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Ontario opens COVID-19 shots to child-care workers and those aged 45-plus

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 @ 2:47 PM | By John Schofield


Ontario is opening up its mass vaccination clinics in designated hot-spot areas to people aged 45 and over in 2021 and child-care workers at licensed child-care facilities.

Effective April 27, those meeting the new age requirement in 13 of Ontario’s 35 public health districts will be able to use the provincial online booking system to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination, according to an April 27 government news release.

And child-care workers across the province may begin using Ontario’s online booking system starting April 29 or may call the telephone booking line at 1-833-943-3900.

The news release notes that eligible workers in licensed child-care settings will receive a letter from their employer, which must be referred to when booking and at the vaccination appointment. The province announced that eligibility will be expanded to child-care workers in unlicensed child care settings across the province in the coming weeks.

The expanded eligibility for those 45 and over covers 114 high-risk neighbourhoods. The province’s mass vaccination clinics predominantly use the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

Ontarians aged 40 and over in 2021 are already eligible to be vaccinated at participating pharmacies, which have been administering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. But the government is reportedly looking into making the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine available at some pharmacies as part of a pilot project.

The news release noted that the availability of vaccination appointments is based on supply and it urged individuals to be patient if they encounter delays when trying to book an appointment.

In an April 27 statement, Ontario NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath and the party’s child-care critic, Bhutila Karpoche, welcomed the news that child-care workers will be eligible for vaccination.

“For weeks, the NDP has joined child-care workers, operators, families, experts and advocates in calling for these essential child-care workers to be prioritized for vaccination,” said the statement. “Today’s change is late, but welcome, and is a victory for child-care workers and families.”

According to the government news release, individuals aged 18 and over living in hot spot areas are already eligible for vaccination through mobile teams and pop-up clinics. A list of hot spot postal codes is available on the Ontario government’s COVID-19 website. The government has announced it is dedicating 25 per cent of 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. Employers in those locations may also inquire about hosting a vaccination clinic by contacting covid19vaccinetaskforce@ontario.ca.

The 13 public health regions with targeted hot spots include Toronto Public Health, Peel Public Health, York Region Public Health, Durham Region Health Department, Ottawa Public Health, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit and Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services.

The government news release also noted that, as of April 26, more than 90 per cent of Ontario residents aged 80 and over had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 36.6 per cent of those aged 18 and over had received at least one dose.

On April 27, Ontario reported 3,265 new cases of COVID-19 and 29 more virus-related deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new cases reached 3,888, down from 4,023 on April 26. The number of COVID-19 patients being treated in intensive-care units stood at 875 and appeared to be levelling off. A total of 589 of those patients were on a ventilator, down from 605 on April 26.

If you have any information, story ideas or news tips for The Lawyer’s Daily please contact John Schofield at john.schofield@lexisnexis.ca or call 905-415-5891.