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Ontario health minister will take Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to combat hesitancy

Click to play video: 'Booking for COVID-19 vaccinations now available for Ontarians 75 and older' Booking for COVID-19 vaccinations now available for Ontarians 75 and older
WATCH ABOVE: Ontario seniors who are 75 years and older are now able to book appointments for their COVID-19 vaccinations on the Ontario government website. Kamil Karamali has more. – Mar 22, 2021

TORONTO — Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says she will take an Oxford-AstraZeneca shot on camera to encourage others to get the vaccine.

Elliott says hesitancy around the life-saving shot is unfortunate.

Reports of blood clots among recipients in Europe had sparked concerns but the European Medicines Agency has since concluded the vaccine did not raise the overall risk of clots.

Read more: Ontario opens COVID-19 vaccines to more people, expands pharmacy pilot amid supply uncertainty

Elliott says she’s happy to take the dose on camera if it can convince one other person to do so.

Quebec’s health minister was publicly vaccinated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot last week.

Elliott’s pledge comes as the province is offering that vaccine to people aged 60 and older in pharmacies in certain regions.

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Premier Doug Ford says the pharmacy vaccine project will be expanding to more sites in the hot spots of Toronto, York and Peel Region.

Read more: Ontarians 75 and older can now book COVID-19 vaccines online

A pilot offering Oxford-AstraZeneca shots started this month in Toronto, Kingston and Windsor pharmacies and it’s expected to expand to 700 sites over the next few weeks.

The government has been criticized for passing over hot spot neighbourhoods and regions in the initial pharmacy pilot.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones says hot spots weren’t forgotten but the province was limited by vaccine supply and an April 2 expiry date for the first doses.

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