Listowel Banner News Walkerton Herald-Times Wingham Advance Times

Ontario expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to everyone 18 and up, starting May 18

(Metro Creative image)

TORONTO – The Ontario government says anyone born in 2003 or earlier will soon be able to book an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The province announced on Monday that as of Tuesday, May 18 at 8 a.m., appointments can be booked by anyone 18 years of age and older, or by those turning 18 in 2021, anywhere in Ontario.

In a press release, the province attributed the acceleration of the vaccine rollout due to a large supply of vaccines scheduled to arrive this week.

“This high number of doses is due to an early delivery of the week of May 24 shipment, to accommodate the long weekend, and is an opportunity for the province to offer an appointment to receive the vaccine to more Ontarians ahead of schedule,” stated the press release from the Ministry of Health on Monday.

Originally, people aged 18 and older across the province were scheduled to be able to book their vaccination appointment on May 24.

Those turning 18 in 2021 can also book an appointment and will receive the Pfizer vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is the only one authorized by Health Canada for use in youth aged 12 and over. The provincial booking system will note which clinics are not offering vaccines for those who are 17 years old.

“Ontario is experiencing very positive trends in vaccine demand. The province and public health units will continue to make appointments available as vaccine supply is confirmed,” states the release.

Appointments can be made through the provincial booking system or call centre, or through local health units that use their own system.

As of May 16 at 8 p.m., more than 7.2 million vaccine doses have been administered across a province, equal to about half of the adult population. According to the province, they are on track to vaccinate 65 per cent of adults by the end of May.