- Stephen Lecce, MPP
Ontario Expands COVID-19 Vaccination Locations to More Pharmacies
April 11, 2021
TORONTO — The Ontario government is rapidly increasing capacity in its COVID-19 vaccine roll-out with the addition of over 700 pharmacies across the province. These locations will start offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to individuals aged 55 and older throughout this week.
"With more local pharmacies coming on board, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine will be easier and more convenient for eligible populations across the province," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "I strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated when it's their turn. Until we receive enough vaccines so that the majority of Ontarians can be vaccinated it remains critical for everyone to continue following public health measures we know work and keep us safe."
This expansion will bring the total number of pharmacies offering the vaccine to over 1,400 locations and this number is expected to reach approximately 1,500 by the end of April. To find the nearest pharmacy offering vaccinations please visit: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations.
Expansion of pharmacies into hot spot communities also helps to increase access to vaccines for populations who have been most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic so far. "We are enabling Ontarians to access vaccines conveniently and closer to home by bringing more distribution channels on board," said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. "With the increasing spread of variants of concern and case counts in the thousands each day, we encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated and protect yourself and your family. For those still waiting, please be patient as your turn is coming."
Vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine at pharmacies require an appointment to be made in advance. As of April 3, eligible adults aged 55 and over in 2021 who are interested in booking an appointment, can visit ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine to find a participating pharmacy and can contact the pharmacy to make an appointment.
As these 700+ additional pharmacies start to offer the COVID-19 vaccine, they will be added to: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations.
Only COVID-19 vaccines that Health Canada determines to be safe and effective will be approved for use in Ontario. In alignment with updated NACI recommendations, Ontario will not use the AstraZeneca vaccine for individuals under 55, while data is being reviewed by Health Canada.
Participation and performance in the 2020-2021 Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP), as well as capacity and readiness for vaccinations, have been part of the criteria of selection to onboard pharmacies. The province is also ensuring that all pharmacies, chain and independent, are participating. Site selection also included input from local public health units, the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) and Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (NPAC). Regions with high COVID-19 rates were prioritized.
Ontario is currently under a Provincial Emergency and Stay-at-Home order. Ontarians are asked to limit trips outside the home to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable community members, or exercising outdoors with members of their household in their communities. Individuals should remain in their local communities and avoid all non-essential travel – even within the province – and stay home when ill even with mild symptoms. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.
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For up-to-date information on the populations currently eligible for vaccination and instructions on how to book an appointment when you are eligible, visit Ontario’s vaccine webpage.
Individuals aged 55 and over can visit ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine to find a participating pharmacy and can contact the pharmacy to make an appointment for COVID-19 vaccination.
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect the people of Ontario from COVID-19.