Ontario opening COVID-19 vaccine booking to those 18+ starting Tuesday

Ontario is opening up eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines to everyone aged 18 and older a week ahead of schedule, the province said Monday.

Those who meet the criteria can begin booking appointments through the province’s online portal and call centre or through their local public health unit, depending on where they live, as of 8 a.m. ET Tuesday.

Ontario expects some 2.2 million more doses of vaccines to arrive this week ahead of the Victoria Day long weekend. 

Meanwhile, Ontarians who are 17 and set to turn 18 in 2021 will also be able to book an appointment for a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the only one currently approved for use in adolescents aged 12 and older in Canada, starting Thursday.

This week, Ontario is shifting gears in its distribution of vaccines, with doses being sent to public health units solely on a per capita basis.

For the last two weeks, 50 per cent of all available doses had been going to 114 provincially-designated hot spots.

Ontario recently reached a new milestone, with 154,104 shots administered last Friday — the most ever on a single day and the first time the province has topped the 150,000 threshold it has been aiming for.

Meanwhile on Sunday, a mass vaccination site hosted by Michael Garron Hospital on the east side of Toronto administered shots to 10,470 people in just one day.

The achievement followed a 32-hour long event in Peel Region called Doses After Dark that saw nearly 5,000 residents get a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

About 54 per cent of all Ontarians aged 16 and older have now had at least one dose of a vaccine.

Premier Doug Ford made a visit to the event in Peel, where he told reporters that Ontario’s summer camps would be given a green light to operate this season, though he didn’t offer any details.

A spokesman from his office later said details would be revealed before the provincial lifts if current stay-at-home order, which was recently extended to June 2 in a bid to help combat the pandemic’s third wave.

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