TORONTO — The Ontario government, in collaboration with Shoppers Drug Mart, will offer 24/7 COVID-19 vaccinations for individuals aged 40 and over at 20 pharmacy locations, with the majority located in hot spot communities.
As early as tomorrow, April 21, 2021, 20 Shoppers Drug Mart locations, including 16 in the hot-spot communities of Toronto, Peel and York Region, will begin offering the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine 24/7 to individuals aged 40 and over. When the province begins to receive more vaccine supply from the federal government, it will expand 24/7 COVID-19 vaccinations to additional hot spot areas.
Additionally, the province is now enabling pharmacies to offer walk-in services. Ontarians should contact participating pharmacies to inquire as to whether they are offering vaccines by appointment, on a walk-in basis or both.
The province is continually expanding the pharmacy locations available to administer COVID-19 vaccines. Last week more than 700 pharmacies came on board across the province, bringing the total to over 1,400 locations. All eligible individuals can find a local pharmacy location offering vaccines through Ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine. In addition, many primary care providers are directly contacting eligible patients to book an appointment.
“Working with our pharmacy partners, we are ensuring communities who are most at risk are able to access COVID-19 vaccines conveniently, close to home and around the clock,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Vaccines remain the best way to protect your health and the health of those around you, and I encourage everyone to sign up when it’s your turn.”
To help increase access to vaccines for those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacies in hot spot communities will receive additional doses of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine. This is part of the government’s commitment to dedicate 25 per cent of future 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.
As Ontario continues to ramp up capacity and expand its rollout to additional age groups and locations, the greatest challenge to Ontario’s vaccine rollout remains a stable and reliable supply of vaccines. For example, the upcoming shipment of Moderna that was due to be received on April 19 is now delayed until the end of April or the first week of May. In addition, this shipment is being reduced from 448,400 to 235,700 doses. An additional shipment of AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine, estimated to be approximately 389,000 doses was expected mid-April, and will now be delayed to the end of May. The Ontario government continues to explore all options to secure more vaccines and avoid a severe impact on the province’s rollout.
“Increasing access to vaccines will limit the spread of COVID-19 and help protect the health and well-being of our families, friends and communities,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “Everyone has a role to play when it comes to emergency response, and getting vaccinated is one more way people can make a real difference in stopping the spread of this deadly virus.”
- Find the list of pharmacies offering the AstraZeneca vaccine.
- Only COVID-19 vaccines that Health Canada determines to be safe and effective are approved for use in Ontario. All COVID-19 vaccines available in Ontario have been shown to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death.
- As of April 20, eligible adults aged 40 and over in 2021, who are interested in booking an appointment, can visit ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine to find a participating pharmacy and can contact the pharmacy to see if you need an appointment or if walk-in (first come, first served) vaccinations are available.
- Primary care settings are also offering vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine. Do not call your primary care providers to book an appointment. Participating primary care providers are reaching out to eligible Ontarians directly.
- Ontario has received 5,248,345 doses of vaccines since December 2020. The last Moderna shipment of 448,400 doses expected mid-April has been delayed until the end of April or first week of May and the delivery will only be for half the doses expected (235,700 doses). The next shipments of AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine (389,000 doses the week of April 19 and 194,500 the week of May 3) are now both delayed until late May.