After May 31 (and the expiry of the oldest doses of AstraZeneca the province now has on hand), people who received their first dose of the AZ vaccine will be eligible to receive their second 12 weeks after they had their first, starting with those who received their first dose on March 21.
As outlined in the province's three-step reopening plan, stage two would begin once 20 per cent of Ontarians are fully vaccinated and stage three would commence with 25 per cent having both doses.
Ontario officials announced on Friday they will be ramping up vaccination efforts, allowing people aged 80 and up to start booking their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine next week.
For those who received their first dose between March 8 and April 18, they can start booking their second dose in the week of June 28, depending on supply. The province has already said that individuals who have received AstraZeneca for the first dose could potentially receive Pfizer or Moderna for the second dose. Most residents are now waiting about four months between each dose, with some exceptions for those in long-term care, high-risk health-care workers and people with specific health conditions. Those 80 and older will be able to book starting next week followed by the 70-79 age group who will become eligible to book on June 14.
The interval between first and second doses can be up to 16 weeks, but with supply issues seemingly worked out, Ford said today Ontario can begin to offer second dose appointments at an earlier interval. Second dose appointments can also be booked (without a first appointment) in the provincial booking system. This means older children could be fully vaccinated prior to returning to school in September. For example, this included individuals with the highest-risk health conditions and special education workers.
Hajdu says the Public Health Agency of Canada can assist with logistics and co-ordination should a province or territory conclude that it can't use all its doses before the expiration date and wants to transfer them elsewhere in the country.
Individuals who have received Pfizer or Moderna for their first shot will receive the same shot for the second dose, barring unforeseen circumstances.
At the moment, everyone will receive the same type of COVID-19 vaccine as their first dose. A 10-week interval can be used with informed consent. Earlier this week, health officials confirmed that those who had already received their first dose will soon be able to get their second.
Alexandra Hilkene, a spokesperson for Minister of Health Christine Elliott, said the province has distributed about 26,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for second shots to participating pharmacies and primary care providers in Kingston, Windsor and Toronto.
Eligibility, though, will be based on the availability of vaccines, so the timing of second doses may vary based on local considerations, vaccine supply and the date of first dose appointment.
The recommended interval between AstraZeneca shots is at least 12 weeks, but the second injection is being offered to the first group of recipients after 10 weeks in Ontario to use up the province's stockpile.
This is a breaking news story.