THUNDER BAY - The provincial government is expanding its vaccine rollout plans ahead of schedule as more doses are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
People over the age of 18 will be eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine through the province’s online booking system as of Tuesday, May 18 at 8 a.m.
Initially, the vaccine rollout strategy was to expand to individuals over the age of 30 the week of May 17, with those 18 and over the week of May 24.
According to a statement issued by the provincial government on Monday, 2.2 million doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive in the province this week.
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 statement reads.
Vaccines have already been made available to individuals over the age of 40, as well as people with high-risk health conditions and essential workers unable to work at home.
“Individuals who are 17 years old and are turning 18 in 2021 will also be eligible to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointment only for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine,” a statement from the province reads.
“The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized by Health Canada for use in youth aged 12 and over. The provincial booking system will note which clinics are not offering vaccines for those who are 17 years old.”
As of May 16, more than 7.2 million people over the age of 18 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition, the province continues to work with public health units, First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and boards of education to ensure youth in Ontario between 12 and 17 years of age will be eligible to book an appointment through the provincial booking system beginning the week of May 31, 2021, to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine,” the province said.