As supplies gradually begin to stabilize, the government continues to offer first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to residents in long-term care, high-risk retirement, and First Nations elder care homes. However, the news that Health Canada has approved the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is very encouraging. The province’s decisions on who will get the AstraZeneca vaccine will be based on guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).
We are ready to administer the COVID-19 vaccine and expand vaccination sites as doses are received from the federal government. We will be expanding the number of sites where Phase Two populations can receive a vaccine:
- Starting March 15th, the province will launch an online booking system and a provincial customer service desk to answer questions and support appointment bookings at mass immunization clinics. This will initially support individuals over the age of 80 as part of Phase One, eventually extending to more groups during Phase Two.
- Phase two vaccination sites will include: municipally run vaccination sites, hospital sites, mobile vaccination sites, pharmacies, clinics, primary care settings, and community locations such as community health centres and aboriginal health access centres. A pilot for pharmacy vaccine administration is planned for mid-March in select regions, including Toronto,
- We will have a baseline capacity to vaccinate nearly 40,000 people a day in the coming weeks, and we have the ability to triple or quadruple this capacity with notice.
Phase One of Ontario’s vaccination rollout is well underway. Over 80 per cent of long-term care residents are fully immunized and public health units are working with homes to vaccinate staff and essential caregivers as a priority. By focusing early vaccination efforts on long-term care residents, combined with public health measures, Ontario has notably rapidly reduced infections and the daily death rates in long-term care homes.
With vaccine supply stabilizing and over two million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine expected from the federal government before the end of March, the province to enter Phase Two of its vaccine rollout. Between April 2021 and July 2021, up to nine million Ontarians will be vaccinated.
During Phase Two, groups that will receive the vaccine include:
- Older adults between 60-79 years of age;
- Individuals with specific health conditions and some primary caregivers;
- People who live and work in congregate settings and some primary caregivers;
- People who live in hot spots with high rates of death, hospitalizations and transmission; and,
- Certain workers who cannot work from home.
Other important information:
- An on-line portal will be available for bookings by March 15, 2021 (except for bookings in pharmacies – see below for details);
- You will NOT need an OHIP card to get a vaccine. If you do not have one, please take a driver’s license or passport with you for your appointment;
- You are encouraged to arrive for your appointment 10 – 15 minutes ahead of time. Please do not arrive an hour or two ahead of time as you may have to stand in line for your time slot. If you have an appointment, you will get a vaccine;
- Please do not leave your health unit and travel to another area. All health units will be given enough doses for everyone;
- Please do not try to book an appointment yet if you are not in phase 1 or 2.
Options to receive a vaccine:
- Hospitals including Scarborough Health Network.
- Mobile Unite
- Pharmacies. They will have their own booking system so contact your local pharmacy directly and do not use the provincial system for booking at a pharmacy;
- Your Family Doctor;