Peel Region residents aged 50 and over can start booking their COVID-19 vaccine appointments this week.
Starting on Friday, Peel residents born in 1971 and earlier can start booking their vaccinations at participating hospitals, community sites and mass immunization clinics.
Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel’s chief medical officer of health, made the announcement on Wednesday morning during Brampton’s COVID-19 update.
“I want to be clear that moving quickly down the age brackets will be the fastest and most effective way to ensure that we get Peel vaccinated in the least amount of time,” he said.
Those in this age group living in identified hot spots can book on Peel Region’s website or by calling 905-791-5202. Eligible postal codes in these hot spots include:
• Brampton: L69, L6R, L6S, L6T, L7C, L6V, L6W, L6X, L6Y, L6Z, L7A
• Mississauga: L4T, L4W, L4X, L4Z, L5A, L5B, L5R, L5C, L5K, L5L, L5M, L5N, L5V, L5W
Loh said all other Peel residents aged 50 and older can book their first dose through participating hospitals and clinics that are offering the vaccine.
Loh added that he’ll release a full schedule for when each age group can expect to be vaccinated through mid-May at a regional council meeting on Thursday.
Last Friday, Peel Region and Toronto lowered its vaccine age eligibility to 60 years old and over, while the provincial vaccine booking portal just opened up appointments to this age category today in all public health units using the provincial site.
Meanwhile, pharmacies across the province started offering AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots to people over the age of 55 last week and some family doctors are also reaching out to patients 55 and older to book vaccinations
Although Peel’s focus is to vaccinate its residents as quickly as possible, Loh said the impact of vaccinations alone won’t be quick enough to combat the third wave of the virus.
“Even if we vaccinated everyone in Peel today we would still not see changes in our trends for over four weeks,” he said.
“That means the second thing that you all need to do right now is to stay home as much as possible. Again, reduce contact and interactions with people outside your household. And if you must meet, do it virtually or stay outdoors, distance, and always wear a mask, and do not meet if you’re feeling unwell.”
On Saturday, a four-week provincewide emergency brake shutdown came into effect, prohibiting indoor-dining, gyms and personal care services from opening.
Yesterday, the province released more details about its Phase Two vaccination rollout plan to vaccinate those aged 50 and over in certain hot spot communities across the province.
Although Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown welcomed the hot spot plan, he reiterated the need for essential workers to be vaccinated to protect them and reduce workplace outbreaks.
“My plea is we must use this time right now during this lockdown to vaccinate our essential workers, because the same old approach isn’t working, to think that we can continue down the same slow approach, and things will be different, a month from now, it’s not going to work,” he said at a press conference.
On Wednesday, Peel Region logged 596 new COVID-19 cases, up from 561 a day ago.
As of Apr. 5, Peel Region had administered more than 203,800 COVID-19 vaccine doses since they became available in Mid-December.