Ontario government officially expands COVID-19 vaccines to 18+ at select pharmacies in hot spots

The Ontario government has officially expanded access to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccines for those 18 and older at select pharmacies in hot spot communities.

In a Wednesday announcement about mobile vaccine clinics visiting hot spot workplaces, officials also said Moderna vaccine doses would be expanded to pharmacies “this week.”

It said up to 60 pharmacies in Durham Region, Hamilton, Ottawa, Windsor-Essex, and York Region hot spots would offer shots to people 18 and older, adding the program would be expanded throughout May.

Read more: 65% of those 18+ in Ontario expected to have 1st COVID-19 vaccine dose by end of May: officials

“Participating pharmacies will be identified on the website as they begin offering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and will continue to use their own booking system for appointments,” the announcement said.

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In late April, a statement said a pilot project was going to launch on April 30 that would see 16 pharmacies (eight in Peel Region and eight in Toronto) administer Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to people 55 and older.

“This is expected to expand to additional public health units later in May following evaluation of the program and as supply allows,” the statement said.

However, the Ontario government website was updated its pharmacy listing website at some point on Friday to say there was an expansion of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine program to people 18 and older. It also reiterated the rollout of the Moderna vaccines.

Read more: COVID-19: Some Ontario pharmacies could administer Pfizer vaccine as part of pilot project

“Most pharmacies book appointments ahead of time and some allow walk-ins. Check with the pharmacy before you go. Due to supply challenges, certain pharmacies offering the COVID-19 vaccine may be out of stock. Please check with your pharmacy first,” the website cautioned residents.

As of early Saturday, there were a total of 136 pharmacies administering Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. When it comes to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the website listed 1,272 pharmacies across the province administering those doses to people 40 and older.

To view a list of pharmacies, click here and use the filter option on the left-hand side to select the vaccine options available.

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