covid vaccine ontario

Ontario is opening its COVID vaccine booking system to everyone 18+ this week

Beginning tomorrow, anyone over the age of 18 in Ontario will be able to access the province's COVID-19 vaccine booking system to set up an appointment for their first shot, regardless of where they live.

This is huge news, not only because it's happening a week earlier than scheduled, but because it demonstrates how much faster the province is moving when it comes to immunizations — an area in which we were previously seen to be direly inadequate.

"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," reads a release issued by the provincial government Monday morning.

"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."

The government announced this morning that, as of 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, all individuals "aged 18 and over in 2021 across Ontario" will be eligible to book an appointment for their first vaccine through the province's own booking system or directly through their local public health units.

Previous to this development, only adults in one of Ontario's 114 hot spot communities, or those with specific high-risk jobs or health conditions, were eligible to book in for vaccines at immunization clinics. 

People over the age of 40 hd been able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine at pharmacies since April 20, but the province paused the administration of that particular vaccine last week due to concerns over a potential side effect called vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).

"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," reads the government release.

"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."

The province says it will continue expanding access to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines through as many channels as possible, starting with this weekend's expansion of 500 additional pharmacy locations in hot spot regions.

Lead photo by

Dominic Bugatto

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