TORONTO — Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones issued the following statement:
“Yesterday we have achieved our goal of administering first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 40 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over by May 1. With over 4.8 million people having received their first shot, we are one step closer to defeating COVID-19.
Despite an inconsistent vaccine supply to date, the province has continued to build a solid foundation in Ontario’s vaccine rollout, with a focus on age and risk, allowing us to reach our most vulnerable populations and have a measurable impact.
As of April 30, over 5.2 million doses have been administered across the province, starting with the province’s most vulnerable populations, including long-term care residents. Over 91 per cent of Ontarians aged 80 and over have received at least one dose. Over 25,000 first and second doses have been administered in 31 fly-in First Nations communities and Moosonee, and 95 per cent of long-term care residents are now fully vaccinated, providing a layer of protection to those who need it most.
The province has also continued to expand delivery channels, helping to vaccinate more Ontarians faster. Today, Ontario has over 300 primary care settings, 1,400 pharmacy locations, and 189 mass immunization sites supporting its vaccine rollout in addition to mobile and pop-up clinics occurring in hot spot communities, building the capacity for the province to deliver 150,000 doses each day. Ontario has continued to ramp up its rollout, surpassing five million doses administered in eight days since administering the fourth million.
Now, with an expected increase in vaccine supply from the federal government, the Ontario government is preparing to ramp up its rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to further support at-risk communities. This includes a targeted, time-limited commitment to allocate 50 per cent of upcoming vaccine shipments to hot spot communities to reduce COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in these areas.
More predictable supply from the federal government also allows us to continue to expand booking eligibility across the province, with individuals aged 18 and older eligible to book through the provincial booking system as early as the week of May 24, 2021.
Ontario is on track to offer first dose vaccinations to ten million people by the end of June with a steady supply of vaccines from the federal government.
We are incredibly grateful to all our frontline health care workers, the public health units and many other partners whose hard work has helped us come this far.
Today’s achievement is another encouraging step forward as we work together to ensure the majority of Ontarians have received the vaccine. Whether you received your first or both doses, we all must continue following the public health measures we know work and keep us safe.
The best vaccine remains the first one you’re offered, and we strongly encourage everyone to book an appointment as soon as it’s their turn. By doing so, we can protect our families, friends and loved ones, and stop the spread of COVID-19.”