Ontario Expands Accelerated Second Dose Eligibility

AstraZeneca recipients can now book their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Starting Monday, June 7, 2021, Ontarians aged 70 and older, as well as those who got their first Pfizer or Moderna shot before April 18, can book an appointment for their accelerated second dose through the provincial system or through their public health unit, depending on where they live.

The province’s decision to expand the accelerated second dose of COVID-19 vaccine shots is a week earlier than planned for those aged 70 and above and three weeks earlier for those who got Pfizer or Moderna shots before April 18.

That said, these same groups, as well as anyone who got a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, can also opt to book a second shot through a pharmacy or primary care provider participating in the immunization campaign starting today.

According to a news release from the province, there are 327 pharmacies in Toronto, Kingston and Windsor offering second shots of AstraZeneca, and 450 offering the Moderna vaccine.

Ontario expects to receive 4.7 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine through June, and recently 193,000 more doses of the Moderna vaccine landed in the province.

The move to open up appointments for the second dose of COVID-19 vaccines for Ontarians who got an mRNA vaccine before April 18 was met with some criticism from medical professionals.

Dr. Michael Warner, medical director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto, said on Twitter that it “crystallizes the mistake” of the province’s decision to delay first doses for middle-aged residents and essential workers in hot spots until later in April.

The news of the province’s decision to open up appointments for accelerated second doses of the vaccine came as Ontario reported an additional 914 new COVID-19 cases and 19 more deaths from COVID-19 on Friday.

The number of hospitalizations is 687 cases with 522 people requiring admission into intensive care units.

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