TORONTO — Today, Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, issued the following statement to expand COVID-19 vaccination eligibility at pharmacies and primary care settings to individuals aged 40 and over:
“Starting Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Ontario will offer the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to individuals aged 40 and over at pharmacy and primary care settings across the province.
As we continue to fight COVID-19, we are doing everything possible to get as many vaccines into arms as quickly and safely as possible. We continue to be actively engaged with Health Canada on updated AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine safety. Last week, based on the review of available data from Europe and United Kingdom, Health Canada announced that it was not restricting the use of AstraZeneca vaccine in any specific populations at this time.
By extending vaccination eligibility for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at pharmacies and primary care settings to individuals aged 40 and over, Ontario will be able to offer the protection of the vaccine to more Ontarians earlier than anticipated. With supply of AstraZeneca available at this time, the expansion of eligibility will also significantly increase access to vaccines in hot spot communities.
The health and safety of Ontarians is always our top priority, and for that reason, only COVID-19 vaccines that Health Canada determines to be safe and effective are approved for use in Ontario. All COVID-19 vaccines available in Ontario have been shown to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death. Adverse reactions are extremely rare. We strongly recommend that everyone book their appointment as soon as they are eligible.
Ontario has administered over 3.86 million doses of the vaccine to Ontarians to date, and all of our partners and health care workers are continuing to work hard to administer doses as quickly as possible to Ontarians.”