Ontario Continues to Expand Booking Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccines

Published on May 10, 2021

Beamsville - With the province reaching over 6 million vaccine doses administered, a stable and reliable increase in vaccine supply to Ontario is enabling the government to further expand eligibility to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment throughout the week of May 10, 2021.

As of Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., individuals with at-risk health conditions such as dementia, diabetes and sickle cell disease, as well as Group Two of people who cannot work from home including grocery store, restaurant and transportation workers will be eligible to book an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition, effective Thursday, May 13, 2021, at 8:00 a.m., individuals turning 40 and over in 2021 in non-hot spot communities will also be eligible to book an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass immunization clinic. Eligible individuals can schedule an appointment through the provincial booking system, or directly through public health units that use their own booking system. This builds upon the eligibility of those aged 18 and over in hot spot areas and is aligned with the rollout announced on May 2, 2021.

"With a stable and predictable supply of vaccines, Ontario's vaccine rollout continues to pick up speed, and we are on track to administer a first dose to 65 per cent of Ontario adults by the end of May," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

"As we continue to vaccinate even more Ontarians, we remain focused on protecting those most at risk, and I want to thank all of our frontline health care workers for their tireless work each day to protect the health and safety of Ontarians."

"Ontario has the capacity to administer hundreds of thousands of vaccines per day," said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

"It's good to see these vaccines are finally arriving in large quantities throughout May, leading to the ability to vaccinate and protect many more Ontarians. This expansion of eligibility will help protect the health of people in Niagara, and ensure we are able to safely reopen sooner rather than later."

To make it easier than ever to get vaccinated, the province has expanded use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to pharmacies in hot spot areas. Nearly 80 pharmacy locations are offering the Pfizer vaccine in Toronto and Peel, and up to 60 pharmacies are offering the Moderna vaccine in Durham, Hamilton, Ottawa, Windsor-Essex and York regions to individuals aged 18 and over. Further expansion of pharmacy locations offering COVID-19 vaccines will continue through May.

In addition, due to increased vaccine supply the province is adding high-risk health care workers, dialysis patients, and all First Nations, Inuit and M├ętis individuals to the list of those eligible to book their appointment to receive a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine earlier than the extended four-month interval. These groups face a greater risk of contracting and suffering serious illness from COVID-19. Eligibility for booking will begin by the end of the week of May 10, 2021 and booking details will be provided in the coming days.

Ontario continues to expand eligibility and access at mass immunization clinics, hospital clinics and pharmacies, and continues to conduct employer-based and community-based pop-up clinics. The province is on track to have administered first doses to 65 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over by the end of May.

"Ontario is responding to an increase in vaccine supply by ramping up its rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and expanding eligibility," said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.

"While these latest steps forward are encouraging, we must continue to do all we can to save lives and reduce hospitalization by staying home and following public health measures."

Ontarians who are now eligible to book their vaccine appointment are asked to be patient, as it could take time to receive their vaccine. Public health units are responsible for managing and overseeing the distribution and administration of vaccines for their entire region, and public health units may have different vaccine administration rates based on local context.