Ontario expands COVID vaccine eligibility to 40+, more people who cannot work from home

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The Ontario government says starting on certain days this week, COVID-19 vaccine eligibility will be expanded to more people with at-risk health conditions, people who cannot work from home (Group 2) and people aged 40 and older in non-hot spot communities.

Starting Tuesday, May 11 at 8 a.m., people with at-risk health conditions such as dementia, diabetes and sickle cell disease will be able to book an appointment.

Also on Tuesday morning, people in Group 2 who cannot work from home, which includes grocery store, restaurant and transportation workers will also be eligible to get a shot. A full list of that group is below.

Starting Thursday, May 13 at 8 a.m., people turning 40 (in 2021) and older in non-hot spot areas will also be able to get a vaccine at a mass immunization clinic.

Those who are eligible can book through the provincial booking system or through the local public health units that use their own booking system.

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Also, Ontario said due to an increase in supply, high-risk health care workers, dialysis patients, and all First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals can book their appointment to receive their second dose earlier than the four-month interval.

“These groups face a greater risk of contracting and suffering serious illness from COVID-19,” the province said adding that eligibility will begin by the end of the week of May 10 and more details will be provided in the coming days.

“With a stable and predictable supply of vaccines, Ontario’s vaccine rollout continues to pick up speed, and we are on track to administer a first dose to 65 per cent of Ontario adults by the end of May,” Minister of Health Christine Elliott said.

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“As we continue to vaccinate even more Ontarians, we remain focused on protecting those most at risk, and I want to thank all of our frontline health care workers for their tireless work each day to protect the health and safety of Ontarians.”

On May 2, vaccine eligibility expanded for those aged 18 and older in hot spot areas based on postal codes.

Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are also now available at select pharmacies. Pharmacies were previously only administering the AstraZeneca vaccine. Nearly 80 pharmacies in Toronto and Peel are doing Pfizer shots with up to 60 pharmacies are offering Moderna in York Region, Durham Region, Hamilton, Windsor-Essex and Ottawa.

A full list of Group 2 — people who cannot work from home:

  • Essential and critical retail workers (including grocery, foodbank, pharmacy, ServiceOntario, ServiceCanada, Passport Canada, wholesalers and general goods, restaurant, LCBO workers.
  • Workers in manufacturing industries directly LCinvolved in supporting the response, construction (including infrastructure) and other essential businesses and services where facilities are at heightened risk for  outbreaks and spread.
  • Social workers and social services staff who provide in-person client services (including youth justice workers, Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program case workers).
  • Courts and justice system workers (including probation and parole workers).
  • Transportation, warehousing and distribution workers (including public transit workers, truck drivers supporting essential services, marine and rail cargo and maintenance, highway maintenance).
  • Electricity (including system operations, generation, transmission, distribution and storage workers).
  • Communications infrastructure workers (including cellular, satellite, landline, internet, public safety radio).
  • Water and wastewater management workers.
  • Financial services workers (bank branch staff).
  • Veterinarians and veterinary teams.
  • Waste management workers.
  • Oil and petroleum workers (including petroleum refineries, crude oil and petroleum storage, transmission and distribution, retail sale of fuel).
  • Natural gas and propane gas workers (including compression, storage, transmission and distribution of natural gas and propane).
  • Mine workers (including those needed to ensure the continued operation of active mines).
  • Uranium processing workers (those working in the refining and conversion of uranium and fabrication of fuel for nuclear power plants).

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