Editor’s note: This story has been changed to reflect that vaccinations will be opened up to those 50 and up starting Thursday. The exact dates for the other age ranges have yet to be announced.
With the province planning on opening up COVID-19 vaccination bookings to the majority of the population by the end of May, Kingston’s medical officer of health anticipates vaccine appointments will be scheduled within weeks of booking.
“After the province opens up, we anticipate we’ll have a supply enough that you’ll have an appointment two to three weeks thereafter,” Moore said.
“It won’t be months away. It’ll be weeks away.”
This applies only to the Kingston region’s mass immunization sites, the INVISTA Centre and the Strathcona Paper Centre. Appointments for these two sites can only be done through the province’s booking system.
As of Thursday, anyone 50 and up could start booking their first doses this way.
Next week, that will drop to those 40 and up. The week of May 17, those 30 and up will be able to start booking, and the following week, the week of May 24, vaccination bookings will open up to those 18 and older. The exact dates for those age-ranges have yet to be given.
The ability to consistently vaccinate throughout the next several weeks is due to an expected steady supply of Pifzer flowing to the region’s mass immunization clinics, with more than 9,300 doses coming weekly to KFL&A starting May 17. This is expected to continue through June, Moore said last week.
He also noted that shipments of Moderna should be coming to the region’s mass immunization clinics, but did not specify how many.
As for those waiting to receive AstraZeneca in area pharamacies, Moore said it’s still unclear when the region will get more doses, but these bookings are not controlled by the health unit.
“The supply of AstraZeneca in our region has diminished significantly. I don’t think there’s many doses left in our region,” he said.
Despite recent news from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization suggesting that some people wait for Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, which are “preferred,” Moore says he hopes locals will get the first vaccine available to them.
“If you hear that the supply improves through our pharmacies, please take advantage of that,” Moore said.