AstraZeneca vaccine now available to 40+ age group

Alcohol swabs and syringes ready to administer COVID-19 vaccines. Photo by Cris Vilela.

In Ontario, a new age group will have access to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Those aged 40 and older are now able to sign up to receive their vaccines at pharmacies and primary care settings beginning Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2021.

“As we continue to fight COVID-19, we are doing everything possible to get as many vaccines into arms as quickly and safely as possible. We continue to be actively engaged with Health Canada on updated AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine safety,” a Province of Ontario News Release stated.

The province said that, by offering the vaccine at pharmacies and primary care settings, it will be better able to protect Ontarians earlier than expected. It also means that hot spot communities will have more access to vaccines earlier.

“The health and safety of Ontarians is always our top priority, and for that reason, only COVID-19 vaccines that Health Canada determines to be safe and effective are approved for use in Ontario,” the news release stated. “All COVID-19 vaccines available in Ontario have been shown to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death. Adverse reactions are extremely rare.”

“We strongly recommend that everyone book their appointment as soon as they are eligible,” the release added.

To date, Ontario has now given out nearly 4 million doses of the vaccine — a number that is growing with each day. Currently, 33 per cent of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 1.8 per cent have received both doses.

“I encourage everyone who qualifies to get their shot,” Kingston and the Islands MPP, Ian Arthur said. “Unfortunately, the expansion is not because we’ve already vaccinated everyone in older or higher risk groups — it’s because we’re leaving so many of them behind.”

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