Ontario Accelerates Rollout of Second Shots Targeting a Two-Dose Summer

Second doses of the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine are prepared at a midtown Toronto pharmacy

After May 31 (and the expiry of the oldest doses of AstraZeneca the province now has on hand), people who received their first dose of the AZ vaccine will be eligible to receive their second 12 weeks after they had their first, starting with those who received their first dose on March 21.

About 595,000 Ontarians have been fully vaccinated with two doses.

Ontario has reached a key milestone in its fight against COVID-19, having achieved its target to administer first doses to 65 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over ahead of schedule. The first group who will be eligible to book will be people who received their first dose between March 8 and April 18. Most residents are now waiting about four months between each dose, with some exceptions for those in long-term care, high-risk health-care workers and people with specific health conditions.

The province released a timeline for when each age group will become eligible for their second dose.

The province will use a "first-in, first out' method for second dose vaccinations in an effort to allow those who were administered a dose early in the rollout to get their second shot accordingly".

Up until now Ontario had only opened up second shots to residents with the highest-risk health conditions and to people who received AstraZeneca in March. Second dose appointments can also be booked (without a first appointment) in the provincial booking system.

The premier also addressed the question about children returning to school before the end of the June.

From there, the rest of the population will be able to accelerate their second doses beginning on June 28, based on the date they received their first shot.

Week of August 9: individuals who received their first dose from the week of May 31 onwards on a "first-in, first out" basis, respecting the recommended intervals.

Most provinces stopped giving first doses of AstraZeneca earlier this month due to the risk of recipients developing a rare but potentially fatal blood clotting condition. The shots are being offered through select pharmacies at 10 week interval in order to make use of 45,000 doses that are nearing expiration.

Week of July 19: individuals who received their first dose between the week of April 19 to May 9, on a "first-in, first-out" basis.

The risk of blood clots is significantly lower during the second dose of AstraZeneca, officials added at the time.

Individuals who received a first dose of AstraZeneca could receive a second dose of a different vaccine if required, officials said while warning that the province is still waiting for more guidance on mixing vaccines.

In a letter to her provincial and territorial counterparts, federal Health Minster Patty Hajdu encourages provinces that aren't able to get their AstraZeneca doses into people's arms by the end of the month to give them to provinces that can. Acceleration of AstraZeneca second doses will proceed on a 12-week interval, with booking eligibility based on date of first dose.

In addition, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is being offered at an accelerated pace with a 10-week interval for individuals who received their first dose between March 10 to March 19, 2021.

This is a breaking news story.



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