Ontario to expand vaccine eligibility to children as young as 12 this weekend

TORONTO — Ontario will expand vaccine eligibility to residents as young as 12 as of Sunday, more than a week ahead of schedule.

The province had previously said that it planned to begin administering the Pfizer vaccine to children between the ages of 12 and 17 during the week of May 31 but in a news release issued late Friday afternoon it confirmed that it was moving that up to Sunday morning.

It said that it is making the change at “the request of some public health units to remove barriers for families requesting vaccines.”

The move to expand eligibility to some children comes less than a week after Ontario began allowing all adult residents to book an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

As recently as last weekend, those booking appointments through the provincial booking platform had to be at least 40-years-old or fall under another priority group.

But vaccine supply has quickly ramped up with Ontario expecting to receive a total of 4.3 million doses this month alone.

That, in turn, has allowed the province to accelerate its rollout.

So far the Pfizer vaccine is the only one that has been approved for use in children.

More than 7.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have already been administered in Ontario and about 59 per cent of adults have received at least one shot.

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