Ontario residents born in 1981 or earlier outside of hot spot postal codes become eligible to book COVID-19 vaccines at mass immunization clinics on Thursday morning.
As of 8 a.m., eligible individuals can schedule an appointment through the provincial booking system, or directly through public health units that use their own booking system.
Earlier this week, individuals with health conditions deemed “at risk” and Group Two of people who cannot work from home also became eligible to book.
Due to increased vaccine supply the province will be adding high-risk health care workers, dialysis patients, and all First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals to the list of those eligible to book an appointment to receive their second dose of the vaccine earlier than the extended four-month interval.
The province says booking for this will open by the end of the week and more details will be provided.
The City of Toronto is opening 5,000 new vaccination appointments to help meet the demand as the eligibility expands. The shots will be delivered between May 17 and May 23.
The city also says more than 20,000 appointments will remains open for the week of June 7.
Half of vaccine supply is being diverted to COVID-19 hot spots this week, based on the recommendation of the province’s scientific advisers.
Starting next week, vaccines are set to be distributed per capita once again.
With the province no longer administering first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to an increased risk of blood clots, the Ford government says a new shipment of around 250,000 doses will be allocated for people that need a second shot.
Speaking on Tuesday, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams said the decision was made as Ontario receives larger shipments of other vaccines, such as Pfizer and Moderna, adding that those who received the first dose of AstraZeneca could be eligible to get a different shot for their second dose.
The province will receive nearly 800,000 doses a week of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the rest of May with just under a million doses a week coming through June and into July.
Ontario is anticipating just over 400,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine next week.
Just over 115,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine are in the province with a delivery date currently pending.
Ontario’s vaccine effort had been criticized initially for a slow and bumpy start. The rollout has ramped up in recent weeks and the government said Wednesday that half of the province’s adults have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
As of 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, 6,491,666 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across Ontario. Over 400,000 people have been fully vaccinated.
There were 140,785 vaccine doses administered in the last 24 hour period. It is just the third time the province has administered more than 140,000 doses in a day.