The increased vaccine supply and progress in delivering the first doses means the province is able to speed up the time between the first and second vaccines, officials said at a briefing on Friday morning. . At a press conference this morning, Ford said that as of Friday, Ontario was ahead of the schedule it had set for the vaccination.
“We’re all getting closer to a return to normalcy,” said Ford.
People aged 80 and over will be the first group to be able to make an expedited appointment for a second injection starting the week of May 31. It will then extend to people aged 70 and over in mid-June.
After this point, the province will move to a “first in, first out” strategy, where Ontarians can schedule their second dose depending on when they had a first dose.
You can see the slide set featured by officials on Friday at the bottom of this story.
Depending on local supply and appointment availability, some may receive a second dose much earlier than the 16-week interval introduced earlier this year to get more first doses in the arms. Getting a second photo earlier is entirely optional, officials said, as those who want to keep an already scheduled date can do so.
For the public to reserve accelerated 2nd doses
The administration of the second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will remain at 12 weeks, although it will also take place on a first-in, first-out basis.
If you currently have an appointment for a second shot but can get one sooner through the province’s online booking portal, the system will automatically cancel your previous date, officials said.
As for the second shot, officials expect most Ontarians to get it where they received a first shot, although that may depend on local circumstances. The responsibility for making a later appointment will rest with those who wish, officials said.
Likewise, the province expects most teens aged 12 to 17 to receive a first vaccine in June and a second in August, to ensure that as many teens as possible are fully immunized. before the next school year.
Officials say more than 65 percent of adults in Ontario have now received at least one dose, and the province currently takes an average of 134,800 injections per day.
The provincial government had set a threshold of 60% of adults with a first vaccine before moving to phase 1 of its new reopening plan, and a benchmark of 20% of adults fully vaccinated before entering phase 2.
Ontario expects about 4.7 million additional doses of the vaccine to arrive in June, most of which will be Pfizer-BioNTech, which has confirmed its schedule for delivery to Canada through the end of July.
Officials are still awaiting confirmation from the federal government on the number of Moderna doses that could arrive next month.
Ontario received a shipment of 254,500 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine last week, in addition to the approximately 55,000 doses that remained after the province suspended administration of further first doses of the vaccine.
This week, those who received a first injection of AstraZeneca in a pilot project that ran from March 10 to 19 were given the option of receiving a second injection at a shorter 10-week interval, in part because that about 45,000 doses expire. May 31.
But in fact, getting those doses to pharmacies and primary care providers who administered the first vaccines proved problematic, with many eligible Ontarians reporting problems getting a follow-up appointment.
This is because the oldest 55,000 doses go through a quality assurance process, because the province has incomplete storage data and wants to ensure that the doses are safe.
Officials said about 3% of the 38,500 quality-checked doses were spoiled.
Despite logistical constraints, around 10,000 people who received a first injection of AstraZeneca had a second this week, officials added.
Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said on Friday the bulk of those doses were heading to Kingston, Windsor-Essex and Toronto, which had been prioritized in an initial pilot.
“As soon as we get approval that they continue to be of the highest quality, we will make sure that pharmacies [in those regions] get it, ”she said.
When asked how many doses might expire before they can be used, Jones said “that’s not a clear answer,” pointing to the province’s quality controls.
“As the lots are approved… they are then distributed,” she said.
Ontario is still awaiting advice from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization on whether it is safe to mix AstraZenenca with an injection of mRNA vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna, although it is likely approved, officials said.
Key indicators continue their downward trend
Meanwhile, Ontario reported 1,273 more cases of COVID-19 and the deaths of 14 more people with the disease this morning.
The new cases are the most numerous in four days, although a little less than last Friday, when the province recorded 1,890 infections. Due to the cyclical nature of testing in Ontario, it is very interesting to compare the same days of the week.
The seven-day average of daily cases fell to 1,353, its lowest level since March 16.
2,362 other infections were marked as resolved in today’s update. There are now about 14,179 active cases across the province, up from nearly 43,000 at the peak of the third wave of the pandemic.
As of Thursday, there were 1,023 people with COVID-related illnesses in hospitals. Of these, 645 were being treated in intensive care units, while 458 needed a ventilator to breathe.
The additional deaths brought the official death toll to 8,711 people.
Ford also addressed a public letter he sent this week, seeking advice from medical experts, children’s hospitals and health agencies on how Ontario could reopen schools before the end of the school year. school year next month.
“I can’t wait to hear from the experts,” Ford said.
“I don’t want to rush this. If it takes a few more days, so be it. “