will be able to book through the provincial booking system as early as the week of May 24, 2021.

Starting Friday, individuals aged 55 and over are eligible to book a vaccine appointment through the government portal. This same day, a pilot will launch through select pharmacy locations in hot spot communities to administer the Pfizer vaccine to individuals aged 55 and over. Eight stores in Peel and eight in Toronto will participate in this pilot, with each location receiving approximately 150 doses per week. This is expected to expand to additional public health units later in May following evaluation of the program and as supply allows. Pharmacies will continue to use their own booking system for appointments.

Health Minister Christine Elliott was asked about stories that some people who have had the first shot are coming down with COVID.

“Ontario’s vaccine rollout is continuing to focus on getting vaccines to those most at risk” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “With a stable and reliable supply of vaccines on the way, we will continue expanding access to the vaccine in communities across the province, especially those areas that continue to be hit hardest by COVID-19. The best vaccine remains the first one you’re offered, and I strongly encourage everyone to sign up as soon as it’s their turn.”

More information on the province’s vaccine timetable can be found here.

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