Sinthia Hoque:- Ontario to lower age threshold for COVID-19 vaccine to 75 on Monday, as well as expanding pharmacy rollout.
New changes to come on Monday following a mass COVID-19 vaccination, lowering the age threshold for COVID-19 vaccine, which is currently at aged 80 and above to 70 and above. Residents can use the province’s online booking portal to sign up.
The announcement was made in Etobicoke on Friday by Premier Doug Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliot, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, and retired Gen. Rick Hillier, chair of the province’s COVID-19 task force.
“Thanks to the efforts of other people in the pharmacy in the army of frontline healthcare heroes and volunteer’s we’re getting needles in arms even faster than we could ever imagine”, said Ford.
According to the premier, more than 50 per cent of residents aged 80 and above have already received at least one dose of a vaccine.
Given the recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, the province will make some new adjustments to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Residents aged 60 and over will be eligible to receive a vaccine at a Ontario pharmacy or their primary health care provider, on March 22nd.
Due to the insufficient data found as to how efficient the shot would be in seniors, a decision to only administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to those aged between 60 and 64 was made.
According to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommendations after reviewing three real-world studies, they think AstraZeneca vaccine was safe and effective in older residents.
Ford announces on Friday that another 350 pharmacies are expected to begin administrating the vaccine within the next two weeks. This is expected to bring the total number of pharmacies participating in the vaccine rollout to 700.
By April, the government hopes to have more than 1,500 pharmacies on the list.
Those who wish to get the AstraZeneca vaccine are required to book an appointment through one of the pharmacies website. These systems will differentiate from the province’s booking portal.
Though it is still unclear as to when Ontario will receive another shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine, details on the new locations of the new pharmacies involved in COVID-19 rollout, will be announced in the upcoming days.
Residents can find the list of pharmacies on its websites.
News and picture source: CTV