Ontario is accelerating its vaccine rollout by expanding eligibility for second doses ahead of schedule. Christine Elliott, Ontario’s Minister of Health, and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones announced on Thursday that as of June 28, all Ontarians aged 18 and over who have received their first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible to book their second dose appointment (as long as the appointment is scheduled at least 28 days after the first dose).
Other eligible adults can book their second shot even sooner:
- As of Monday, June 21, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., all Ontarians who received their first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine on or before May 9, 2021 will be eligible to book or rebook their second dose appointment at a shortened interval.
- As of Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., Ontarians who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before May 30, 2021 and who live in one of the 10 public health units identified as Delta hot spots (Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Peel, Porcupine, Simcoe-Muskoka, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, and York public health units) will be eligible to book or rebook their second dose appointment at a shortened interval.
“Thanks to the efforts of Team Ontario we are making tremendous progress in our vaccine rollout, protecting communities at greatest risk of COVID-19 and variants,” Elliott said. “Every dose administered brings us closer to ending the pandemic and moving to Step Two of our Roadmap, and I encourage everyone to do their part and get their shot as soon as they are eligible.”
Ontario is currently in step one of its three-step plan to reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures, but it’s possible the province could enter Step 2 a bit earlier than expected.
On Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford noted that he will sit down with the health table and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health before deciding on whether Ontario can move into Step 2 earlier.
“But no one in this province wants to open up quicker than I do,” Ford said.
On whether Ontario will move into Step 2 faster than July 2, Premier Ford says “no one wants to open this economy more than I do,” wants the stamp of approval “from all the docs” first. Adds that he wants to be cautious, though.
— Laura Stone (@l_stone) June 17, 2021
On Friday, June 11, the province entered step 1 as part of its Roadmap to Reopen, meaning outdoor social gatherings in Ontario are able to increase in size, non-essential retail stores and patios can open with limits, and indoor religious services, rites, and ceremonies (limited to 15% capacity) will be permitted as the province.
The original plan was to remain in Step 1 for at least 21 days to evaluate key health system indicators, with Step 2 scheduled to begin on July 2. Before entering Step 2, the province wanted to see at least 70% of adults vaccinated with one dose of a COVID vaccine and 20% vaccinated with two doses
As of Thursday June 17, approximately 11,943,025 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Ontario; 74.015% of people 12+ in Ontario have received at least one dose and 18.334% of people 12+ in Ontario are fully vaccinated.
Step 2 would involve opening indoors (with small numbers and face coverings), and expanding outdoor permissions, including:
- Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events for up to 25 people
- Indoor social gatherings and organized public events for up to 5 people
- Outdoor dining for up to 6 people per table
- Essential retail capacity at 50%
- Non-essential retail capacity at 25%
- Larger indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services with capacity limits
- Overnight camps
- Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times
- Outdoor meeting and event spaces/outdoor amusement and water parks/outdoor sports games, leagues and events/outdoor cinemas, performing arts, live music events, and attractions
Canada’s Wonderland plans to reopen in early July as part of Step 2, but at limited capacity, and with certain restrictions (i.e., face coverings will be required for guests two years and older in all areas unless otherwise designated).
🎢 We’re excited to finally welcome guests back to the park in alignment with Step 2 of the province’s reopening framework! We’re opening at limited capacity for Season Passholders only on July 5-6, and for the general public on July 7. Learn more: https://t.co/aEggaJgGRI
— Canada’s Wonderland (@WonderlandNews) June 14, 2021
On Thursday, the province reported 370 new cases of COVID-19, 7 more deaths, and nearly 30,500 tests completed.
The new case reports include 67 in Toronto, 57 in Waterloo, 47 in Peel, 34 in Ottawa, and 27 in York Region. There are 397 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19, with 362 in ICU due to COVID-related critical illnesses, and 232 in the ICU on ventilators due to COVID-related critical illnesses.
Click here for more COVID-19 Ontario updates.