Doug Ford received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at an Etobicoke pharmacy in front of the camera today. The Ontario premier took the AstraZeneca shot which is currently under review by Health Canada for what experts deem as “rare instances of blood clots” in people under 55. The concerns have resulted in some vaccine hesitancy. Health Minister Christine Elliott also received her first jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine last Monday in an effort to address the apprehension.

After rolling up his sleeve, Ford urged everyone to take the vaccine when its their turn.

“We have received more vaccines from the Federal government, with additional shipments promised over the coming days and weeks. Now it’s up to all of us to get our shots, Ford said. “This is the best way to protect yourselves from this deadly virus. When your turn comes, I strongly urge everyone to book an appointment to get your safe, Health Canada approved vaccine. It’s easy, just visit Ontario.ca/covidvaccine or call 1-888-999-6488. We have people on the phone who can help you in 300 languages.”

In a statement issued Friday morning, the premier reiterated the need to abide by the stay-at-home order to reduce transmission of the coronavirus which has been amplified by the variants of concern.

“We have come so far, but we need to continue to stay the course. Over the next several weeks, please stay home unless you need essentials or you can’t work from home, and continue following the public health guidelines, Ford urged. “By working together we can keep everyone safe.”

Ford also talked about Ontario’s plan to ramp up vaccination in hot spots in a bid to get ahead of the virus, protect lives and healthcare system.

“We have expanded the criteria for who can get a vaccine to include education workers in Toronto and Peel hot spots, and those who directly support students with special needs. We are making steady progress in our fight against this deadly virus and we will get to the other side of the pandemic,” his statement read.

“Our government is moving quickly to get vaccines to where they will have the greatest impact. In addition to over 100 mass vaccination clinics, vaccines are available at 700 pharmacies across Ontario, doctor’s offices and hospital clinics and we are getting mobile vaccine clinics to workplaces, high risk neighbourhoods, residential buildings, community centres, and places of worship.

“Over 2.9 million vaccines have now been administered and we have booked more than 1.9 million appointments for people to get their vaccines. I’m grateful to all the frontline health care heroes who are helping with this monumental effort and getting shots into arms, including mine,” he added.

 

 

 

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