Ontarians will be able to get their second dose of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine sooner than originally expected.
Premier Doug Ford announced the province's plan to accelerate the second dose appointments, starting with the most vulnerable population.
"Starting on Monday [at 7 a.m. CDT], second doses will be offered to anyone over 80 years, followed by anyone over 70 years beginning the week of June 14," said Premier Ford.
The Premier praised the steady and reliable supply of vaccines and Ontarians' willingness to roll up their sleeves as the province reached its target to administer first doses to 65 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over by the end of May. As of May 28, over 8.6 million doses have been administered in the province.
“Having made so much progress administering first doses, we are now in a position to begin delivering second doses for a two-dose summer. If we receive more vaccines from the federal government, we’ll be able to accelerate our rollout further to offer more protection to Ontarians even sooner,” noted the Premier.
Eligibility will continue to expand in the coming weeks on a first-come, first-serve basis.
"That means we'll expand second doses based on the date you received your first," said the Premier.
He noted that the time between your first and second dose could be reduced to as little as four weeks, down from 16 weeks, depending on the vaccine supply and availability of appointments in your region.
When eligibility expands, Ontarians will be able to rebook their second dose appointments through the provincial booking system or through pharmacies. Those that got the first dose, that don't have a second dose appointment booked, will also be able to book their second dose appointments through the provincial booking system.
The province reaffirmed its commitment to get as many youths vaccinated prior to the start of the 2021-2022 school year. The goal is to administer as many first doses as possible to youth aged 12 to 17 by the end of June and offer second doses before the end of August.
The province later offered specific details for Ontarians that received a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Those that received their first dose between March 10 and March 19 are currently eligible to receive their second dose.
For anyone that received their first dose after March 19, the second dose appointment has been accelerated to a 12-week interval, which is dependent on vaccine supply, with booking eligibility based on when the first dose was received.
The province expects to offer further guidance based on advice expected shortly from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) with respect to administering doses of two different vaccine types.
To ensure access to COVID-19 vaccination for youth aged 12 to 17 in Ontario’s 31 fly-in northern communities and Moosonee, Ornge will lead Operation Remote Immunity 2.0 starting on May 31, 2021. The province is expecting to administer first and second doses to youth aged 12 and over in each of these communities by the end of July.