People aged 80 and over can get their second shot of COVID vaccine starting next week. Premier Ford made that announcement today and added that persons 70 and over will be able to get their second shot staring on June 14. If there is sufficient vaccine supply, it is anticipated that the majority of Ontario residents who choose to receive the vaccine will be able to be fully vaccinated by the end of summer.
Due to a reliable and increased supply of vaccines throughout May, Ontario has been able to quickly expand eligibility and access at mass vaccinations sites, hospital clinics and pharmacies, with all Ontarians aged 12 and over eligible to book an appointment to receive the vaccine ahead of schedule. With over 8.6 million doses administered, and over 8 million people having received at least one dose, the province has reached its target to administer first doses to 65 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over by the end of May.
While the interval between first and second doses can be up to 16 weeks, Ontario will begin to offer second dose appointments at an earlier interval, based on availability of vaccines. The timing of second dose appointments may vary based on local considerations, vaccine supply and the date of first dose appointment. Health Minister Christine Elliott said people can either wait for their original second shot appointment or they can log onto the provincial portal for a possible earlier second shot.
To support this accelerated rollout, the province has developed an anticipated schedule for eligibility to accelerate second doses based on confirmed supply. This will begin with individuals turning 80 and over in 2021, who will be eligible to book their second dose appointment expected to begin on May 31, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., followed by individuals aged 70 and over scheduled to begin the week of June 14, 2021. The province will then continue to expand eligibility for second dose appointments based on date of first dose. Ontario will further accelerate the rollout of second doses in the event that the federal government confirms increased vaccine deliveries.
Ontarians who have had their first dose and are eligible for an accelerated second dose may be able to return to the same site or channel where they received their first dose for their second dose appointment, or may choose to book an appointment at a different site or channel. Second dose appointments can be rebooked through the provincial booking system and through pharmacies. For those in public health units who use their own booking system, or who received their doses from the primary care provider or through a pop-up clinic, more information will follow on how and when second dose booking and rebooking will be available. Second dose appointments can also be booked (without a first appointment) in the provincial booking system.
Ontario has already begun offering second doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at an accelerated pace with a 10-week interval for individuals who received their first dose between March 10 to March 19, 2021. Acceleration of AstraZeneca second doses will be provided at a 12-week interval, dependent on vaccine supply, with booking eligibility based on the date of the first dose. Eligible individuals are encouraged to contact the pharmacy or primary care provider where they received their first dose to book an appointment. They might be redirected to a local pharmacy that is participating in administering second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Primary care settings and pharmacies may also be reaching out to eligible Ontarians. The province will provide further guidance based on advice expected shortly from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) with respect to administering doses of two different vaccine types. This advice will be provided in advance of the 12-week interval when most people are needing to receive their second dose.
As of May 27, 2021, at 8 p.m., over 8.6 million vaccine doses have been administered across the province, with 94.5 per cent of Ontario residents aged 80 and over, and 90.4 per cent of residents aged 70 to 79 having received at least one dose. More than 65 per cent of the population aged 18 and over have received at least one dose and more than 624,900 Ontarians are fully immunized, including 97 per cent of long-term care residents.
In May, Ontario received approximately 4.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Approximately 4.7 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected in June and approximately 3.5 million doses in July.