TORONTO — Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues to expand, with youth aged 12 and over eligible to book their appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine beginning this weekend.
As of 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 23, 2021, youth aged 12 and over across Ontario will be eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment through the provincial booking system and call centre, as well as at select pharmacies administering the Pfizer vaccine. To book an appointment online, these individuals must already be 12 years old as of the date of their booking.
Individuals who are not 12 years old on Sunday, May 23, 2021 can book an appointment for a later date through the provincial call centre or directly through public health units that use their own booking system. The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized by Health Canada for use in individuals aged 12 and over. In addition, the province is encouraging eligible family members who have not received a vaccine to attend these clinics to get youth and their families vaccinated as quickly as possible.
The changes are at the request of some public health units to remove barriers for families requesting vaccines. Public health units may have different vaccine administration rates based on local context, and the province and public health units will continue to make appointments available as vaccine supply is confirmed.
On May 18, 2021, select public health units began providing vaccines to those aged 12 and over in pop-up and mobile clinics, as well as for walk-in appointments where the Pfizer vaccine is offered. This has included First Nations, Inuit and Métis clinics that offer the Pfizer vaccine. Clinic times for youth are also planned for the weeks of June 14 and 21, 2021.
Across the province, the government is continuing to expand access to the vaccine through a variety of channels. As of Friday, May 21, 2021, an additional 600 pharmacies across the province will begin offering the Pfizer vaccine to individuals turning 18 in 2021. In addition, beginning Sunday, May 23, 2021, individuals aged 12 and over at the time of vaccination will also be eligible to book an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at pharmacies that offer Pfizer. By the end of May, over 2,400 pharmacies will be offering Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, providing convenient access across the province.
Offering the protection of the vaccine to youth aged 12 and over is a significant milestone in Ontario’s fight against COVID-19. The province is on track to have administered a first dose of COVID-19 vaccines to ten million Ontarians by the end of June and 65 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over before the end of May. The province expects to reach all youth aged 12 and over with a first dose before the end of June and with a second dose by the end of August 2021.