Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the province is ready for a "two-dose summer," accelerating the time between first and second does of COVID-19 vaccines to as little as four weeks apart.
Ontarians 80 and older will be able to book their second dose appointment on May 31 at 8:00 a.m., followed by individuals 70 and older on June 14.
The province will use a "first-in, first-out" strategy to make appointments available for second doses, dependent on vaccine supply moving forward.
Dates to remember for second-dose vaccine eligibility in Ontario
Second doses continue to be provided to groups such as long-term care home, retirement home, First Nations Elder Care home residents, high-risk health care workers, essential caregivers, people with health conditions, First Nations, Indigenous, Metis peoples
May 31: Ages 80+ can sign up for a second dose
June 14: Ages 70-79 can sign up for a second dose
June 28: Those who received a first dose between Mar 8 and April 18; those with highest health risk conditions, special education workers
July 19: Those who received a first dose between April 19 and May 9; those who are 50+, or with high-risk health conditions
August 2: Those who received a first dose between May 10 and May 30; those who cannot work from home, or have at-risk health conditions
August 9: Those who received a first dose May 31 and onwards
Anyone eligible for their second dose can go to the same location they received their first shot, or they can book at a different available location through the provincial booking system and pharmacies.
For Ontarians who received their first shot through their local public health unit's booking system, primary care provider or a at a pop-up clinic, the province has stated that "more information will follow on how and when second dose booking and rebooking will be available," but second dose appointments can be made through the provincial system without a first dose appointment.
"Team Ontario has shown what we can do when we have a steady and reliable supply of vaccines," a statement from Ford reads. "Having made so much progress administering first doses, we are now in a position to begin delivering second doses for a two-dose summer.
"If we receive more vaccines from the federal government, we’ll be able to accelerate our rollout further to offer more protection to Ontarians even sooner."
Today, 65 per cent of adults in Ontario have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
People in Ontario, including health experts, have taken to social media to comment on this vaccine administration timeline, with many hoping there would be more clear guidance on the actual booking process, particularly for seniors.
It was hard enough for many older adults in Ontario to book 1st doses of the #COVID19 vaccine.
Today’s announcement provided no clarity on how to actually book the 2nd dose & no guarantee of securing an earlier spot.
A vaccine rollout shouldn’t be a competition to survive.
— Amit Arya (@AmitAryaMD) May 28, 2021
1/ 2nd doses for #COVID19 vaccines in Ontario:
Priority initially for those 80+, then those 70+, then based on when people were vaccinated.
People can sign up for 2nd doses as early as 28 days after dose 1, but looks like many/most will get 2nd doses at ~3ish - 4 months. pic.twitter.com/WRpmSCIDag
— Isaac Bogoch (@BogochIsaac) May 28, 2021
2/ Important points:
1. This only takes into account a) mRNA vaccines in the province, b) Pfizer shipments. It does not take into account upcoming Moderna shipments. Likely will see faster rate of 2nd dose.
2. A push for 12-25 yrs to have 2 doses prior to school, college, Uni.
— Isaac Bogoch (@BogochIsaac) May 28, 2021
There is no real plan to assist older Ontarians with booking their 2nd doses.
It is cruel to make them play Vaccine Hunger Games 2.0—let's automatically rebook their appointments.
When we communicate new bookings we should provide elders with info on transportation assistance. pic.twitter.com/msgLJ2XWT4
— Nathan Stall (@NathanStall) May 28, 2021
So let me get this straight: The Ontario government just announced that elders can receive a second vaccine dose earlier...but didn’t announce a real plan for how this would exactly happen?
— Naheed Dosani (@NaheedD) May 28, 2021
Exactly right. I gave AZ to seniors in early April. No idea what to offer them. No AZ in stock. No idea when more Pfizer coming. Oh and still have actual seniors on my list waiting for dose 1!
— Kristen Watt - Pharmacist Mama - she/her #BLM (@PharmacistMama) May 28, 2021