Ontario is expanding online booking for COVID-19 vaccinations to those 75 and older as of March 22, but Premier Doug Ford said the lack of a stable supply of vaccines is slowing efforts for widespread vaccinations.**
Speaking from a Shoppers Drug Mart in Etobicoke, Ford said today more than 50 per cent of Ontario residents aged 80 and over have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Having achieved this milestone, the Ontario government announced today it is expanding appointments through its online booking system to individuals aged 75 and over this coming Monday.
Those not living in a congregate care setting can book a vaccination by clicking here or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Information Line number at 1-888-999-6488. The line is open Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is capable of providing assistance in 300 languages.
The province also said today it continues to expand delivery channels through pharmacies, with another 350 pharmacies to be brought on board in the next two weeks bringing the total to approximately 700 locations.
By the end of April, Ontario hopes to double the number of pharmacies again to 1,500.
As it stands today, only pharmacies in Toronto, Windsor-Essex County, and Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington are offering vaccine clinics. The province said in today's announcement the pharmacy clinics would be expanded across the province, but has not yet provided specific information on that expansion.
Ontario announced today that is has expanded the pharmacy clinic eligibility to include those age 60 and over.
If the province had a more stable supply of vaccines, pharmacies could play a bigger role in inoculation efforts, Ontario said in a news release.
“Depending on vaccine supply, retail pharmacies could administer up to 40 per cent of all vaccinations by the end of April.”
To date, more than 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the province, including over 129,000 doses administered to long-term care home residents. Over 294,000 Ontarians are fully immunized, including over 61,000 long term-care home residents.
Ontario expects to receive 1,454,310 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this month. The province has received limited allocations of the Moderna and AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, with 483,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine split over three weeks, and 194,500 doses of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine received the week of March 8.
Ontario’s exact allocations and delivery timing for the Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccines after March are pending confirmation from the federal government and are not known at this time.
**The headline on an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated pharmacy bookings were available for those 75 and older. The headline has been corrected.