Summer break is fully underway for millions of Ontario youth, and starting after this weekend, those aged 12 to 17 will be able to add becoming fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to their summer bucket lists.
Beginning at 8 a.m. on July 5, partially vaccinated youth aged 12 to 17 will be eligible to book an accelerated second dose of the Pfizer vaccine through the provincial booking system, their public health unit’s booking system or through participating pharmacies, the provincial government has announced.
“As the province enters Step Two of our Road map (to Reopening), all eligible Ontarians have the opportunity for a two-dose summer,” Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of health, said in a media release. “Vaccines are the best defence against COVID-19 and variants, and I encourage everyone to get their first and second shots as soon as possible.”
This cohort is the latest to be approved for a shorter dose interval in Ontario as the province fights to stay ahead of the highly contagious Delta variant by getting more Ontarians fully vaccinated. In Delta variant hot spots such as Toronto, Peel, Waterloo, Halton, Porcupine, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, York, Hamilton, Simcoe-Muskoka and Durham, accelerating second doses has been especially important.
To date, the province’s public health units, mass vaccination clinics, hospital sites, pharmacies and primary care providers have administered more than 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with more than 77 per cent of adult Ontarians having received their first dose and more than 42 per cent fully immunized.
“Expanding the eligibility for accelerated second doses to include youth aged 12 to 17 is another positive step in the rollout of vaccines across Ontario,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.
“With the continued support of our public health partners, we are on track to significantly increase the number of Ontarians who will be fully immunized this summer, helping to protect themselves and their community.”