All Ontario youth eligible to move up second COVID vaccine doses next week

·2 min read

Ontario youth aged 12 to 17 can move up their second COVID-19 vaccine doses next week as the province eyes the return to classrooms in September.

Youth can book appointments through the provincial booking system, pharmacies or local public health units starting Monday at 8 a.m.

The province announced the change Friday, saying it’s aiming to provide more protection against COVID-19 and allow for a safe return to school in the fall.

"We are on track to significantly increase the number of Ontarians who will be fully immunized this summer, helping to protect themselves and their community," Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in a statement.

Vaccines have largely been booked four months apart in the province but people now have the option of rebooking for an earlier date as more supply becomes available.

Youth are only eligible for doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The province says 77 per cent of adults have received at least one dose and more than 42 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Among those aged 12 to 17, more than 56 per cent have at least one dose and more than six per cent are fully vaccinated

The province has yet to share its plan for returning to school in September, after a year of pandemic-related disruptions that saw classes move online repeatedly when cases surged.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce has said the province wants to see students return to in-class learning full time in September, but details of that plan are expected to be released later this month.

Ontario reported 200 COVID-19 cases on Friday and 284 cases that weren't released on Thursday due to the Canada Day holiday.

Twenty-eight deaths were reported over the two days.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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