As early as tomorrow, April 21, 2021, 20 Shoppers Drug Mart locations, including 16 in the hot-spot communities of Toronto, Peel and York Region, will begin offering the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine 24/7 to individuals aged 40 and over. When the province begins to receive more vaccine supply from the federal government, it will expand 24/7 COVID-19 vaccinations to additional hot spot areas.
Additionally, the province is now enabling pharmacies to offer walk-in services. Ontarians should contact participating pharmacies to inquire as to whether they are offering vaccines by appointment, on a walk-in basis or both.
The province is continually expanding the pharmacy locations available to administer COVID-19 vaccines. Last week more than 700 pharmacies came on board across the province, bringing the total to over 1,400 locations. All eligible individuals can find a local pharmacy location offering vaccines through Ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine. In addition, many primary care providers are directly contacting eligible patients to book an appointment.
“Working with our pharmacy partners, we are ensuring communities who are most at risk are able to access COVID-19 vaccines conveniently, close to home and around the clock,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Vaccines remain the best way to protect your health and the health of those around you, and I encourage everyone to sign up when it’s your turn.”
To help increase access to vaccines for those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacies in hot spot communities will receive additional doses of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine. This is part of the government’s commitment to dedicate 25 per cent of future vaccine allocations to hot spot communities across the 13 public health unit regions, targeting mobile teams, pop-up clinics, mass immunization clinics, hospitals and pharmacies.
As Ontario continues to ramp up capacity and expand its rollout to additional age groups and locations, the greatest challenge to Ontario’s vaccine rollout remains a stable and reliable supply of vaccines. For example, the upcoming shipment of Moderna that was due to be received on April 19 is now delayed until the end of April or the first week of May. In addition, this shipment is being reduced from 448,400 to 235,700 doses. An additional shipment of AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine, estimated to be approximately 389,000 doses was expected mid-April, and will now be delayed to the end of May. The Ontario government continues to explore all options to secure more vaccines and avoid a severe impact on the province’s rollout.
“Increasing access to vaccines will limit the spread of COVID-19 and help protect the health and well-being of our families, friends and communities,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “Everyone has a role to play when it comes to emergency response, and getting vaccinated is one more way people can make a real difference in stopping the spread of this deadly virus.”