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Ontario youth between 12 and 17 can start booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments on Sunday

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WATCH ABOVE: There was more mixed messaging this week about the future of in-class learning in Ontario, but some doctors are speaking up and parents are speaking out about the need to get students back to school. Caryn Lieberman reports – May 21, 2021

Ontario youth between 12 and 17 will be eligible to have COVID-19 vaccine appointments booked as of Sunday morning, the Ford government.

According to a statement issued Friday afternoon, appointments can be booked through the provincial portal or through select pharmacies as of 8 a.m. The opening of booking came a week earlier than originally planned.

However, to get an appointment, the youth must be 12 years old on the date of the booking.

Read more: COVID-19: Pfizer vaccine available to Ontarians aged 12 to 17 beginning May 31

For those who are not yet 12 years old by Sunday, the province said they can book their appointment for a later date through the provincial call centre (1-833-943-3900) or directly through public health units who have their own booking system.

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The government also allowed public health units to vaccinate youth aged 12 and older at pop-ups, mobile clinics and walk-in appointments where the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is offered on Tuesday.

Other regions, such as Lambton and Peel, began to offer appointment on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.

Read more: Peel Region youth aged 12 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccines starting Thursday

Provincial officials said they hope to have all those aged 12 and older to have their first dose by the end of June, and their second dose by the end of August, in time for the 2021-2022 school year.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only one authorized by Health Canada for those 12 and older.

“The province is encouraging eligible family members who have not received a vaccine to attend these clinics to get youth and their families vaccinated as quickly as possible,” the statement said.

Read more: Ontario to provide 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after temporary suspension

As of 8 p.m. on Thursday, more than 7.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered. There are 495,757 people fully vaccinated with two doses.

Officials said more than 10 million Ontarians are on track to receive their first vaccine dose by the end of June. Also, 65 per cent of residents aged 18 and over could have their first doses administered by the end of May.

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With files from Gabby Rodrigues

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