Ontario Allows 20 Pharmacies To Administer COVID-19 Vaccines 24/7
Just a day after Premier Doug Ford’s office said it had been told to prepare for AstraZeneca shipping delays, the Ontario government announced that some pharmacies in COVID-19 hotspots would start. to offer vaccines 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In a press release on Tuesday afternoon, the government said that “starting tomorrow,” 20 Shoppers Drug Mart locations, including 16 in the hot spot communities of Toronto, Peel Region and York Region, will begin administering doses of the vaccine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It is not clear whether the 24-hour vaccinations will start at all locations on Wednesday.
The government has said that when it receives more vaccines, it will expand 24/7 vaccinations to other hot spots.
The announcement comes a day after Ford’s office issued a statement saying Ontario has now been told it should be “prepared for both shipments to be delayed until the end of May.”
The first of the shipments, estimated at 389,000 doses, should provisionally arrive in mid-April. The province says those doses have been delayed until the end of May.
“As we look to expand our AstraZeneca deployment to younger age groups and more drugstores, any delay in vaccine deliveries would be devastating for Ontario right now as we battle the third wave of this pandemic, ”said a press release from Ford’s office.
“As we seek to confirm this information, the Prime Minister is stepping up efforts to obtain more vaccines by contacting our international allies directly for any available supplies.”
Meanwhile, by comparison, Ontario is expected to receive 395,460 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the federal government this week, as well as 369,630 the following week and over 780,000 doses over the next three weeks.
The number of Pfizer vaccines, which are used in mass vaccination centers and hospitals, could also increase now that the federal government has secured eight million more doses.
Tuesday’s announcement also comes as the age threshold for the AstraZeneca vaccine is lowered to 40 and over.
In the press release, the government also said it would officially allow pharmacies to offer walk-in services. However, the government has urged residents to contact participating pharmacies to find out whether they administer the vaccine by appointment only, walk-in, or both.
There are now over 1,400 pharmacies administering the AstraZeneca vaccine in Ontario.
Here are the 20 pharmacies that will offer vaccines 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: