The provincial government announced an increased supply of vaccines would allow an expansion of eligibility for the vaccines. As of last Friday, anyone aged 55 or over will be allowed to book an appointment through the provincial booking system at covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/. The age bands were expected to drop weekly until May 24, when everybody aged 18 and over would be eligible to make a booking. As of last Thursday, licensed childcare workers were also eligible to book a vaccine.
The number of residents eligible to book vaccines will expand even further on Thursday, when from 8:00 a.m., people aged 50 or over (born in 1971 or earlier) will be able to use the province’s booking system. Individuals with high-risk health conditions or could not work from home during the pandemic in certain industries would also be eligible.
The government announced that a greater percentage of vaccines would be distributed to hot spots across Ontario for two weeks starting from Monday. At present, no postcode in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) was listed as a hotspot. EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said the change would not affect the approximately 58,000 doses already secured for the region and due to arrive over the next month.
“The vaccines are guaranteed to us through to the end of May, and that will go up if we get Moderna allocations,” he said. “We anticipate our vaccine supply to increase dramatically at the end of May into June. I think we’ll have a good proportion of the population done into the first week of June.”
More than 60,000 vaccines have been administered across the EOHU area. Over the past week, 8298 doses were administered through mass vaccination clinics, while hospitals and primary health providers issued another 1057.
Bookings also remained available through pharmacies for AstraZeneca vaccines to those aged 40 and over. Six pharmacies in the EOHU – Embrun Remedy’s Rx, Pharmacie Jean Coutu on Main Street East in Hawkesbury, Walmart Pharmacy in Rockland, FreshCo Pharmacy and Shopper’s Drug Mart in Cornwall, and Seaway Valley Pharmacy in Winchester – were administering vaccines.