Who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario and how can they book a shot?

·2 min read

Ontario is expanding its COVID-19 vaccine effort to more age groups on Monday. Here are the key details:

What is changing?

Starting Monday, residents aged 75 and older can schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment through the provincial booking portal.

Also Monday, pharmacies in certain regions will offer the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot by appointment to those 60 and older. They previously only offered that shot to residents aged 60-64.

How is an appointment made through the provincial portal?

Residents aged 75 and older, or someone helping them, can book appointments by going online to www.ontario.ca/bookvaccine or calling 1-888-999-6488.

Those scheduling shots need to provide provincial health card details, as well their birth date, postal code and email address or phone number.

The provincial portal may direct residents to their local health unit's own booking site in some cases, based on the postal code provided.

Vaccines are administered at mass immunization sites or smaller venues, depending on the local health unit.

Who else can use the provincial booking portal?

In addition to those aged 75 and older, priority groups, including Indigenous adults, seniors in congregate care, and certain health-care workers can use the portal to book their vaccines.

Who can get a vaccine at pharmacies?

Select pharmacies in Toronto, Windsor and Kingston public health units will offer the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot to those aged 60 and older starting Monday.

Those pharmacies started offering that vaccine to residents aged 60 to 64 last week but the program is expanding after new guidelines deemed the shot safe for those over 65.

Residents can contact pharmacies to make appointments. Participating locations are listed at covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations

There are currently 327 locations participating in the program and the province plans to expand it to more than 700 sites over the next two weeks.

By the end of April, the government said it hopes to have 1,500 pharmacies across the province administering vaccines.

What about doctors' offices?

Starting Monday, certain family physicians in six regions will offer Oxford-AstraZeneca shots to patients aged 60 and up.

Those doctors started giving that vaccine last weekend to patients aged 60 to 64.

The province has said the doctors will contact eligible patients directly.

Which vaccine should I get?

The government has urged residents to get the first vaccine available to them, saying all of the shots available are shown to prevent hospitalization from severe illness and death.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2021.

The Canadian Press