TORONTO — As Ontario prepares to move to Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021, the province is further expanding eligibility for accelerated second doses in Delta hot spots to ensure a strong level of protection against COVID-19 and variants.
As of June 10, 2021, the province’s public health units, mass vaccination clinics, hospital sites, pharmacies, and physicians have administered more than 10.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Ontarians. Over 73 per cent of adult Ontarians are benefitting from the protection of a first dose of vaccine, and more than 11 per cent are fully immunized.
“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, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “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.”
Administration of accelerated second doses to individuals aged 80 and over began on May 31, and expanded ahead of schedule on June 4 to individuals aged 70 and over as well as to individuals who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before April 18, 2021. This acceleration includes more than 151,000 individuals aged 18 to 49 in hot spot communities who were eligible to receive the vaccine at mobile and pop-up clinics beginning in early to mid-April. In addition, this includes more than 706,000 individuals aged 50 and over in hot spots who became eligible to book a first dose on April 9 through the provincial booking system.
The province is further expanding eligibility to help stop the spread of COVID-19 variants and protect communities with the highest rates of Delta (B.1.617) variant transmission. Beginning 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 14, 2021 individuals who live in Delta hot spots in Halton, Peel, Porcupine, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and York public health units and also received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before May 9, 2021 will be eligible to book their accelerated second dose appointment through the provincial booking system (for Peel and Toronto public health units), directly through public health units that use their own booking system and through participating pharmacies. Primary care providers will be reaching out to book appointments.
Mobile vaccine units supported by province operated pop-ups and employer-led clinics that provided first doses in Peel, Toronto and York public health regions will also begin operating second dose clinics beginning the week of June 20, 2021. Increasing first and second dose coverage in Delta hot spots will help to minimize the risk of the variant’s spread in Ontario, protecting all neighbourhoods provincewide.
The province will further expand eligibility for accelerated second doses across Ontario as additional vaccine allocations and shipment timelines are confirmed by the federal government, including the recently announced Moderna vaccines.
“Thanks to the efforts of our public health partners, we’ve made tremendous progress in the rollout of vaccines across the province,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “With the increasing number of doses being administered every day, coupled with the overall positive trends in new cases, we’re able to implement Step One of our Roadmap to Reopen across the province. I urge everyone to continue to follow the advice of their local public health unit, which will allow all Ontarians to resume activities with their friends and families as it is safe to do so.”
To help ensure all eligible Ontarians are able to receive their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, individuals who received their first dose or both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine outside of the province are now able to register their vaccination through their local public health unit. Individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine outside of Ontario or Canada are required to provide proof, such as a vaccination receipt or certificate, to their public health unit in order to be registered in the system. Once complete, these individuals will be able to book their second dose appointment through the provincial booking system, public health units that use their own booking system or participating pharmacies and primary care settings at an interval that aligns with Ontario’s vaccine strategy.