The Ontario government says it will expand COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to everyone 18 and older — almost a week ahead of schedule — starting Tuesday, May 18 at 8 a.m.
The acceleration for age eligibility was due to a large supply of vaccines scheduled to arrive in Canada this week.
“This high number of doses is due to an early delivery of the week of May 24 shipment, to accommodate the long weekend, and is an opportunity for the province to offer an appointment to receive the vaccine to more Ontarians ahead of schedule,” officials said in a press release issued Monday morning.
Originally, people aged 18 and older across all of Ontario were scheduled to be able to book on May 24, but will now be able to book an appointment for a shot six days earlier.
Ontarians who are 17 years old and are turning 18 in 2021 will also be eligible to book a vaccination, for the Pfizer vaccine only.
The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only one that has been approved by Health Canada for use in youth aged 12 and over.
“Ontario is experiencing very positive trends in vaccine demand,” officials said. “The province and public health units will continue to make appointments available as vaccine supply is confirmed.”
The province said appointments can be made through the provincial booking system or call centre, or directly through local public health units that use their own system.
Some Ontarians aged 18 and older who live in 114 hot spot communities, based on postal codes, had already been eligible for a vaccine.
So far, more than seven million doses of vaccine have been administered which is just over half of adults. The province said it is on track to inoculate 65 per cent of adults by the end of May.