• Stephen Lecce, MPP

COVID-19 Vaccine Booking Expanding to Ontarians 18+ Ahead of Schedule

May 17, 2021

TORONTO — As the pace of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues to accelerate with 2.2 million doses scheduled to arrive this week, the government is extending booking eligibility at mass immunization clinics to individuals aged 18 and over. This high number of doses is due to an early delivery of the week of May 24 shipment, to accommodate the long weekend, and is an opportunity for the province to offer an appointment to receive the vaccine to more Ontarians ahead of schedule. As of 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, individuals aged 18 and over in 2021 across Ontario will be eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment through the provincial booking system and call centre, or directly through public health units that use their own booking system. On May 3, 2021, the government expanded booking eligibility to those 18 and over in 2021 and who live in one of the 114 hot spot communities. Individuals who are 17 years old and are turning 18 in 2021 will also be eligible to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointment only for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized by Health Canada for use in youth aged 12 and over. The provincial booking system will note which clinics are not offering vaccines for those who are 17 years old. Ontario is experiencing very positive trends in vaccine demand. The province and public health units will continue to make appointments available as vaccine supply is confirmed. In addition, the province continues to work with public health units, First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and boards of education to ensure youth in Ontario between 12 and 17 years of age will be eligible to book an appointment through the provincial booking system beginning the week of May 31, 2021, to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. We are also working to encourage eligible family members who have not received a vaccine to attend these clinics to get youth and their families vaccinated as quickly as possible. As of Tuesday, May 18, 2021, public health units may choose to provide vaccines to those aged 12 and over in pop-up and mobile clinics, as well as for walk-in appointments where the Pfizer vaccine is offered. This will include First Nations, Inuit and Métis clinics that offer the Pfizer vaccine. There will also be dedicated clinic times for youth during the weeks of June 14 and 21, 2021. The province achieved a significant milestone on May 12, 2021, having administered a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to over half of all Ontarians aged 18 and over, and is on track to reach 65 per cent of adults by the end of the month. As of May 15, 2021, over seven million doses have been administered provincewide. Across the province, the government is continuing to expand access to the vaccine through a variety of channels. On May 14, 2021, over 500 additional pharmacies in all 13 hot spot public health regions began administering the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Quick Facts

  • As of May 16, 2021, at 8:00 p.m., over 7.2 million vaccine doses have been administered across the province, with over 93 per cent of Ontario residents aged 80 and over and more than 92 per cent of residents aged 75 to 79 having received at least one dose. More than 55 per cent of the population aged 18 and over have received at least one dose and more than 432,000 Ontarians are fully immunized, including 96 per cent of long-term care residents.

  • In May, Ontario expects to receive approximately 4.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Approximately 4.7 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected in June. Vaccine allocations for July have not been provided 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.

  • Ontarians who are now eligible to book their vaccine appointment are asked to be patient, as it could take time to receive their vaccine appointment. 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.

  • 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.

  • As of May 11, 2021, following the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams, the province paused the rollout and administration of first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The decision was made out of an abundance of caution due to an observed increase in an adverse reaction, known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. Second dose planning is currently underway and guidance will be provided in advance of individuals who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine needing to receive their second dose.

  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) provided strong recommendation for 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 accepted and has followed NACI's recommendation as of March 10, 2021, with some limited exceptions.

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