COVID-19 vaccine second doses

Ontario will accelerate second COVID-19 vaccine doses in 7 hot spots

To further stop the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, provincial officials announced on Thursday that they will accelerate second doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines in seven hot spot areas where the Delta variant (first discovered in India) is a concern: Halton, Peel, Porcupine, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, and York public health units.

As of Monday June 14 at 8 a.m., any individual who already received their first vax on or before May 9, can book their second vaccine through the provincial booking system, at eligible pharmacies, or through local public health booking systems. Ontarians can also call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line: 1-888-999-6488 (TTY service: 1-866-797-0007).

Mobile clinics (via workplaces/employer-led) in Toronto, Peel, and York will also begin providing second doses the week of Sunday June 20.

“Ontario’s vaccine rollout continues to pick up speed with over one million doses being administered each week, ensuring Ontario can safely and gradually lift public health measures,” said Christine Elliott, Ontario’s Minister of Health stated on Thursday. “With an increased supply of vaccines, we continue to make it easier than ever to receive a vaccine to help protect those most at risk against COVID-19 variants, stop the spread and protect our hospital capacity.”

Vaccine doses won’t be restricted by postal codes in these hot spots, and the province will expand eligibility for accelerated second doses across Ontario when additional vaccine allocations and shipment timelines are confirmed by the federal government.

As of Thursday, 10,627,469 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered out of 11,688,315 doses delivered (meaning 90.9% of doses delivered have been administered).

Ontario is expecting nearly 8 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in July, and is expecting that the federal government will provide over two million doses of the Moderna vaccine before the end of June.

As of June 9, 95% of Ontarians aged 80 and over and nearly 92% of Ontarians aged 70 to 79 have received at least one dose of their vaccine. More than 73% of the Ontario population aged 18 and over and more than 39% of youth aged 12 to 17 have received at least one dose. More than 1,399,700 Ontarians are fully immunized, including 99% of long-term care residents.

Meanwhile, Ontario reported 590 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday (an increase from the 411 cases reported the previous day) and 11 more deaths from the illness (a decrease from the 33 deaths reported the previous day).

The vaccine updates came one day before Ontario moves into step one of its Roadmap to Reopen.

Beginning 12:01 a.m., Friday, June 11, outdoor social gatherings in Ontario can increase in size, non-essential retail stores and patios can open with limits, and indoor religious services, rites, and ceremonies (limited to 15% capacity) will be permitted.

Click here for more COVID-19 Ontario updates.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO