The Ontario government is expanding the delivery channels available to administer COVID-19 vaccines to include pharmacies and primary care settings. As of Friday, March 12, over 325 pharmacies will be offering the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine to eligible Ontarians aged 60-64, by appointment only.
With the arrival of 194,500 doses of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine, select pharmacies will begin booking appointments starting today, March 10, 2021, in three public health unit regions: Toronto, Windsor-Essex, and Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington. The vaccine rollout will be expanded to more pharmacies in other regions of the province as supply increases, the government said.
All vaccinations available through pharmacies will require an appointment to be made in advance. Eligible adults aged 60-64 (as defined by year of birth between 1957-1961), who are interested in booking an appointment, can visit ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine to find a participating pharmacy and can contact the pharmacy to make an appointment.
The province is also working with primary care professionals to offer vaccinations in primary care settings and community locations, such as physician offices, in collaboration with public health units. This initiative will begin in Hamilton, Toronto, Guelph, Peterborough, Simcoe-Muskoka, and Peel as of Saturday March 13, 2021.
Primary care providers will not be taking appointments by request but will be contacting eligible Ontarians aged 60-64 directly to book an appointment starting today, March 10, 2021. They will only be offering the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine at this time.
The Ontario government is preparing to move into Phase Two of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan next month, with a focus on vaccinating populations based on age and risk. Vaccinations continue to be offered to eligible populations at hospitals, mobile clinics and mass immunization clinics. Mass immunization clinics are a significant delivery channel to administer Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Over 120 mass immunization clinics are planned to open this month across Ontario in addition to sites already open, increasing the province’s vaccine administration capacity to over 150,000 doses per day, dependent on supply.
The province will launch an online booking system and a provincial customer service desk on March 15. These supports will help to answer questions and book appointments at mass immunization clinics, starting with those over the age of 80.